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Published on: Friday, November 25, 2016

  • Rio Tinto is committed to boosting annual cash flow by more than $5 billion over the next five years from a productivity drive. At the investor presentation yesterday, Rio announced the commitment as part of its long-term strategy. Rio Tinto chief executive, Jean-Sebastien Jacques, also said the company will try to cut $2 billion in cash costs by the end of next year. “We are also taking advantage of any opportunity to generate value from mine through to market. Lifting the productivity on our $50 billion asset base creates a low-risk and highly attractive return. It will deliver an additional $5 billion of free cash flow over the next five years.”
  • Shares in building materials supplier Boral slipped yesterday after it revealed it would pay $3.5 billion for US building materials group Headwaters. Boral shares closed down 18% to $4.99 in the first trading session since the takeover announcement. The company raised around $1.58 billion through an institutional share placement and institutional entitlement offer. The retail entitlement offer which is expected to raise around $483 million commences on November 30. “We are extremely pleased with the strong support for the equity raising from existing institutional shareholders and new investors,” said Boral’s chief executive Mike Kane in a statement to the ASX.
  • A key Liberal state minister has called for a shift in policy on negative gearing, explaining that the home ownership dream is being dashed by the tax system. According to The Australian, NSW Planning Minister Rob Stokes will urge Treasurer Scott Morrison to review his position on negative gearing to develop new policies that can assist aspiring home owners rather than investors. In a speech today, it is understood that Stokes will attack negative gearing and explain that the federal government needs to overhaul tax policy to focus on the equality of home ownership opportunities.
  • AustralianSuper has warned companies that boards should get tougher on pay for ‘greedy executives’ and that companies not willing to scrutinise pay and culture on behalf of their shareholders could always delist from public markets. The chief executive of AustralianSuper, Ian Silk, said companies should be better prepared to deal with shareholders who consider their ownership in companies as valuable property. AustralianSuper said it had voted against 5% of pay reports among 1329 shareholder resolutions it considered. “Five per cent strikes me as rather too high, a little higher than we would like,” Silk told the investor relations managers of Australia’s biggest companies (The Australian).
  • At 0645 AEDT on Friday, the share price index was up 20 points at 5,5517.


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