BUSINESS BRIEFS

Southcorp’s shares rocket SYDNEY – Wine company Southcorp Ltd could not explain why its share price had jumped more than 17 per cent in the past week. The company was responding to a letter from the Australian Stock Exchange asking if it was aware of any reason why its share price had risen to $4.49 yesterday from $3.70 on December 22.
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“We have also noted an increase in the volume of trading in the securities over this period,” a spokesman from the ASX said.

Southcorp said that it was in compliance with ASX listing rules.

“The company is not aware of any information concerning it that has not been announced which, if known, could be an explanation for the recent trading in the securities of the company,” company secretary Mathat there had been speculation that Southcorp could be a potential takeover target for the past three months.

“The stock has been drifting higher since before Christmas and was at $4.27 yesterday but its come off today,” a Sydney-based broker said.

“San Miguel has been mentioned but now we see them pursuing National Foods.”

AXG plans merger for gold hunt SYDNEY – Precious metals explorer AXG Mining Ltd is planning to merge with two other West Australian prospectors in a bid to start mining while the gold price remains high.

The junior company said yesterday that it had entered into a heads of agreement to buy the issued capital of Maher Mining Contractors Pty Ltd and Mt Dimer Gold Mines Ltd.

Chairman Peter Jarman said that the purchase would give AXG two advanced gold projects that potentially could be brought into production while gold prices remain high.

“The fundamentals supporting the gold price have never been so strong,” Mr Jarman said.

“I think this is going to go for a considerable time, the supply demand equation is going to continue for a long time.”

Under the deals, which are subject to due diligence and approvals, AXG will get Maher Mining for $625,000 in cash and five million fully paid shares in AXG.

The company’s shares closed at 19c yesterday.

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