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THE NEWS WRAP: News Corp launches $5bn share buyback plan

By Oliver Milman
Wednesday, 13 July 2011

News Corporation has unveiled a $US5 billion stock repurchase plan after being hit by a tumbling share price amid a worsening phone hacking crisis.

 

The media giant said it will increase its stock buyback program from $US1.8 billion to $US5 billion.

 

Its Wall Street share price fell 14.6% during the past week, with the company’s chances of taking full control of UK pay-TV network BSkyB diminished by a unanimous call by British political parties for the move to be blocked due to phone hacking allegations.

 

 

Viking hit by invoice allegations

 

Fairfax media has reported that stricken Melbourne transport company Viking has issued fraudulent invoices, with more than $40 million owed to Commonwealth Bank.

 

It’s alleged that the bank believes around 80% of Viking’s invoices are fraudulent, with trucks still operating for the company even though it has been put into liquidation.

 

 

Businesses handed insolvency warning

 

An insolvency firm has predicted that business collapses will increase this year as companies struggle with the strong Australian dollar and a tighter tax debt regime.

 

Taylor Woodings said this financial year will be “tough” for Australian businesses in the wake of ASIC figures showing that corporate collapses rose by 4.4% in the 11 months to May 31, compared with the same period in 2010. 

 

 

Overnight

 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 58.88 points to 12,446.88. The Australian dollar fell to 105.78 US cents.

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