Murdochs' display adds $350m to stock

By Stephen Foley

The Murdoch family were US$300 million ($350 million) richer at the end of their grilling than they had been when they first sat down, as investors judged there were no bombshell revelations that could jeopardise the future of News Corporation.

Shares in the family-controlled media giant ticked higher and higher on the US stockmarket as the hearings went on, with investors and Wall St analysts glued to TV screens.

News Corp's shares had risen 6 per cent by the end of the hearing, including a final burst upwards after the attack on Rupert Murdoch, which analysts said might engender some sympathy for him and blunt the attacks that have been threatening his grip on the company.

On Tuesday, after a weekend of resignations from inside the company and at Scotland Yard, News Corp's shares had plunged, and the value of the Murdoch family's controlling stake had fallen below US$5 billion.

But investors appeared to conclude yesterday that MPs had not extracted any significant new revelations that might hit News Corp's finances.

Jason Bazinet, a media analyst at Citigroup, said: "I don't think we heard enough to know if the worst is behind News Corp. The investigation still has to occur ... But my best guess is that a lot of this noise blows over and we end up not seeing as many changes as people are speculating today."

- Independent

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