Rinehart, Palmer may appear before inquiry: Midday roundup

Mining moguls Gina Rinehart and Clive Palmer may appear before a Senate inquiry investigating the use of foreign workers.

The inquiry chairman, Senator Doug Cameron, told ABC Radio the inquiry wants to speak with them both, with public hearings intended for Western Australia, Queensland and Tasmania.

“Obviously we’d be seeking Gina Rinehart, ‘Twiggy’ Forrest, Clive Palmer,” he told the ABC.

Meanwhile, Palmer has said he may need to source foreign employees in order to staff his various resource projects.

“Jobs should be first for Australians, but we should not hold up national development (if there’s a shortage of workers),” Palmer told the ABC.

News Corp shares rise as company considers split

Shares in News Corp have risen nearly 4% this morning after the media giant confirmed it’s considering splitting the business into two separate companies.

The business said yesterday the restructure would separate the entertainment division from the publishing group.

Shares in the United States rose over 8% last night to $US21.96 after the announcement was made.

A restructure would take the film and television businesses away from the news and media publications, following the News of the World scandal in Britain. The new entity would cover the 20th Century Fox film studio, the Fox broadcast network, and the Fox News Channel.

The publishing entity would control publications including The Wall Street Journal, the New York Post and The Times in London, along with HarperCollins.

Sharemarket steady

The Australian stock market opened little changed, despite rises on the US and major European markets amid growing concern ahead of a key European Union leaders’ meeting.

At the official market open, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index inched up 0.13% to 4,018.7 points, while the broader All Ordinaries Index rose 0.1% to 4,060.4 points.

Twiggy Forrest buys up $62 million in Fortescue shares

Fortescue Metals Group founder Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest boosted his stake in the company by $62 million over the past week, but the billionaire’s show of confidence failed to trigger any real jump in the mining company’s stock price.

Forrest, who is Fortescue’s biggest shareholder, bought 12.8 million shares between June 20 and June 25 in on-market trades, the company says.

Forrest now controls more than 32% of Fortescue.



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