Finance

Lion enters Warrnambool Cheese and Butter battle; ARA push for disability employment; New home sales hit two-year high: Midday Roundup

Yolanda Redrup /

A fourth player has entered the bidding war for the Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory, as last night Japan’s Kirin Holdings purchased a 10% stake in the business.

Acting through Kirin Holdings’ food and beverage company Lion, the company’s 10% stake purchase pushed WCB’s share price up by as much as 11% to $9.30.

Its shares are currently trading at $8.31.

The move sees Kirin Holdings enter the hotly contested battle between Canadian giant Saputo and local players Bega Cheese and Murray Goulburn.

New home sales hit two-year high

Total new home sales jumped significantly in September, up 6.4% seasonally adjusted, pushing sales to their highest level in two years, according to new Housing Industry Association figures released this morning.

As sales sky-rocketed in the September quarter, HIA chief economist Harley Dale said in a statement there is a “clear upward momentum”.

“A strong September result for new home sales needs to gather further steam and clear upward momentum for building approvals and new housing finance needs to occur over the foreseeable future,” he said.

“These outcomes would provide confidence that the first round new home building recovery seen in 2012-13 can gather legs this financial year.”

The September increase in new home sales reflected a 4.5% jump in detached house sales and a 19.9% increase in multi-unit purchases.

ARA pushes for disability employment

Retailers have won a National Disability Employment Initiative grant worth $134,00, which they will use to set up an employment brokerage for people with a disability.

The Australian Retailers Association will set up the Retail Industry Disability Employment Brokerage, which has a five-point plan to act as a front door for jobseekers and retailers looking for workers, with a push to get people with a disability employed.

Shares up on open

Aussie shares have opened up this morning, following record highs on Wall Street overnight.

The S&P/ASX 200 benchmark lifted 20.8 points to 5436.3 at 12:07pm AEDT. Overnight the Dow Jones closed 111.42 points higher, up 0.72% to 15,680.35.

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