Bloomberg News

Australian Stocks; BHP, Fortescue, Leighton, Straits Resources

February 13, 2012

Feb. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.9 percent to 4,285.1 at the close of trading in Sydney, climbing for the first time in three sessions after Greece’s parliament approved austerity measures to secure an international bailout.

New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index slid 0.2 percent to 3,340.02 in Wellington.

The following were among the most active shares in the market. Stock symbols are in parentheses after company names.

Mining Companies:

Aquarius Platinum Ltd. (AQP AU) lost 4.3 percent to A$2.23 after E.L. & C. Baillieu Stockbroking Ltd. downgraded its rating on the shares to “sell” from “hold” with a share price estimate of A$1.74.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP AU) gained 1 percent to A$36.66 as copper rebounded from the biggest drop in a month. Aluminum, zinc and lead also rose on the London Metal Exchange. Kagara Ltd. (KZL AU) increased 4.6 percent to Australian 34.5 cents and Intrepid Mines Ltd. (IAU AU) advanced 3.8 percent to A$1.385.

Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. (FMG AU), Australia’s third- largest iron-ore producer, rallied 5 percent to A$5.50 after the Australian Financial Review reported Canada’s Teck Resources Ltd. probably bought a stake in the company, citing unidentified people.

AGL Energy Ltd. (AGK AU) gained 1.3 percent to A$14.29. The Australian electricity retailer may buy Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s 32 percent stake in the Loy Yang power station and has begun talks with other owners of Victoria state’s largest plant.

Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. (ANZ AU) rose 1.6 percent to A$21.77. Australia’s third-largest bank announced plans to eliminate about 1,000 jobs and reiterated a pay freeze for most senior executives as it combats a slump in lending growth.

Leighton Holdings Ltd. (LEI AU) dropped 2 percent to A$23.38 after Australia’s largest construction company said it has given police information about possible illegal payments made by one of its units in connection with work to expand loading facilities for Iraq’s oil exports.

Straits Resources Ltd. (SRQ AU) retreated 10 percent to 61.5 Australian cents after the mining company announced a A$50 million capital raising. The company said it will issue 75 million shares at 60 Australian cents, a 12.4 percent discount to its Feb. 8 close.

Transfield Services Ltd. (TSE AU) climbed 3.2 percent to A$2.27 after the company won a NZ$318 million ($264 million) contract with Transpower New Zealand Ltd.

--Editor: John McCluskey

To contact the reporter on this story: Sarah Jones in London at sjones35@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Gentle at ngentle2@bloomberg.net


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