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Charity calls for ‘vacancy tax’ on empty houses in Victoria to improve affordability

Taxing Victorian homes left vacant for 12 months or more would make housing more affordable and raise money for social housing programs, a charity group says. Prosper Australia’s 2015 Speculative Vacancies report, which looked at water usage, suggested that almost 25,000 dwellings were demonstrably unoccupied across Melbourne in 2014. Launch Housing chief executive Tony Keenan said there was a housing ... Read More »

McGrath Estate Agents slump 30pc on slowing northern Sydney property market

McGrath Limited has downgraded its profit forecasts for 2016 by up to 16 per cent, sending its shares plunging 30 per cent lower. The move comes just four months after the company listed on the share market at $2.10 — it has lost 57 per cent of its listing value, closing at 90 cents. The Sydney-based real estate giant is ... Read More »

Jerusalem rocked by bomb explosion on bus

A bomb explosion on a Jerusalem bus has injured 21 people, two of them seriously according to Israeli security sources. The explosion, the first in Jerusalem since the end of the second intifada a decade ago, gutted the number 12 Egged bus and set fire to a second passing bus, as well as a car. Most of the injuries occurred ... Read More »

FTSE falls as Arm hit by Apple slowdown and oil drops on Opec impasse

In the wake of the weekend’s meeting of oil producers which broke up without agreement on an output freeze, commoditiy companies are helping drag the stock market lower. Technology firms are also under pressure after reports that Apple plans to reduce production of iPhones in the April to June quarter after sluggish sales. So chip designer Arm is down 27.5p ... Read More »

AstraZeneca slips on talk of possible £7bn bid for US cancer specialist

AstraZeneca has slipped back following weekend reports it was considering a £7bn bid for San Francisco cancer treatment specialist Medivation. The US company has already rejected an approach from France’s Sanofi, and is said to have hired advisers to help fend off any hostile move. Analysts believe there is likely to be interest from other pharmaceutical businesses, withAstraZeneca just one ... Read More »

US jury imposes $940mn penalty on two Tata Group firms in trade secret case

A US grand jury has slapped two companies of India’s Tata group – Tata Consultancy Services and Tata America International Corp – with a $940 million fine in a trade secret lawsuit filed against them. After days of hearing, the federal grand jury in the US State of Wisconsin ruled that Tata Consultancy Services and Tata America International Corp. must ... Read More »

Sebi to engage with BSE on avenues to increase F&O volume

Markets regulator Sebi plans to engage with leading stock exchange BSE to explore avenues for increasing the F&O (futures and options) trade volume on its platform. Taking note of the low F&O volumes at the BSE, the board of Sebi has suggested the regulator to engage with the exchange to “explore ways for increasing the volume”. The suggestion was made ... Read More »

Gold, silver prices rise on global cues, seasonal buying

Gold prices rose by Rs 180 to Rs 29,430 per ten grams at the bullion market on Saturday, tracking a firm global trend and pick up in buying by jewellers and retailers, amid wedding season demand. Silver also edged up by Rs 50 to Rs 38,700 per kg on higher demand from industrial units and coin makers. Traders said that ... Read More »

Infosys kicks start earnings season on Friday; here’s what brokerages say on IT pack

With the domestic stock market heading for a long weekend, a few important developments would be setting the course of equities for the next week. The first and foremost among them would be the kick-start of March quarter earnings with Infosys’ results on Friday. The IT pack is expected to report a modest revenue growth of  2-3.9 per cent (in ... Read More »

EU, Italy reach preliminary deal on fund for savers hit by bank rescues – spokesman

The European Commission and Italy have reached a preliminary accord over the creation of a fund to help compensate savers hit last year by a state rescue of four small lenders, a commission spokesman said on Friday. “There are constructive talks ongoing between the Commission and Italian authorities. We have agreed on the important parameters. It is now in the ... Read More »