THE NEWS WRAP: Zahra steps down from the helm at David Jones

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David Jones chief executive Paul Zahra has announced he is stepping down after three years at the helm of retailer David Jones, citing personal reasons.

 

While the company’s share price, profits and sales have all fallen under Zahra’s watch, he has also guided the company through a tough retail market.

 

“Whilst much has been achieved and the company is well placed for the future, I believe it’s time for a change for me personally,” Zahra says.

 

“Paul will leave David Jones in a solid financial position and I thank him for his contribution as CEO,” David Jones chairman Peter Mason says.

 

“I look forward to working with Paul to ensure a smooth transition of his role to his successor.”

 

McGauchie calls for a level playing field in Warrnambool takeover battle

 

Nufarm and Australian Agricultural Company chairman Donald McGauchie has urged competition regulators not to “put lead in the saddlebags” of Murray Goulburn in its $420 million bid for Warrnambool Cheese and Butter.

 

“The only issue here should be that the playing field should not be stacked against the Australian bidder,” McGauchie says.

 

“I don’t believe there is an issue here with respect to competition. It would be much more important to us to have Murray Goulburn bidding on the same playing field as everybody else.

 

“That is the issue. No special favours or anything else. Just don’t load up their saddle bags with lead.”

 

US home resales fall in September

 

US house price growth slowed in September and US home resales fell, in an ominous sign for the world’s largest economy.

 

New figures from the US National Association of Realtors show sales of previously owned houses fell 1.9% to an annualised rate of 5.29 million units, while median house price grew by 11.7%, its lowest level since April.

 

“This softening had been expected in response to the increase in mortgage rates that began in May,” JPMorgan economist Daniel Silver says.

 

Overnight

 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 0.05% to 15392.2. The Aussie dollar is at US96.58 cents.

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