Woodside Petroleum shelves gas project: Midday roundup

Woodside Petroleum has temporarily abandoned its plans for its contentious $40 billion-plus Browse liquefied natural gas project, in a move which has pleased investors.

A statement released by the company this morning says investigations into the Browse project revealed it would not be a “positive financial investment” for the company.

The oil and gas giant is now looking at alternate ideas for the project, alongside its joint venture partners.

“Woodside will immediately engage with the Browse Joint Venture to recommend evaluation of other development concepts to commercialise the Browse resources, which could include floating technologies, a pipeline to existing LNG facilities in the Pilbara or a smaller onshore option at the proposed Browse LNG Precinct near James Price Point,” the Woodside statement says.

Shares in Woodside Petroleum jumped $0.91 to $36.19 at midday, an increase of 2.58%, following the announcement.

Louis Vuitton to buy half of RM Williams

Fashion group Louis Vuitton will purchase a major stake in clothing and boot company RM Williams, according to a new report from The Australian Financial Review.

The report claims L Capital, which is backed by Louis Vuitton, will spend $50 million on the stake. The report also claims owner Ken Cowley will maintain a 45% stake in the group.

The proposed sale comes after reports that RM Williams had been put up for sale, with Cowley seeking about $100 million for the company.

The business operates 50 stores in Australia, Britain and the United States, with its goods distributed to hundreds of other retailers.

Woolworths considering global expansion

Australian supermarket giant Woolworths is considering international expansion, although the grocer is not yet revealing where it’s headed.

Woolworths chief executive Grant O’Brien told reporters yesterday the retailer was looking at global expansion, as the supermarket revealed sales in the third quarter had jumped 5.7%.

“We continue to look but haven’t been, and won’t be, specific about where we’re looking,” he told reporters.

“We’ve carefully been looking at international expansion as an option but there’s not anything imminent at this particular point in time.”

When questioned, O’Brien said Asia was “an important part of the world” and Woolworths had been sourcing from the continent for six years.

Shares open higher on modest lead

The Australian sharemarket has opened slightly higher this morning following a modest lead from offshore markets, especially from the United States.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 7.2 points or 0.1% to 5,014.3 at 12.100 AEST, while in the United States of America the Dow Jones Industrial Average grew 62.9 points or 0.4% to 14,865.1.

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