PRESS DIGEST-Australian Business News – Nov 2

Compiled for Reuters by Media Monitors. Reuters has not
verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW (www.afr.com)

Contracting group Thiess yesterday confirmed that it was
taking court action to recover unpaid monies from the US$5.2
billion Sino Iron magnetite project in Western Australia.
Thiess said it was seeking the payments from the project’s lead
contractor, China Metallurgical Group Corporation (MCC).
Another contractor on the project, VDM Group, has also launched
legal action against MCC over missing payments. Page 16.

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Rio Tinto’s (RIO.AX: ) Iron Ore chief executive Sam Walsh
last week indicated that the miner’s planned expansion of its
Pilbara projects will cost around 30 percent more than previous
expansions, raising market concerns about the cost of other
expansion projects in the region. UBS analyst Glyn Lawcock said
“it appears that capital costs are escalating across the
industry,” as iron ore projects compete with other resource
projects in Western Australia’s north-west for skilled labour.
Page 16.

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Broadcaster Ten Network (TEN.AX: ) yesterday said it had
offered James Packer – who recently became the company’s
largest shareholder after acquiring a 17 percent stake – two
board seats, which Ten described as “appropriate
representation” given Mr Packer’s holding. Mr Packer is
believed to have asked for three seats. Sources say Mr Packer
may accept the lesser representation if Ten executive chairman
Nick Falloon resigns. Page 17.

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Pharmacy wholesale company Sigma Pharmaceuticals (SIP.AX: )
yesterday confirmed that it had been served with a statement of
claim last week, part of a shareholder class action. Investors
have accused the troubled company of failing to disclose its
true financial position when it undertook a A$297 million
equity raising in September last year. In March, Sigma
announced a A$389 million loss along with A$424 million in
asset write-downs. Page 18.

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THE AUSTRALIAN (www.theaustralian.news.com.au)

Krispy Kreme Australia has appointed an insolvency firm to
oversee a restructure of the doughnut chain. The company posted
a A$12.5 million loss in 2008, and despite sales jumping to
A$57.9 million last year, the company reported a profit of just
A$62,000. Krispy Kreme Australia managing director John
McGuigan blamed the chain’s poor performance on a drop in
sales, high rents, and distribution costs. Page 25.

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Documents lodged by Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan
(POT.TO: ) in the Chicago District Court reveal that mining giant
BHP Billiton had been considering a move into potash since
2001. The documents reveal that BHP (BHP.AX: ) chief Marius
Kloppers had been pushing for a move on the world’s largest
fertiliser enterprise before he was appointed to high office in
2006.

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Oil and gas company Inpex (1605.T: ) has called tenders for
its planned US$20 billion-plus Ichthys liquefied natural gas
(LNG) project in Darwin. The Japanese company is planning to
produce 8.4 million tonnes of LNG a year by piping gas from the
Browse Basin off Western Australia to an onshore plant.

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Atlas Iron (AGO.AX: ) announced yesterday that it achieved an
annualised export rate of over 6 million tonnes per annum in
October, two months ahead of schedule. The Pilbara iron ore
miner has increased its annualised export rate by 600 percent.

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THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD (www.smh.com.au)

Investment Canada will tomorrow decide whether BHP
Billiton’s US$40 billion takeover bid for PotashCorp provides a
“net positive benefit” to the country. The world’s largest
miner is hopeful that Canada’s foreign investment regulator
will give it clearance amid speculation that it could increase
its US$130-a-share offer. BHP did not comment on suggestions
it would increase its offer. Page B3.

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Bendigo and Adelaide Bank has offered to buy out investors
holding one of the institution’s older-style hybrid notes.
Bendigo has offered A$80 each for the unsecured perpetual
floating rate subordinated notes, well down on their A$100
issue price over a decade ago. The shares have traded for
years at a discount; however holders have collected generous
interest payments. Page B4.

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Property investment firm GPT Group (GPT.AX: ) yesterday
reaffirmed its earnings target of more than A$400 million for
this year as the commercial real estate sector shows signs of
growth.

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Emilio Gonzalez, chief executive of listed fund manager BT
Investment Management, said yesterday that changes to financial
services must be clarified before being implemented. Mr
Gonzalez said while the new Labor Government showed signs of
commitment to superannuation changes, aspects of financial
planning such as those regarding volume-based rebates and
investors “opting in” to pay regular fees on their super
accounts must be clarified. Page B5.

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THE AGE (www.theage.com.au)

Australian newspaper publisher News Ltd and its former
chairman Lachlan Murdoch will seek to have a A$244 million
damages suit over the collapse of telephone company One.Tel
thrown out of the Supreme Court. Page B3.

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The Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s (CBA.AX: ) online
broking arm CommSec has warned that it will be forced to slash
A$110 million from it’s A$373 million IWL stockbroking
acquisition due to the downturn in equity markets. CommSec
revealed that it is planning to take the writedown against its
key subsidiary, given a “change in expected future revenue
streams.” Page B3.

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The board of gold exploration company Kentor Gold has given
the go-ahead with its US$96 million Andash copper-gold project
in Kyrgyzstan. Kentor chairman John Barr said Andash was
expected to begin production in early 2012 at an annual rate of
70,000 ounces of gold and 7400 tonnes of copper for the first
six years. Mr Barr said project financing was advanced, with
Macquarie appointed to arrange US$50 million in debt. Page B4.

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An ad by telecommunications carrier Optus (STEL.SI: )(SGT.AX: )
has been labelled “inherently deceptive.” Justice Perram said
yesterday in the Federal Court that the company’s Think Bigger
and Supersonic broadband packages were misrepresenting of the
quantity of what was provided. The judge found that
advertisements for plans of 120, 150 and 170 gigabytes were
maximum download limits that could only be reached if half the
downloads were made overnight in off-peak times. Page B5.

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PRESS DIGEST-Australian Business News – Nov 2