Last weekend’s Roy Morgan ‘face-to-face poll’ shows: ALP 52.5%, L-NP 47.5%. L-NP jump 3% on 2PP after ALP vote to loosen border protection laws

An Australia-wide Roy Morgan face-to-face poll conducted over the weekend (February 16/17, 2019) with a cross-section of 851 Australian electors shows the ALP 52.5% cf. L-NP 47.5% on a two-party preferred basis.

This shows a 3% swing to the L-NP following the ALP’s decision to support a loosening of Australia’s border protection laws by backing a ‘Medivac Law’ allowing for the transfer of refugees and asylum seekers already on Manus Island or Nauru to Australia for medical reasons given the recommendation of two doctors. The Home Affairs Minister then has a right to reject the transfer however the Minister’s decision is itself subject to further review.

The L-NP primary vote is now 37% (up 2.5%) overtaking the ALP primary vote which has fallen 1.5% to 34.5%. Support for the Greens is down 1% to 11.5% while support for One Nation has increased 0.5% to 3.5%. Support for Clive Palmer’s UAP is unchanged at 1% while support for Independents/Others is down 0.5% to 12.5%.

Gary Morgan, Executive Chairman Roy Morgan, says:

“The results of last weekend’s Roy Morgan poll show the issue of border protection is a major strength for the L-NP however a lot can happen between now and when the Federal Election is due in May.”

Roy Morgan Poll, conducted February 16/17, 2019 – Australia-wide cross-section of 851 Australian electors.

Roy Morgan Poll, conducted February 2/3 & 9/10, 2019 – Australia-wide cross-section of 1,673 Australian electors.

PM heads off revolt by Nationals

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 4 : 18-Feb-19

The National Party is very unhappy over the federal government’s shelving of legislation that would allow the forced divestment of energy companies’ assets. It is understood that some Nationals MPs were prepared to cross the floor of the House of Representatives and vote against the government on small business legislation. The government has moved to placate the Nationals by agreeing to support amendments to the legislation that will make it easier for smaller businesses to sue larger companies. The government has also indicated that it will support a Labor/Greens motion calling for a royal commission into the treatment of the disabled.

CORPORATES
NATIONAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIAN GREENS, AGL ENERGY LIMITED – ASX AGL

Morrison’s Tampa moment

Original article by Rosie Lewis, Joe Kelly, Primrose Riordan, Paige Taylor
The Australian – Page: 1 & 5 : 18-Feb-19

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has highlighted the federal government’s border protection policies in a newspaper article which is targeted at migrant communities. In addition, Morrison has recorded a two-minute video clip aimed at people-smugglers, in which he stresses that the passage of the medivac legislation will not affect Australia’s tough stance on asylum-seekers. The video will be broadcast in 15 languages on YouTube. Meanwhile, Labor has criticised the government’s decision to re-open the detention centre on Christmas Island.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIAN GREENS, AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT

‘Time to pounce’: Investors rush to beat change

Original article by Ingrid Fuary-Wagner
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 9 : 18-Feb-19

Real estate investors are preparing to acquire established properties in the event that Labor wins the upcoming federal election. Labor intends to abolish negative gearing on established properties, although it will still allow it for newly-built homes. However, any such changes would be unlikely to take effect until 1 July 2020. Victor Kumar of Right Property Group says he would expect to see a big increase in sales of established properties in the period between the election and when any legislation takes effect.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, RIGHT PROPERTY GROUP

South32 warns of strike risk if ALP wins poll

Original article by Brad Thompson
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 13 & 18 : 18-Feb-19

South32 CEO Graham Kerr is concerned that Labor’s workplace reform agenda could lead to increased industrial action, particularly in the resources sector. He says the outcome of the upcoming federal election could affect business confidence for at least 12 months. Kerr notes that stability of supply is a major priority for buyers of Australia’s metallurgical coal buyers. He adds that if supply is disrupted they will source coal elsewhere, and it is very hard to regain a customer’s trust once it has been lost. Employers’ groups are also concerned about any move to reinstate industry-wide bargaining.

CORPORATES
SOUTH32 LIMITED – ASX S32, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIA. REGISTERED ORGANISATIONS COMMISSION, CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, TAHMOOR COAL PTY LTD, CENTENNIAL COAL COMPANY LIMITED, WOLLONGONG COAL LIMITED – ASX WLC, PEABODY ENERGY AUSTRALIA COAL PTY LTD, PORT KEMBLA COAL TERMINAL LIMITED

Investors win from BHP, Rio cash surge

Original article by James Thomson
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 40 : 18-Feb-19

BHP returned $US10.5bn to investors in 2018, while Rio Tinto returned some $US12.5bn. Both resources groups are expected to have large cash balances when their latest financial results are released in the next week or so, and the recent rally in the iron ore price will further boost their cash holdings during 2019. James Eginton of the Tribeca Natural Resource Fund says BHP and Rio Tinto should consider using some of their franking credits via special dividends in the next six months, in preparation for a possible change of federal government.

CORPORATES
BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, TRIBECA NATURAL RESOURCES FUND, FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG, CITIGROUP PTY LTD, UBS HOLDINGS PTY LTD, VALE SA, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Call for ABC to go back to basics

Original article by Nick Tabakoff, Andrew White
The Australian – Page: 24 & 26 : 18-Feb-19

The process for recruiting a successor to the ABC’s former MD Michelle Guthrie has begun, with newspaper advertisements stating that the successful candidate will need to be a ‘strong collaborative leader’. Contenders for the role are said to include acting MD David Anderson, the ABC’s head of news Gaven Morris, former Foxtel CEO Kim Williams and former SBS MD Michael Ebeid. A former ABC executive says Anderson would be regarded as a safe choice as he has been at the public broadcaster for a long time and is highly respected within the ABC.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, FOXTEL MANAGEMENT PTY LTD, SPECIAL BROADCASTING SERVICE (SBS), NEWS LIMITED

Chinese cuisine most popular, but Aussies still love McDonald’s

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 18-Feb-19

A Roy Morgan Single Source survey shows that more than 14.2 million Australians aged 14+ like to eat Chinese cuisine, up from 13.5 million four years ago. This is followed by Italian, Thai, Indian, Mexican, Japanese, Greek, Middle Eastern, Lebanese and French cuisine. The growth in preference for Chinese cuisine has kept pace with population growth, while all other top 10 leading cuisines are today liked by a greater proportion of Australians than they were four years ago. The biggest improvers over the last four years are led by Japanese cuisine, which more than 8.5 million Australians (42%) now like to eat, up from 6.9 million (36%) four years ago. Meanwhile, 58% of Australians (11.9 million) report visiting a quick service restaurant in an average four weeks, up from 57% (10.9 million) four years ago. The two most popular quick service restaurants are McDonald’s which is visited by over 6.4 million Australians (32%) in an average four-week period, and KFC now visited by nearly 4.7 million Australians (23%) in an average four weeks. The Single Source survey is based on in-depth personal interviews conducted with over 50,000 Australians each year in their own homes.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED, McDONALD’S AUSTRALIA LIMITED, KFC

Inflation Expectations unchanged at 4.2% in January

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 18-Feb-19

Australians aged +14 expect inflation of 4.2% per year over the next two years, according to the Roy Morgan Inflation Expectations Index for January 2019. This is unchanged on December and down 0.3% on January 2018. Inflation Expectations have now tracked in a narrow range of between 4.2-4.5% since November 2016. Inflation Expectations remain significantly below the eight-year average of 5.0%. Analysis of Inflation Expectations by voting intentions shows that L-NP supporters again had the lowest Inflation Expectations of supporters of any party in January, unchanged at only 3.6%. L-NP supporters have had the lowest Inflation Expectations of any supporters since April 2018. Inflation Expectations for ALP supporters fell 0.1% to a record low of 3.9%. January Inflation Expectations are based on a nationwide face-to-face survey of 4,111 Australians aged 14+.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED, LIBERAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA, NATIONAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Roy Morgan predicts Christmas sales within 0.1% – again

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 18-Feb-19

Roy Morgan’s 2018 retail sales forecast, undertaken in conjunction with the Australian Retailers Association (ARA), predicted total retail sales growth of 2.9% to $51.479 billion for the most important retailing period of the year from 9 November to Christmas Eve. This is just 0.1% higher than the 2.8% growth achieved. The accuracy for 2018 matches the accuracy of a year ago, when Roy Morgan’s pre-Christmas sales forecasts were also within 0.1% of the actual retail sales for the period. There was growth across five of the six categories measured in the pre-Christmas period in 2018, with spending on Food growing the fastest, up 4% to $20.979 billion. Also growing impressively was the Clothing, Footwear & Accessories category, which grew 3.8% to $4.056 billion, while Other Retailing grew by 3.5% to $7.375 billion. All three of these categories grew at a slightly greater rate than Roy Morgan’s pre-Christmas forecasts. The Roy Morgan-ARA Christmas sales forecasts are based on data taken from the ABS Retail Trade Catalogue 8501.0. Note that online sales through Australian retail stores are included in the retail figures. Sales forecasts are determined by historical retail trade data from the ABS, Roy Morgan’s Consumer Confidence and unemployment data, and various other data relating to macro-economic conditions.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN RETAILERS ASSOCIATION, AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS