WCB shares in trading halt; Ria Financial Services cop $225,000 penalty: Midday Roundup

Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory shares have entered a trading halt this morning, as an announcement is expected about the recent takeover war for the business.

In a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange, WCB said it will make an announcement about Saputo Dairy Australia’s off-market takeover bid today.

Three companies – Saputo, Bega Cheese and Murray Goulburn – are engaged in a bidding war for the WCB, while Japanese dairy, wine and beer company Kirin secured a blocking 10% stake in WCB to ensure its interests were protected.

WCB has urged shareholders to accept Saputo’s bid of $9 cash per share, and $9.20 should more than 50% of WCB’s shareholders take up the offer.

WCB last traded at $9.25.

Ria Financial Services cop $225,000 penalty

Money transfer company Ria Financial Services Australia has been hit with a $225,000 penalty for contravening Australian anti-money laundering legislation.

The company was hit with the infringement notice from the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre after it failed to register all its affiliates with the regulator and for providing services through unregistered affiliates.

The business operated in 207,000 locations worldwide and has 650 affiliates in Australia.

AUSTRAC chief executive John Schmidt said in a statement the industry should “be on notice” that it will take action.

“The money remittance sector is recognised internationally as being particularly vulnerable to exploitation by criminals,” he says.

Shares up on open

Aussie shares have opened higher this morning, following gains on Wall Street overnight.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was up 40.3 points to 5129.9 at 11:34am AEDT. Overnight the Dow Jones closed 129.21 points higher, up 0.82% to 15,884.57.

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