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Market Update

Australian Based Healthscope Raises $2.6 B, Leighton Net Drops 20%

Author: Marcus Jacob
Last Update: 10:56 AM ET July 28 2014

5:00 PM Sydney, Australia Australian stocks opened higher and Healthscope completed its $2.6 billion initial public offering. Clinuvel Pharmaceuticals confirmed a takeover proposal from the U.S. based Retrophin, Inc for about $95 million. Leighton Holdings first-half profit tumbled 20%.

Australian stocks recovered early losses and traded in the positive zone but lost steam in the late afternoon and closed down.

Investors turned cautious and focused on the merger news of the day and also a successful launch of $2.6 billion initial public offering of Healthscope.

The private hospital operator Healthscope Limited raised $2.6 billion and priced its shares at $2.10 each and closed at $2.21.

The Australia Bureau of Statistics reported consumer price index in second-quarter ending in June jumped 0.5% and yearly inflation rose to 3%.

Australian dollar closed at 93.90 U.S. cents and stock trading turnover declined to 573 million shares worth $3.16 billion.

ASX 200 index fell 6.10 to 5,577.40 and the broader All Ordinaries slid 4.30 to 5,569.90.

Stocks in Review

Clinuvel Pharmaceuticals Limited surged 29.4% to $2.18 after the biopharmaceutical company confirmed a takeover proposal from the U.S.-based Retrophin, Inc for about $95 million. Retrophin currently owns nearly 4.88% of Clinuvel shares.

Liquefied Natural Gas Limited closed unchanged at $3.25 after the liquefied natural gas producer agreed to acquire Bear Head LNG Corporation in Nova Scotia, Canada from a subsidiary of Anadarko Petroleum Corporation for US$11 million.

The transaction is expected to close on or before next month.

Leighton Holdings Limited dropped 2.4% to $22.10 after the civil and engineering construction company reported total revenue in the first-half ending in June jumped 3% to $11.9 billion from $11.5 billion a year ago.

Profit in the period tumbled 20.4% to $291.3 million compared to $366.2 million and diluted earnings per share declined to 85.8 cents from 108 cents a year earlier.

The company said it secured new contracts worth $7.8 billion during the quarter and forecasted underlying profit for the year in the range of $540 million to $620 million.

Navitas Limited declined 3.7% to $4.98 after the educational service provider said revenue in the year soared 20% to $878.2 million from $731.74 million a year ago period.

Net profit in the year tumbled 31% to $51.6 million compared to $74.6 million a year earlier.

Sources: Data collected by 123jump.com and Ticker.com from company press releases, filings and corporate websites. Market data: BATS Exchange. Inc