Amatil chiefs back $9.3bn takeover bid

Original article by Eli Greenblat
The Australian – Page: 13 & 16 : 27-Oct-20

Shares in Coca-Cola Amatil closed 16.28 per cent higher at $12.50 on 26 October, after its independent directors endorsed a takeover proposal from Coca-Cola European Partners. The cash offer of $12.75 per share also has the support of CC Amatil’s chair Ilana Atlas and CEO Alison Watkins, as well as 30.4 per cent shareholder The Coca-Cola Company. Atlas says the board decided to recommend the $9.3bn bid after assessing the company’s earnings outlook.

CORPORATES
COCA-COLA AMATIL LIMITED – ASX CCL, COCA-COLA EUROPEAN PARTNERS, THE COCA-COLA COMPANY

Critical mineral groups bank on Biden

Original article by Jacob Greber
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 11 : 27-Oct-20

Ioneer’s chairman James Calaway has welcomed indications by presidential candidate Joe Biden that he is supportive of US production of solar panels, electric vehicles and energy storage. Australian-listed Ioneer is seeking to develop a lithium mine in Nevada, and Calaway says the US looks set for a "electrified clean future" if Biden wins the election, with huge implications for the supply of battery materials such as lithium. Biden has stated that he will spend $US2 trillion ($2.8 trillion) on electric vehicle infrastructure and other projects to curb carbon emissions if he is elected, and analysts believe that his plan will spark ongoing demand for copper.

CORPORATES
IONEER LIMITED – ASX INR, DEMOCRATIC PARTY (UNITED STATES)

Dividend doubt as Westpac flags profit hit

Original article by Joyce Moullakis
The Australian – Page: 13 & 17 : 27-Oct-20

Westpac has advised that its financial results for the second half of 2019-20 will be marred by $1.22bn worth of write-downs and impairment charges. This includes a $406m write-down of its life insurance business and a $415m increase in provision for its settlement with Austrac for breaching anti-money laundering laws. Westpac will also incur an additional $104m in costs associated with its customer remediation program. UBS expects Westpac to pay a final dividend of $0.35 per share, after withholding its interim payout due to the coronavirus pandemic.

CORPORATES
WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT. AUSTRALIAN TRANSACTION REPORTS AND ANALYSIS CENTRE, UBS HOLDINGS PTY LTD

Australia Post chair to front Senate inquiry

Original article by Tom McIlroy
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 5 : 27-Oct-20

Australia Post chairman Lucio Di Bartolomeo has been asked to appear before a special Senate estimates hearing on 13 November. The call for Di Bartolomeo to appear at the special hearing came as the terms of reference for an inquiry into the purchase of expensive watches for senior Australia Post executives were released by the federal government. Australia Post CEO Christine Holgate, who purchased the watches, has stood aside during the investigation, while John Stanhope, who was chairman of Australia Post at the time Holgate bought the watches, says he will co-operate with the inquiry.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA POST

Shipton likely to follow Crennan in ASIC exit ‘by year’s end’

Original article by Richard Gluyas
The Australian – Page: 13 & 17 : 27-Oct-20

The Australian Securities & Investments Commission’s deputy chairman Daniel Crennan maintains that he had received advice that his expense claims had been line with the corporate regulator’s policy. Crennan formally resigned on 26 October in the wake of the expenses scandal that has embroiled himself and chairman James Shipton; Crennan indicated that he had intended to retire from ASIC in mid-2021 anyway. Meanwhile, former Australian Competition & Consumer Commission chairman Allan Fels expects Shipton to resign before the end of 2020. Fels says ASIC has had a "very poor record over many years".

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION

Australia outraged over Qatar incident

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 8 : 27-Oct-20

Foreign Minister Marise Payne has asked Qatari authorities for a report into an incident that occurred at Doha airport on 2 October. Dozens of women, including 13 Australians, were taken from a plane that was due to fly from Doha to Sydney and examined against their will in an ambulance on the tarmac. Authorities were searching for a woman who had delivered a baby in a terminal toilet but then abandoned it. About the only action Australia can take if Qatar chooses not to do so over the incident is to limit or ban flights to Australia by Qatar Airways. However, it is one of the few airlines that are returning stranded expatriates to Australia

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND TRADE, QATAR AIRWAYS

AFL wins TV war with NRL

Original article by Scott Gullan
Herald Sun – Page: 59 : 27-Oct-20

Ratings data from OzTAM shows that the 2020 AFL grand final attracted 3.812 million viewers nationwide, which is the largest audience for an AFL match in four years. The Seven Network boasted an audience share of 65.8% for its coverage of the premiership decider. The AFL is likely to come under growing pressure to move the grand final to a prime-time slot permanently due to the strong ratings. Meanwhile, the Nine Network’s coverage of the NRL grand final was watched by 2.967 million viewers, compared with 2.65 million in 2019.

CORPORATES
SEVEN NETWORK LIMITED, SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, AUSTRALIAN FOOTBALL LEAGUE, OZTAM PTY LTD, NINE NETWORK AUSTRALIA LIMITED, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, NATIONAL RUGBY LEAGUE

Boxing Day Test crowd allowed at MCG after Melbourne lockdown ends

Original article by
The Guardian Australia – Page: Online : 27-Oct-20

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has conceded that the easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions has come too late to allow people to attend the Melbourne Cup at Flemington on 3 November. However, Andrews is confident that the traditional Boxing Day Test at the MCG will be played before a live crowd, although he cautions it is too soon to know how many people will be allowed through the gates. Australia is scheduled to play India in a four-Test series during the upcoming summer; more than 73,000 people were at the MCG for the first day of the Boxing Day match against India in 2018.

CORPORATES
VICTORIA. DEPT OF PREMIER AND CABINET

New pub and restaurant rules too restrictive

Original article by Stephen Lunn, John Lethlean
The Australian – Page: 5 : 27-Oct-20

Owners of hospitality venues have welcomed the Victorian government’s decision to ease lockdown restrictions, but some warn that the measures do not go far enough. Pubs, cafes and restaurants will be able to serve up to 20 patrons indoors and 50 outdoors from 11.5pm on 27 October. However, the number of patrons in each room will be restricted to no more than 10. Lucas Restaurant Group CEO Chris Lucas says the density limit needs to be increased to 20, arguing that it will not be commercially viable for some restaurants to open under the revised restrictions.

CORPORATES
LUCAS RESTAURANT GROUP

Zero to hero: Andrews opens economy at last

Original article by Rachel Baxendale
The Australian – Page: 1 & 5 : 27-Oct-20

Victoria recorded no new coronavirus cases on 26 October, and the number of active cases statewide has fallen to 91. It was the first day with zero new cases since 9 June, prompting Premier Daniel Andrews to announce major changes to lockdown measures from 11.59pm on 27 October. Amongst other things, Melbourne retailers and hospitality venues will be permitted to re-open, although there will be limits on the number of patrons, while Melbourne residents will be allowed to leave their home for any reason for the first time since 9 July. However, some restrictions will remain in place until at least 8 November, including the 25km travel limit.

CORPORATES
VICTORIA. DEPT OF PREMIER AND CABINET