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ANZ chief calls Hockey's bank bashing “pure populism”

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Published on: Friday, October 29, 2010

As the Reserve Bank Board meeting nears and an interest rate decision is due, ANZ chief executive Mike Smith today labelled the federal opposition’s attack on banks as “pure populism”.

The markets closed higher today with the All Ords up 0.68 per cent to 4752.8 and S&P/ASX 200 up 0.79 per cent to 4684.9.

By sector, property trusts climbed 2.19 per cent, up 18.6 points, telecommunication services was up 1.05 per cent, up 9.7 points, and materials were up 0.9 per cent, a rise of 117.4 points.

The top gainers of the day included ING Industrial fund, 15.21 per cent higher to $0.53, Lynas Corp, which rose 7.56 per cent to $1.56, and Sandfire Resources which jumped 5.56 per cent to $7.97. 

And the biggest losers in the market were Panoramic Resources, down 4.91 per cent to $2.52, White Energy, which dropped 3.96 per cent to $3.89, and Charter Hall Group, down 2.37 per cent to $0.57.

ANZ chief executive Mike Smith today accused opposition treasurer Joe Hockey of “pure populism” today, warning that his banking proposals would have a “massive economic impact” on Australia. The comments came after ANZ released its full-year results. ANZ reported $5 billion underlying profit, up 33 per cent from last year. ANZ shares were $0.69, or 2.87 per cent, higher at $24.73. 

In other news, the David Jones $37 million sexual harassment lawsuit has been discontinued with the plaintiff Kristy Fraser-Kirk’s lawyer stating the “controversy has been quelled”. The case was settled out of court. David Jones shares increased 2.13 per cent, or $0.10, to $4.80.

Meanwhile, telecommunications giant Telstra announced today it will cut 950 positions in an attempt to improve customer service and streamline internal hierarchy. Telstra has allocated $220 million over the next year to cover the cost of redundancy payments. Telstra shares were $0.03, or 1.12 per cent, higher at $2.71.

To Asia, and the Nikkei was 13.1 points, or 0.14 per cent, lower to 9374 and the Hang Seng gained 64.2 points, or 0.28 per cent, to 23,228.8.

Oil this morning was at US$81.80 per barrel and gold was at US$1327.10 per ounce. The Australian dollar was buying 97.54 US cents, 0.7058 euro and 79.6 Japanese yen.

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