New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern maintains crushing lead over new National leader Judith Collins

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 10-Aug-20

In July support for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s Labour Party was at 53.5% (down 1% since June), but still more than double the support for the National Party on 26.5% (down 0.5%), with just over a month to go before the New Zealand election in mid-September. If an election were held today Labour could govern without the help of either New Zealand First or the Greens. Interviewing for this survey in July encompassed the period before and after Judith Collins became the new leader of National in mid-July after Todd Muller’s shock resignation after less than two months in the role. The early indications are that the new leader has had a negligible impact on support for National although a full month of interviewing in August will provide a clearer picture in the run-up to the election. The latest New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll on voting intention was conducted by telephone – both landline and mobile – with a NZ-wide cross-section of 899 electors during July.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED, LABOUR PARTY (NEW ZEALAND), GREEN PARTY OF AOTEAROA NEW ZEALAND, NATIONAL PARTY OF NEW ZEALAND, NEW ZEALAND FIRST PARTY, NEW ZEALAND. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET

330,000 jobs at risk in retail, building

Original article by Adam Creighton, Richard Ferguson
The Australian – Page: 5 : 10-Aug-20

McKinsey has warned that a second wave of coronavirus-induced job losses could affect between 270,000 and 640,000 Australian workers by March. The consulting firm expects sectors such as retailing and construction to be hardest hit as government support measures are scaled back. McKinsey forecasts that an additional 215,000 jobs could be lost in the retail sector by March, on top of the 42,000 that were shed in the June quarter; the construction sector in turn faces the loss of up to 205,000 jobs by March, having shed 46,000 jobs in the three months to June.

CORPORATES
McKINSEY AND COMPANY

Don’t vote down Bain out of spite: unionist

Original article by Robyn Ironside
The Australian – Page: 15 : 10-Aug-20

Virgin Australia CEO Paul Scurrah said recently that it would retrench a third of its workforce to help it return to profit and to survive the COVID-19 pandemic. Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association secretary Steve Purvinas says he is concerned to hear talk that some of those who will lose their job have indicated they plan to vote against the airline’s deal with Bain Capital. He contends a ‘no’ vote would amount to spite, while Purvinas says backing an alternative proposal to Bain’s that has been put forward by bondholders would not help employees.

CORPORATES
VIRGIN AUSTRALIA HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX VAH, AUSTRALIAN LICENSED AIRCRAFT ENGINEERS’ ASSOCIATION, BAIN CAPITAL LLC

Could Disney’s wish upon a Star be coming here?

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 30 : 10-Aug-20

Walt Disney Company has yet to disclose whether its new subscription video-on-demand service will be launched in Australia. Disney has chosen the Star brand for the streaming service, which will be launched in non-US markets. It had been widely tipped to launch Hulu internationally, but Disney CEO Bob Chapek notes that Hulu has limited brand awareness outside the US. Star will complement the existing Disney+ streaming service, and will feature general entertainment content from Disney subsidiaries such as ABC Studios, Fox Television and 20th Century Studios.

CORPORATES
WALT DISNEY COMPANY, DISNEY+, ABC STUDIOS, FOX TELEVISION STATIONS INCORPORATED, 20TH CENTURY STUDIOS INCORPORATED

CBA investors brace for lower payout

Original article by Cliona O’Dowd
The Australian – Page: 15 : 10-Aug-20

The consensus of analysts is that the Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s 2019-20 cash earnings will be 10 per cent lower than previously, at $7.6bn. UBS expects the coronavirus pandemic to prompt CBA to increase its impairment charges for the second half to $1.9bn, which includes a $1.5bn COVID-related provision that the bank announced earlier in the year. Meanwhile, UBS forecasts that CBA shareholders will receive a final dividend of $0.95 per share, which would be in line with the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority’s revised guidance.

CORPORATES
COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, UBS HOLDINGS PTY LTD

Rio in Pilbara royalties scandal

Original article by Nick Evans
The Weekend Australian – Page: 19 & 22 : 8-Aug-20

Rio Tinto has advised directors of the Gumala Aboriginal Corporation that royalties from the Yandicoogina iron ore mine in the Pilbara have been underpaid for a number of years. The resources giant has paid the GAC some $40m plus interest to cover the underpayments, but the GAC is said to have requested a full audit of Rio Tinto’s royalty payments and access to the underlying data that it uses to calculate regular payments. The Yandicoogina land use agreement was signed in 1997.

CORPORATES
RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, GUMALA ABORIGINAL CORPORATION

JobKeeper could be expanded to deal with further coronavirus outbreaks

Original article by Jennifer Duke
The Sydney Morning Herald – Page: Online : 10-Aug-20

The JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme is now expected to cost $101bn in total, after the federal government agreed to extend it beyond September at a lower rate. Finance Minister Mathias Cormann has emphasised the need to gradually phase out government support, although he has not ruled out further extending the scheme beyond March if the pandemic worsens. Labor contends that the government needs a plan to boost employment rather than focusing on the JobKeeper and JobSeeker schemes.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF FINANCE, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Virus kills 17 Victorians, state to spend extra $60m on mental health

Original article by Stephen Lunn, Tessa Akerman
The Australian – Page: 1 & 5 : 10-Aug-20

Victoria reported 394 new coronavirus cases on 9 August, which is the state’s lowest daily total since 29 July. This followed 466 new cases on the previous day. However, Victoria’s death toll from the respiratory illness has risen by 17 and now stands at 210, while the national death toll is 295. Meanwhile, the state government will allocate an additional $60m for mental health funding. New figures show that there has been a sharp increase in use of mental health services in the state over the last six weeks, particularly among those under the age of 18.

CORPORATES
VICTORIA. DEPT OF PREMIER AND CABINET

News Corp’s advertising revenue falls over 50% in fourth quarter, as company posts US$1.5bn loss

Original article by Vivienne Kelly
Mumbrella – Page: Online : 10-Aug-20

News Corporation has posted a loss of $US401m for the June quarter, compared with a loss of just $42m for the previous corresponding period. Its loss for the year to 30 June totalled $US1.545bn, following a profit of $US228m for the previous year. Advertising revenue fell 51.6 per cent in the quarter and 19.9 per cent for the year, and news media revenue was down 41 per cent in the quarter and 18 per cent for the year. The financial results for Dow Jones have been disclosed separately for the first time; the publisher of ‘The Wall Street Journal’ has posted lower revenue for the quarter, but full-year revenue rose by three per cent to $US1.6n. In Australia, the subscriber base of Foxtel – including the Kayo and Binge streaming services – fell 12 per cent to 2.777 million in 2019-20.

CORPORATES
NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS

Inflation Expectations rebound in July to 3.4% as COVID-19 returns

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 10-Aug-20

In July, Australians expected inflation of 3.4% annually over the next two years, up 0.2% points on the record low in June. Inflation Expectations are down 0.7% points on a year ago. For much of Australia the month of July began with hope that the COVID-19 pandemic was successfully being dealt with, but as the month progressed the virus re-emerged. This was particularly evident in Melbourne which progressively introduced new restrictions throughout the month. Sydney also experienced renewed outbreaks during the month, with restrictions being re-imposed to limit gathering sizes at certain venues. With this in mind the increase in Inflation Expectations in July were driven by increases in Australia’s largest cities of Sydney (up 0.1% to 3.4%), Melbourne (up 0.6% to 3.4%) and Brisbane (up 0.1% to 3.5%). Inflation Expectations are split significantly on gender lines, with women expecting annual inflation of 4% over the next two years while men expect inflation of only 2.8%. Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine says the rebound in Inflation Expectations in July follows three successive declines from April to June, and is the largest monthly increase in the measure so far in 2020.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED