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Business News

News Corp wobbles on stock market debut


News Corp, the spun-off publishing arm of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire, got off to a shaky start today on its stock market debut as the shares fell 3 per cent in Sydney.

The business, which owns The Times and the Sun in the UK as well as publisher HarperCollins, ended at A$14.55 after opening at A$15. Shares in the entertainment arm, renamed 21st Century Fox, rose 5.1 per cent to A$30.53 on their debut.

Shareholders backed the spin-off of the publishing arm at a meeting last week, as Murdoch yielded to pressure to separate it from his fast-growing TV and movie business.

News Corp, which also owns The Wall Street Journal and The Australian, said last month that it will write down the value of its business by as much as US$1.4 billion (£894 million), blaming a slowdown in cash flow from its Australian and American newspapers.

Former Times editor Robert Thomson is chief executive of the publisher and Murdoch is chairman of the firm, as well as chairman and chief executive of 21st Century Fox.