- ASX 200 ekes out a 5-point gain to 6035
- High 6039 Low 6012. Modest volume.
- End of an era for Lowy’s
- Banks again sold off. Defensives save day.
- Resources mildly weaker. Energy stocks lose steam.
- Bond proxies and infrastructure firm.
- ALL comes up cherries.
- AUD slightly higher at 75.69c
- Bitcoin falls again to US$7697
- AUD Gold rallies to $1291.
- US futures down 64 after car import news.
- Asian markets weaker with Japan down 1.27% and China CSI 300 down 0.07%.
Movers and Shakers
- WFD -0.68% Unibail deal gets acceptance. End of an era.
- AAC +6.79% bull run.
- GWA –1.12% capital raising and acquisition
- A2M +5.70% bargain hunting.
- APT +3.06% bulls are back.
- WTC +4.04% brokers continue to be impressed.
- TNE -5.92% broker downgrades.
- JHX -3.36% profit taking.
- MTS +7.69% broker upgrades and short squeeze.
- MSB -4.75% profit taking after run yesterday.
- WHA +6.99% optimism on China.
- CRD +9.29% low volume again.
- GXL -3.35% a dog.
- PDN +7.41% Uranium on the agenda.
- PNV +12.96% drawing broker coverage.
- WBC -unchanged- pyrrhic victory with BBSW.
- Speculative stock of the day: No stand outs today.
- Biggest risers – MTS, ALL, AAC, A2M, OCA and HSN.
- Biggest fallers – ASL, TNE, MND, GXL, MSB and HUB.
- MetLife Care (MEQ) – Are to build a new retirement village in Auckland’s Southern community of Beachlands. The company bought 3 adjoining properties and plans to invest around $180m into the site to create over 210 independent living units.
- Auckland International Airport (AIA) –1.15% Monthly traffic data for April saw growth of 2.8% driven by an 8.3% increase in domestic passengers. International passenger growth declined by 1% as the Easter period started in mid-March as opposed to last year’s mid-April.
- Reliance Worldwide (RWC) – Trading halt and acquisition. RWC is in a trading halt pending the result of its institutional placement. The company has also acquired all outstanding John Guest shares for $1.22bn, representing a 12.4x multiple on FY17 EBITDA. RWC says the acquisition is inline with strategy of acquiring complementary products. The acquisition is expected to result in synergies of $20m EBITDA per year. The acquisition will be funded by a $1.1bn equity raising, including a $945m institutional component.
- Aristocrat Leisure (ALL) +8.02% 2H earnings. Revenue increased 28.5% pcp to $1.58bn, NPATA increased 12.7% pcp to $307.5m and the interim dividend increased 35.7% pcp from 14c to 19c fully franked. The result was driven by growth in the Americas and Digital businesses including the acquisition of Plarium and Big Fish. In the outlook statement, double-digit NPATA growth reaffirmed.
- Westfield (WFD) –0.68% The chairman address regarding the takeover by Unibail painted a picture of what the future combined business will look like and urged shareholders to accept the transaction. The new group will consist of 102 centres with a combined value of 62m Euros across 13 countries, with the largest development pipeline of any retail shopping centre, and the expectation of retaining the ‘A’ credit rating. WFD shareholders will end up with 28% of the stapled securities. Frank Lowe will retire as Chairman and Peter Lowe and John McFarlane, current Westfield directors, will sit on the Unibail board.
- Origin Energy (ORG) –0.51% has sold its digital metering business, Acumen, for $267m. Origin built the business from scratch 8 years ago and has entered into a contract with the buyer to continue development and deployment of the meters into the long-term.
- Cimic Group (CIM) +0.12% Has been awarded a $540m tunnel and infrastructure contract by Singapore’s Land Transport Authority.
- Westpac (WBC) – Court rules that WBC engaged in unconscionable conduct by attempting to rig the bank bill swap rate and breached the conditions of its financial services licence, but did not breach two other sections of the Corporations Act relating to market rigging.
- Collection House (CLH) –1.29% A subsidiary of the company has obtained its full Australian Credit Licence from ASIC and is now able to provide consumer loans.
- Nothing significant today
ASIAN MARKETS NEWS
- Blue Orca, the research house formerly known as Glaucus, has another target in its sights in Samsonite. The stock tumbled in HK and was suspended. Blue Orca is questioning the accounting and corporate governance as the company has debt funded acquisition to disguise slowing growth or so it says.
- Rusal said its chief executive and seven directors had resigned as the company may have issues repaying its debt.
- South Korea’s central bank kept interest rates on hold for a sixth consecutive month at 1.5%.
- Asian car maker stocks hit after Trump announced a national security review of US car imports. Expect EU manufacturers to follow suit.
EUROPE AND US MORNING HEADLINES
- In Canada, the government has blocked a Chinese takeover of Aecon on security concerns.
- In the UK, annual inflation slid to 2.4%, the Office for National Statistics said, against forecasts of economists who had expected it to stay at 2.5%
This is Gold…promise