Tuesday, November 2, 2004

James Hardie yet to make funding provisions

The James Hardie company has told the Australian Stock Exchange it is yet to make a provision for the funding it has promised for future victims of asbestos-related diseases.

The company has warned shareholders that the final resolution could cut dividend payments.

James Hardie says it cannot determine whether a satisfactory resolution will be achieved but it is understood negotiators for asbestos victims feel James Hardie's recent response to an ACTU proposal is a positive basis for progress.

An addendum to the Dutch financial accounts warns that James Hardie's finances may suffer from product boycotts to pressure it to settle. It says it may have to borrow and cut dividends if a voluntary payout to cover a $1.5 billion shortfall.

By Put Up Or Shut Up 2 November 04


NSW clears way for James Hardie probe
The Federal Government's corporate watchdog will have more power to investigate James Hardie from today, under new New South Wales laws.

Unions dismayed with Hardie's attitude
Australia's peak union body, the ACTU, has expressed concerns that building products company James Hardie is not serious about negotiating compensation for future victims of its asbestos products.

James Hardie boss could face fraud charges
The counsel assisting the inquiry into James Hardie asbestos compensation claims has recommended the company's chief executive officer, Peter Macdonald, be charged with fraud.

Aust seeks Dutch treaty to protect asbestos victims
The Federal Government says it has approached the Dutch Government to sign a treaty making Australian court judgments enforceable in The Netherlands.

James Hardie inquiry told law reforms needed
A massive shortfall in funds to compensate asbestos victims has led to a call for retrospective law? reform to stop parent companies avoiding their liabilities.