Central bank keeps rate
The central bank held the official interest rate steady at 2.75 percent yesterday, with an uptick in the economy expected over time and hopes for a further fall in the mining-powered dollar. The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) judged monetary policy as “appropriate for the time being” at its monthly board meeting, keeping rates on hold for a second consecutive month. RBA governor Glenn Stevens said the economy was growing at below-average pace and that was “expected to continue in the near term as the economy adjusts to lower levels of mining investment” with the peak of a decade-long China-led boom.
Dell debt financing secured
Billionaire investor Carl Icahn said he secured US$5.2 billion in debt financing to support his latest attempt to scuttle the planned leveraged buyout of Dell Inc by founder Michael Dell. Icahn and his affiliates obtained the financing with help from Jefferies Group LLC, which committed US$1.6 billion, he said yesterday in an open letter to Dell shareholders and directors. Icahn also called on the Round Rock, Texas-based company’s special committee handling the proposed buyout to “engage in a direct, face-to-face sit-down meeting” with his group. The disclosure of committed financing comes as Icahn attempts to counter a proposed US$24.4 billion buyout of the struggling PC maker by chief executive officer Dell and private-equity firm Silver Lake Management LLC.
Manufacturing activity rebounded last month from a contraction in May, but remained lackluster, according to a closely watched report released on Monday. The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said its purchasing managers index (PMI) for manufacturing rose to 50.9 last month, up 1.9 points from May’s contraction-territory level of 49. A PMI reading above 50 indicates expansion, while one below reflects contraction. Of the 18 manufacturing industries surveyed, 12 reported growth. Manufacturing grew for all but one month in the first half of this year, according to ISM data.
CEO requested to stay on
The Walt Disney Co’s board wants chairman and chief executive officer Robert Iger to stick around a bit longer. The media conglomerate said on Monday that the board extended Iger’s tenure through June 30, 2016, when his contract is due to expire. Disney said that the terms of Iger’s contract were not changed. Prior arrangements had Iger, 62, remaining CEO until April 1, 2015, and then as executive chairman for another 15 months to help in the transition to Disney’s next CEO. The extension suggests Disney’s board has yet to make a decision on Iger’s successor. Iger has been CEO since September 2005.
Web site’s casino bid denied
An appeals court in the US has rejected a bid by the world’s largest online poker Web site to regain the right to buy an Atlantic City casino. In a decision made public on Monday, the New Jersey court sided with the Atlantic Club in its battle with PokerStars. The ruling upheld a lower court ruling issued last month. The Atlantic Club canceled a deal for the PokerStars Web site to buy the casino when the online giant could not get preliminary ownership approval from state casino regulators in time.