James Packer and Gyngell punch up; Bendigo and Adelaide Bank $1.8 billion bid to buy Victoria’s Rural Finance: Midday Roundup

Photos revealing a punch up between billionaire mogul James Packer and the head of Nine Entertainment Group David Gyngell surfaced this morning.

Photos taken outside Packer’s Bondi home on Sunday show the pair exchanging punches and wrestling on the ground.

Security guards, thought to be Packer’s, eventually separated the two men. Neither Packer nor Gyngell have commented on the incident.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank to buy Victoria’s Rural Finance

Shares in Bendigo and Adelaide Bank have been placed in a trading halt, following an announcement from the bank that it has agreed to purchase the business and assets of Victorian lender Rural Finance for $1.78 billion.

Fairfax reports Macquarie Capital will manage a capital raising for Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, with the trading halt expected to be in place until start of trade on May 6.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank said in a statement it expects to complete the purchase by July and is “committed to maintaining Rural Finance’s distinct brand and its presence in 11 locations across Victoria”.

ACCI Business Expectations Survey

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry says business conditions continue to defy economic expectations.

An ACCI survey of business expectations says while businesses have increasing confidence in Australia’s economy, they remain reluctant to hire and invest.

“That business confidence remains buoyant is welcome but there is limited evidence in the survey to suggest non-mining investment in the economy will strengthen appreciably in the year ahead,” said ACCI acting chief economist Burchell Wilson in a statement.

Shares down on open

Aussie shares have opened lower this morning, as investors seek to balance last week’s solid earnings from Westpac with growing concern about tensions in the Ukraine.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was down 9 points to 5449.1 points at 11.48pm AEST. On Friday, the Dow Jones closed down 45.98 points, or 0.28%, to 16512.9 points.

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