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Published on: Tuesday, December 13, 2016

  • Global oil prices rose to an 18-month high after OPEC reached a deal with some of its rivals for the first time since 2001. Brent crude rose by 2.5% to US$55.68 a barrel, while US Nymex rose by 2.6% to $52.83 per barrel. The deal, which includes jointly reducing output to tackle the global supply glut, occurred on Saturday as producers from outside OPEC agreed to reduce output by 558,000 bpd. This follows the November 30 deal to cut output by 1.2 million bpd for six months from January 2017.
  • Shares in travel insurance reseller Cover-More Group have surged on the back of a $741 million takeover offer from Swiss giant, Zurich Insurance. Cover-More Group shares rose more than 40% to $1.87 – just shy of the $1.95 cash per share takeover offer made by Zurich – although this offer price is still below the IPO price of $2 per share three years ago. “Cover-More’s board has unanimously concluded that the sale of the company at a significant premium to market is an attractive outcome for shareholders,” Cover-More chairman Louis Carroll said on Monday.
  • Embattled aged care operator Estia Health is raising $136.8 million through a rights share offer in order to turn its finances around. On Monday, the company announced a one-for-three rights offer at $2.10 per share – with the proceeds to reduce debt. The Offer Price represented a 21.6% discount to Estia’s closing price on December 9. As part of the company’s strategic and operational review, Gary Weiss will also be succeeding Pat Grier as Estia Chairman. Grier will retire on 31 December, 2016 and continue in a non-executive director role. 
  • Murray Goulburn Co-operative has appointed Ari Mervis as CEO and MD of the company, commencing February 13 next year. Mervis’ career with SABMiller, the world’s second largest brewer, began in 1989. Most recently, he was MD of SABMiller in the Asia Pacific and CEO of Carlton and United Breweries in Melbourne. Ari Mervis will reportedly turn to the dairy processor’s 2,200 farmer suppliers to craft a new strategy to restore the co-operative’s fortunes. “The intention with my first 100 days is to get out and about to all of the regions and engage with the supplier base,” Mervis said (Australian Financial Review).
  • At 0646 AEDT on Tuesday, the local share price index was down 22 points, or 0.39 per cent, at 5,553.

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