The S&P/ASX 200 had mixed trading sessions this week, eventually finishing 33 points (-0.61%) points lower at the end of trade of Friday at 5434 points.
In Australian top 100 companies, several weeks of consistent gains for mining and energy giants BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP) and Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL) came to an end with Woodside falling 1.04% over the period and BHP losing 3.26%. The big four banks mostly had moves to the downside, with Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) being the only gainer over the period, ending the week up 20c at $74.58. Westpac Banking Corp (ASX:WBC) lost 33c (1.08%) and ANZ Banking Group Limited lost 73c (2.58%), closing at $30.24 and $27.53 respectively.
While not strictly ASX news, Monday saw Gina Rinehart enter a bid to buy one of the country’s largest cattle stations for $365 million. The deal came in partnership with a Chinese real estate firm Shanghai Cred and was for nation’s largest private landholding, S Kidman & Co, through joint venture company Australian Outback Beef Pty Ltd.
The company is 67 per cent owned by Hancock Prospecting and 33 per cent owned by Shanghai Cred. Kidman is one of Australia’s largest beef producers, with an average herd carrying capacity of 185,000 cattle. The company has pastoral leases covering 101,000 square kilometres across South Australia, Western Australia, Northern Territory, and Queensland.
The week also saw Spanish-controlled construction giant CIMIC (ASX:CIM) has launch a $524 million takeover bid for its ASX-listed rival UGL (ASX:UGL). Formerly Leighton Holdings, CIMIC said on Monday that it taken a 13.8 per cent stake in UGL and made an unconditional offer of $3.15 per security for the remainder.
Following the announcement, UGL shares gained $1.06 or 49.5 per cent, to finish Fridays trade at $3.20.
During the week, Baker Young staff met with Paradigm Biopharmaceuticals (ASX:PAR) for a presentation from CEO & Managing Director Paul Rennie in relation to a proposed capital raising. The company is raising funds to further their alphavirus program, under which Five patients with RRV-arthralgia (joint pain) have already been treated under the special access scheme, demonstrating tolerance and potential clinical effects. The funds will be used to accelerate Phase II trials while the company continues to pursue their Bone Marrow Edema and Allergic Rhinitis (Hayfever) programs.