Trio Capital directors accept enforceable undertakings from APRA, construction sector contracts for 34th consecutive month: Midday Roundup

Five more Trio Capital directors have accepted enforceable undertakings from former directors of the collapsed business, which had been responsible for many superannuation and managed investment schemes.

The latest directors to accept the enforceable undertakings, the longest being for 12 years, are Cameron Anderson, Michael Anderson, Terrence Hallinan, Lorenzo Macolino and John Harte.

When the business collapsed in June 2009, it took with it more than $176 million from more than 6000 investors. A joint parliamentary inquiry labelled it as the “largest superannuation fraud in Australian history”.

Trio invested assets into a managed investment scheme known as Astarra Strategic Fund. From this point, most of the assets were placed in Caribbean hedge funds and during ASIC’s investigations it ruled there was “little, if any, credible evidence” investments were actually made.

As a result of the investigations into the company, Trio investment manager Shawn Richard was jailed for three years and nine months.

Construction sector contracts for 34th consecutive month

The national construction industry continued to contract in June for the 34th consecutive month, despite the latest figures showing it improved slightly in the month.

The latest construction index from the Australian Industry Group and the Housing Industry of Australia indicated performance in the construction sector improved by 4.2 points to 39.5 points in June, the slowest rate of decline in four months.

While this is positive news for the beleaguered sector, it’s still more than 10 points below the magic number of 50 (readings below 50 indicate contraction).

The apartment, house building and commercial construction sectors performed the best, with many surveyed respondents stating a boost in the amount of work.

Selling prices also increased on the index by 7.5 points to 37.4.

Market factors which continue to restrict growth include tight credit conditions, low consumer confidence and weaker mining-related construction work.

Shares up on open

Australian shares have opened higher this morning, following gains from most European markets.

Yesterday shares also closed higher, as investors were buoyed following the military overthrow of Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi.

The S&P/ASX200 index was up 47.9 points to 4842.6 just before midday.

All major industries were up, with the materials sector gaining 112.3 points and energy businesses up a total of 102.1 points.


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