Murdoch leads turnover tally

RUPERT Murdoch topped the turnovers table this week when he disposed of $39 million of News Corp stock.

That was the bulk of the $57 million selling tally, which compared with about $2 million spent by directors doing a bit of buying.

Elsewhere, Andrew Abercrombie took some petty change off the table when he sold FlexiGroup shares at near-record levels.

FlexiGroup – a retail point-of-sale finance provider – went public in 2006 at $2 a share and saw its scrip hit $3.21 shortly thereafter.

It was panic stations in 2008 when punters sold the stock down to around 22¢. Those who gritted their teeth and bought are now looking at a share price of $4.10 – a near 20-bagger. Chairman Margaret Jackson collected $810,000 when she also sold.

Elsewhere on the money-lending front, Michael Smith, the ANZ chief, raised $2.9 million, selling shares at $28.41 apiece. The jolly Englishman said he had sold to pay tax.

John Dawkins, a former Labor federal treasurer, more than doubled his stake in Australian Bauxite, where he is chairman.

The company this week completed a $1.6 million placement and says it has the potential to create significant bauxite developments in three states.

John Bevan, chief of Alumina, made a rare appearance on the table, increasing his stake by 70 per cent. Last week, China’s state-owned Citic bought 13 per cent of Alumina and late this week Bevan bought some shares, as did Peter Wasow.

Alumina this week reported a $51 million loss compared with earnings of $124 million previously.

Elsewhere on the results front, Oakton, an IT services group, reported a 30 per cent earnings decline and the shares promptly fell from $1.45 to $1.26. Non-executive director Martin Adams promptly bought about 60,000 shares at $1.27 and is already ahead of the game as the scrip closed the week at $1.34.

The reporter owns AWC shares.

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