Finance

Queensland in recession under Newman; CEO no-show as Chinese company wipes out $24 billion in market value: Midday Roundup

Kirsten Robb /

Queensland’s economy was in a recession under a Campbell Newman-led government last year, according to the state’s new treasurer, Curtis Pitt.

Pitt said Queensland’s gross state product fell by 0.2% in the July-September quarter and another 0.6% in the December quarter, Business Spectator reports.

He argued two consecutive quarters of negative growth could be technically defined as a recession and blamed the downturn on the policies of the previous Liberal National Party government, which was ousted in January.

“Their legacy is three years of economic mismanagement underscored by mass sackings, rising unemployment, bumbling policies and subdued business conditions,” he said.

Former treasurer Tim Nicholls hit back at the statement by shouting “You’re making it up”, according to the reports.

 

CEO no-show as Chinese company wipes out $24 billion in market value

 

Chinese billionaire Li Hejun – the founder, chairman and principal owner of Hanergy Thin Film Power Group – was a no-show at his company’s annual meeting yesterday as the solar power product manufacturer witnessed $US19 billion ($24 billion) wiped off its market value, reports Fairfax.

Shares in Hanergy Thin Film Power Group nosedived by 47% in 24 minutes amid speculation of market manipulation and questions about the viability of the company’s core technology, a thin and flexible solar cell.

A company spokesperson said Li Hejun spent the morning at the opening of a clean energy exhibition in Beijing, while he lost a personal fortune of $US14 billion – given his 80.79% stake in the business.

 

Shares up

 

Shares are up despite a sluggish lead from Wall St overnight.

“The release of FOMC meeting minutes overnight saw the global bond market rout pause as investors heeded a clear signal that a June rate hike from the Fed is all but ruled out,” said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets.

“However, additional comment that the economic weakness in the US in the first quarter of the year was likely ‘transitory’ moderated any enthusiasm, and could see the Australian share market test a key level of support today.”

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was down 38 points to 5648.3 points at 12:05PM AEST. On Wednesday, the Dow Jones closed down 0.15%, falling 26.99 points to 18,285.4 points.

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Kirsten Robb

Kirsten Robb is a former journalist at SmartCompany. Previously, she worked at News Corp as a property reporter for Leader Newspapers and the Herald Sun, and holds a Masters of Journalism at Melbourne University.

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