Midday: ASX dragged by banks and miners

Market Reports


Following mixed leads and another tumble in the iron ore price, the Australian share market is being led lower by weakness in the banks and mining stocks and is 0.75 per cent down at noon. 
 
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 39 points down at 5,394. On the futures market the SPI is 36 points lower. 
 
Company news
 
Kathmandu Holdings Limited (ASX:KMD) (NZX:KMD) says its General Manager of Sales and Marketing is leaving the company to take up a role at Medibank. Tamalin Morton has been with Kathmandu since October 2007 and finishes up with the adventure clothing retailer in December. Mrs Morton will take on a new Melbourne- based role as GM of Marketing and Brand with Medibank as the company prepares to list on the ASX in the next 6 months. Kathmandu will announce plans for her role later this year. Shares in Kathmandu are trading down 0.71 per cent at $2.80. 
 
Otto Energy Limited (ASX:OEL) has today announced the sale of its Galoc Production Company to Singapore-based Risco Energy Investments. Risco will pay Otto US$101 million for its 33 per cent interest in the Galoc oil field in the Phillipines. The proceeds are earmarked towards funding Otto’s exploration and development of its activities in East Africa for the next two years. Otto will also pay shareholders a capital return of $0.06 per share by the end of March 2015. Shares in Otto Energy are trading up 14.46 per cent at $0.10. 
  
Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is real estate investment trusts, gaining 0.2 per cent to 1,090. Shares in Stockland have risen 1.76 per cent and are trading at $4.04. Shares in Abacus Property and Dexus Property are also stronger. 
 
The worst performing sector is financials excluding real estate investment trusts, falling 1 per cent to 7,036. Shares in IOOF Holdings have fallen 4.98 per cent, trading at $8.59 after going ex-dividend.  Shares in FlexiGroup and Steadfast Group are also lower. 
 
IPOs

Urbanise.com Limited(ASX:UBN) started trading today. The software service provider floated with an issue price of $0.50, opened at $0.75 and is currently trading at $0.65.    
 
Gold and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,213 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying 89.29 US cents.

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