Three top BSkyB investors to vote against Murdoch
Three top shareholders in BSkyB will vote against James Murdoch remaining as chairman of the company at its AGM on Tuesday. The Sunday Telegraph said Legal and General (L&G) will vote against Murdoch and the Sunday Times said Kames Capital has urged Murdoch to quit, while the Telegraph said in its Monday edition that Franklin Templeton would also oppose his re-election. Another investor, the Local Authority Pension Fund Forum (LAPFF) has recommended its members vote against Murdochs re-election. Officials with Kames Capital, L&G and Franklin Templeton were not immediately available for comment. The Sunday Telegraph said while L&G raised no ethical issues about the way Murdoch operated, its concerns related to his ability to retain independence following News Corps failed bid for the British broadcaster.
Steelmaker Ternium to pay $2.2 bn for Usiminas stake
Ternium said on Sunday it would pay $2.2 billion to buy a stake in Brazilian rival Usiminas from two of its minority shareholders, despite tough conditions for mills in the continents largest economy. Ternium will gain a stronger foothold in South Americas most protected steel market, where local prices trade at a premium to imports. Brazilian peer CSN, seen as a potential suitor for Usiminas, earlier this month raised its stake in Usiminas to 11.66%. At an 83% premium to Usiminas Friday closing ordinary share price, the deal is also a major boon for the companys owners given its struggles with raw materials costs, poor access to energy sources, rampant competition from imports and weak pricing power in Brazils domestic market.
Dealers see Fed buying $545 bn mortgage bonds
The biggest bond dealers in the US say the Federal Reserve is poised to start a new round of stimulus, injecting more money into the economy by purchasing mortgage securities instead of treasuries. Fed chairman Ben S Bernanke and his fellow policy makers will start another program next quarter, 16 of the 21 primary dealers of US government securities that trade with the central bank. The Fed may buy about $545 billion in home-loan debt. While mortgage rates are already at about record lows, housing continues to constrain the economy, with the National Association of Realtors saying that the median price of US existing homes dropped 4.7% in October from a year ago.
BHP Billiton names new CFO, Alex to retire in Feb
BHP Billiton announced the surprise retirement of its popular chief financial officer Alex Vanselow and expanded its top management committee on Monday, building on the team of potential successors to its young chief executive. Vanselow, 49, is quitting in February 2012 to pursue personal business interests, and will be replaced by Australian Graham Kerr, who is just 40 years old. Kerr, who joined BHP in 1994, was until recently president of the groups diamonds and specialty products division based in Vancouver.
Strike-hit Qantas flags steep fall in H1 earnings
Qantas Airways flagged a fall in first half profits of at least 50% as a series of strikes, the grounding of the fleet and high fuel bills take their toll. But the airline, which suspended all flights for two days last month in a drastic attempt to force a resolution with unions, soothed investors by indicating the move had paid off with international forward bookings back to normal.
Qantas said the second half outlook remained volatile given global economic uncertainty, fuel prices and foreign exchange rates.