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In The News

8 things you need to know today

  1. Sydney is now the most expensive place to rent a unit in Australia, at $510 a week, according to the Domain Group. Average rents for Melbourne units are $140 cheaper at $370 a week. Sydney has now overtaken Darwin as the most expensive capital city for unit rentals. Vacancy rates in Melbourne were just 1.6% in the September quarter, while Sydney’s was 2.3%. Darwin was the most expensive city to rent a house – at an average of $590, compared to Sydney’s $530. The cheapest place to rent was Hobart, at $280 for a unit and $330 for a house. But that was a 6.5% increase on the quarter for houses and a 7.7% jump for units, the biggest rises of any capital city.
  2. Volkswagen has disclosed that more than 77,000 diesel vehicles sold in Australia are fitted with the defeat device software that cheats emissions tests. Owners of the vehicles will not need to do anything until a technical solution is made available by the company’s head office in Germany. "It is important for customers to note that all affected vehicles remain technically safe and driveable and that we will contact them in time to advise what the next steps are," Volkswagen Group Australia managing director John White said.
  3. Origin Energy has withdrawn a plan to grant equity incentives to managing director Grant King and finance director Karen Moses, following its forced capital raising. At current share prices the combined incentives would have been worth almost $4.7 million dollars and would have been subject to performance. "We believe the decision to not proceed with the resolutions is appropriate," chairman Gordon Cairns said.
  4. Telstra Retail group executive Gordon Ballantyne, who is understood to have been a possible contender for the chief executive position, will leave the company in December. Ballantyne helped revive the telco giant's dominance in the mobile market. He also set up its rapidly expanding health business.
  5. OnMarket, a new mobile app launched yesterday will give investors free and open access to IPOs and placements in Australia and New Zealand without having to go through a broker. CEO of On-Market BookBuilds, Ben Bucknell, said they wanted to create a way for retail investors to get access to many of the IPOs they read about after the fact.
  6. Insurance company IAG has appointed Peter Harmer, chief executive of IAG Labs, to replace CEO Mike Wilkins when he steps down in November. Harmer has been with the company for five years and most recently has been leading IAG's digital innovation efforts. Harmer will work with Wilkins up until March 31 to transition into the position.
  7. At 0645 the December share price index futures contract was up 31 points at 5,221.



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Published on: Thursday, October 08, 2015

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