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Weekly financial wrap up : Busy week for underwriters

Weekly financial wrap up : Busy week for underwriters

The Australian IT sector is set to keep financial underwriters gainfully employed well into the new fiscal year after a raft of companies announced significant investment decisions this week.

While Spike's IPO announcement yesterday is at the forefront of Internet interest, Fairfax is also readying itself to follow the same path. Meanwhile, former mining company Diamon Resources is under going a dramatic shift in direction - it is set to list as an Internet security company.

Fairfax takes a leaf out of PBL's manualJohn Fairfax Holdings has flagged its intention to follow PBL's ecorp lead and float the Internet side of the media company's business.

Fairfax has appointed two companies, Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, to assess potential float options.

Fred Hilmer, CEO of Fairfax, said, "Our online and interactive businesses have reached a critical mass of activity and viability. Moreover, continuing to build our interactive businesses may require the separate focus and currency that listing could bring. This is a sensible time to explore options for a float of the online and interactive businesses."

Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley come highly recommended with recent experience in IPOs, floating Packer's ecorp and pay TV company Austar United Communications respectively.

Diamon looks to a secure future on the NetFormer mining company Diamon Resources has been re-listed on the ASX's mining lists for a two week period before it's set to join the industrial board as Secure-ID Net Limited.

Far removed from its days as a Victorian based mining company, Secure-ID develops security solutions for the Internet, e-commerce, credit cards and biometrics.

In the last three months Secure-ID has raised more than $2.9 million to further develop the company's personal identification technology which is based on a combination of fingerprint, encryption and date/time stamping technologies for authorisation.

Since the announcement Secure-ID shares (under Diamon Resources) have shown a slight improvement this week, reaching a high of $0.4 a share. Secure-ID shares closed Wednesday at $0.37.

If you would like to contribute to the weekly financial wrap up please e-mail Richard Noone at richard_noone@idg.com.au


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