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BHP Group has agreed to sell its petroleum business to Woodside Petroleum in a merger to create a top 10 independent oil and gas producer worth A$38.5 billion ($28 billion) with growth assets in Australia and the Americas, Reuters reported. BHP's exit from petroleum, which made up just 5% of its annual earnings, speeds up its exit from fossil fuels amid pressure from environmentally conscious investors. BHP CEO Mike Henry, however, said the company remained committed to metallurgical coal used in steel making.
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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern put the nation into a three-day lockdown after the discovery of the first community case of Covid-19 since February, Bloomberg News reported. The snap lockdown will begin at midnight tonight as authorities rush to identify the source of a single infection in largest city Auckland, Ardern said at a news conference Tuesday in Wellington. While genome sequencing has yet to be completed, the case is assumed to be the highly infectious delta variant, she said.
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Sydney Airport Holdings Pty Ltd on Monday rejected an improved A$22.80 billion ($16.81 billion) bid from a group of infrastructure investors, saying that it undervalued the airport operator, but that it was open to a higher offer, Reuters reported. The new offer valued Sydney Airport at A$8.45 per share, 2.4% higher than the previous offer of A$8.25 a share, and a more than 9% premium to the stock's Friday close.
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New Zealand said it won’t loosen its stringent border-control and quarantine procedures until next year as it doubles down on its zero-Covid-19 approach to the pandemic, with plans to consider for entry only vaccinated travelers from low-risk countries starting in early 2022, the Wall Street Journal reported. The Pacific nation of some 4.9 million people has been closed to virtually all travelers since March 2020. That approach has been credited for keeping its Covid-19 infection rate among the lowest in the world, with 26 reported deaths since the pandemic began.
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Australia on Tuesday eased so-called continuous disclosure laws for publicly listed companies, which will now protect companies and their officers against liabilities for misleading and deceptive statements or forecasts unless "fault" is proven, Reuters reported. The new laws come as part of a broader clamp down on the litigation funding industry following a surge in costly class action lawsuits.
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National Australia Bank will buy Citigroup's local consumer unit for about $882.24 million, the companies said Monday, as the American bank exits the region while buy-now, pay-later rivals challenge the old credit card business model, Reuters reported. The deal consolidates more than 90% of the country's credit cards industry into the hands of Australia's Big Four banks, with NAB adding a million customers through the deal to become the nation's second-largest credit card provider. "The proposed acquisition ...
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The volume of mergers and acquisitions in Australia is already at its highest annual level on record with nearly five months of the year to go, the Wall Street Journal reported. More than $134 billion in pending and completed deals have been announced this year, according to data provider Dealogic. That already outpaces 2011, Australia’s previous busiest year on record, when just under $134 billion was announced for the entire year.
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Australia's record merger-and-acquisition (M&A) boom can only intensify in the near term as ultra-low interest rates and confidence that the economy will rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic are likely to drive deal activity, bankers said, Reuters reported. The market received a boost on Monday after U.S. payments firm Square Inc. said that it would purchase buy now, pay later pioneer Afterpay Ltd for $29 billion in the biggest-ever buyout of an Australian company. On the same day, Oil Search Ltd agreed to a raised $6.2 billion takeover bid from Santos Ltd.
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Australia’s Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman is calling on the federal government to ‘reactivate’ temporary insolvency protections that will help cushion small and family businesses during public health ordered lockdowns, SmartCompany reported. The number of businesses going into administration increased by 75% in the last week of June 2021, according to new data released by CreditorWatch.
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Australia’s Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombud is calling on the federal government to ‘reactivate’ temporary insolvency protections that will help cushion small and family businesses during public health ordered lockdowns, the Mandarin reported. The number of businesses going into administration increased by 75% in the last week of June 2021, according to new data released by CreditorWatch.
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