Third-quarter GDP comes in lower than expected: Midday roundup

The Australian economy expanded by a lower than expected amount during the September quarter, according to the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The data shows gross domestic product rose by a seasonally adjusted 0.5% in the September quarter, with GDP up by 3.1% in the 12 months to September.

Economists had expected the figures to show a 0.6% increase.

Wotif appoints Scott Blume as chief executive

Online travel group Wotif has appointed a replacement for outgoing chief executive Robbie Cookie, with Scott Blume to assume the role by the end of January.

Blume, who most recently worked as the chief executive of competitors Travelocity and Zuji, has also been building a hotel booking company in Indonesia.

Blume told the Australian Financial Review the company has good scope to grow.

“They already have some brands in Asia, and if the opportunity arises to develop more business in Asia obviously we’d look at it, but first and foremost it’s sticking to the businesses they have,” Blume said.

“If you talk to people in Asia, suppliers in Asia, they know the Wotif brand quite well because a lot of people come inbound into Asia. The brand resonates here.”

Shares rise despite weak offshore leads

The Australian sharemarket has opened higher this morning despite a weak lead from offshore leads in both Europe and the United States.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 10 points or 0.2% to 4,514.2 at 12.00 AEST, while in the United States the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 13 points or 0.1% to 12,951.8.

Ten shares cease trading ahead of capital raising

Shares in Ten Network have been placed in a trading halt ahead of an announcement from the company about a possible capital raising.

The company said in a statement the halt was necessary due to the proposed raising and some other matters. The halt is expected to continue until December 7.

If a raising goes ahead, it would be the company’s second in six months. It previously raised $200 million in June.

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