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The Independent, 16 August 2000:

Front page:

* Eric Watson vehicle Edlercare's $23 million insider trading claim against Fletcher Challenge Energy was almost thrown out of the High Court at the first hurdle, but Eldercare is being allowed to reformulate its claim;

* Parliament's law and order select committee wants copies of two legal opinions for Serious Fraud Office director David Bradshaw on the SFO's capacity to pursue the Magnum "winebox" transactions. The committee has expressed "serious misgivings about Bradshaw's decision not to pursue it;

* Telecom NZ's decision to cut its dividends in half sparked a sell-off after Tuesday's profit announcement;

Elsewhere in the paper:

* The NZ Film Commission has wrung an extra $12 million for film financing from the Government in return for not pursuing a tax dodge to make its Film Production Fund more attractive to the business community;

* Sir Ron Brierley commits himself and GPG to opposing the merger between the London and German stock exchanges, describing a 125-page explanatory document from the LSE as "dross, notable for significant omissions and deficiencies". GPG owns about 1% of the LSE;

* Shock readership figures from AC Nielsen are prompting consideration of legal action by Reg Birchfield's Profile Publishing, alleging faulty and commercial damaging methodology. Profile's title "Management" lost 51.8 per cent of its readership over the last year, according to the survey. The National Business Review is purported to have lost 19%. INL's Infotech Weekly is said to have lost 23.1 per cent of its readership, while Net Guide is said to be up 43%;

* Commerce Minister Paul Swain to announce delay in new takeovers code to middle of next year, instead of implmentation by the end of this year;

* Thrice-bankrupted Auckland property developer Graeme Raymond denies effectively controlling a company owned by his girlfriend, which collapsed last week owing more than $1.5 million;

* A Marlborough property development company owned by one of three businessmen involved in the ill-starred Auckland developer Metro City Apartments has been placed in receivership, with debts to the ANZ Bank of around $5 million;

* officials committee scrutinises details of an export credit scheme proposal;

* Gas franchise battler Pat Carey wins another round in his attempt to sue the Crown for $20 million over alleged anti-competitive behaviour;

* Meridian Energy is projecting $200 million in dividends over the next three years.


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