Book of death bid to keep default life insurance

Original article by John Kehoe
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 6 : 12-Aug-19

Parliament is due to vote on legislation in September that would see people under 25 and those with low account balances no longer automatically receive life insurance through their superannuation. It has been estimated the measure could reduce the premiums that life insurance companies receive by almost $3 billion. It is believed lobbyists for life insurer TAL have circulated a document featuring examples of dead and injured workers who have received insurance payouts but who would not have done so under the proposed changes. The document has been dubbed ‘the book of death’ by some MPs.

CORPORATES
TAL LIMITED

Investors query AMP turnaround

Original article by James Frost
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 & 22 : 9-Aug-19

AMP has announced a loss of $2.3bn for the first half of 2019 and a new strategy to turn around its fortunes. Amongst other things, the wealth manager aims to reduce costs by about $300m a year. AMP has also flagged plans to significantly reduce the number of financial advisers in its network and place more emphasis on so-called roboadvice. AMP will also continue to pursue the sale of its life insurance business to Resolution Life, while it will issue new shares at $1.50 apiece via a $650m capital raising.

CORPORATES
AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, RESOLUTION LIFE GROUP LIMITED, MERLON CAPITAL PARTNERS PTY LTD, ALLAN GRAY AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

Health insurance exodus continues at alarming rate

Original article by James Fernyhough
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 20 : 26-Jul-19

The percentage of Australians aged between 20 and 28 with private health insurance cover for hospitals fell by 6.9 per cent in 2018, according to data from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority. The overall percentage of Australians with hospital cover at the end of 2018 was 44.6 per cent, the lowest level since December 2006. The latest data follow a recent report from the Grattan Institute which claimed that the private health insurance sector is in a "death spiral" because of the continued decline of people with cover.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, GRATTAN INSTITUTE, NIB HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NHF, MEDIBANK PRIVATE LIMITED – ASX MPL

Revealed – the worst default super funds

Original article by Joanna Mather
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 5 : 19-Jul-19

Industry Super Australia’s analysis of data from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority shows that Hostplus and Cbus are among the MySuper funds that have delivered the best returns over the last five years. However, Max Super is the only retail fund in ISA’s list of the 20 best-performing MySuper funds. The super funds of the Commonwealth Bank and Westpac are among the MySuper funds that delivered the lowest returns over the period.

CORPORATES
INDUSTRY SUPER AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, HOST-PLUS, CONSTRUCTION AND BUILDING UNIONS’ SUPERANNUATION FUND, MAX SUPER PTY LTD, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, AUSTRALIANSUPER PTY LTD, SARGON, BLACKROCK INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT (AUSTRALIA) LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. PRODUCTIVITY COMMISSION

Mergers loom as regulator changes tactics

Original article by Cliona O’Dowd, Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 17 & 21 : 18-Jul-19

Australian Prudential Regulation Authority chairman Wayne Byres concedes that regulating superannuation funds is more problematic than banks, as the latter are not subject to capital requirements. Ian Fryer of Chant West says APRA will be much more proactive in regulating the super industry in the wake of its capability review, adding that increased regulatory attention may accelerate consolidation in the sector. Cbus also anticipates merger activity in the sector as underperforming funds come under greater scrutiny.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, CHANT WEST FINANCIAL SERVICES PTY LTD, CONSTRUCTION AND BUILDING UNIONS’ SUPERANNUATION FUND, INDUSTRY SUPER AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

Super funds post solid returns, but challenging times ahead

Original article by Samantha Bailey
The Australian – Page: 17 & 27 : 18-Jul-19

Data from Chant West shows that the median growth superannuation fund achieved a return of seven per cent in 2018-19. QSuper and UniSuper delivered the best return, at 9.9 per cent apiece, followed by Media Super and AustralianSuper with returns of 8.8 per cent and 8.7 per cent respectively. Growth funds have averaged a return of 8.8 per cent per annum over the last decade, but Ian Fryer and Mano Mhankumar of Chant West warn that the sector faces headwinds and investors should not expect such returns to be sustained. However, Fryer says it is important to note that super is a long-term investment.

CORPORATES
CHANT WEST FINANCIAL SERVICES PTY LTD, QSUPER LIMITED, UNISUPER LIMITED, MEDIA SUPER LIMITED, AUSTRALIANSUPER PTY LTD, HOST-PLUS, SUPERRATINGS PTY LTD

AMP’s credit ratings still at risk after stalled life sale

Original article by Jonathan Shapiro, James Frost
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 13 & 16 : 17-Jul-19

S&P Global has advised that AMP’s credit rating will remain on negative watch after the Reserve Bank of New Zealand imposed conditions on the sale of its life insurance business. Nicholas Yap of Nomura believes that AMP is likely to face a credit ratings downgrade at some point, citing factors such as a reduction in the value of its life business and a class action lawsuit over excessive superannuation fees. AMP shares fell 1.6 per cent to $1.78 on 16 July.

CORPORATES
AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, AMP LIFE LIMITED, S&P GLOBAL RATINGS, NOMURA AUSTRALIA LIMITED, RESOLUTION LIFE GROUP LIMITED, RESERVE BANK OF NEW ZEALAND, MOODY’S INVESTORS SERVICE INCORPORATED, MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG, CITIGROUP PTY LTD, MORGAN STANLEY AUSTRALIA LIMITED

AMP rattled as $3.3bn sale breaks down

Original article by Cliona O’Dowd, Joyce Moullakis
The Australian – Page: 17 & 20 : 16-Jul-19

Shares in AMP closed 15.81 per cent lower at $1.81 on 15 July after the Reserve Bank of New Zealand thwarted the proposed sale of its life insurance division. The central bank said it would not support the sale of AMP Life NZ to the UK-based Resolution Life unless the assets underpinning New Zealanders’ policies are ‘ring-fenced’. AMP still hopes to secure a deal, but analysts say any sale now is likely to be at a much lower price than the $3.3bn that Resolution Life had agreed to pay. AMP has also advised that investors will not receive an interim dividend, citing uncertainty regarding the sale of AMP Life.

CORPORATES
AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, AMP LIFE LIMITED, RESOLUTION LIFE GROUP LIMITED, RESERVE BANK OF NEW ZEALAND, ALLAN GRAY AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, MORNINGSTAR PTY LTD, REGAL FUNDS MANAGEMENT PTY LTD, SHAW AND PARTNERS LIMITED, MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG

Industry Funds increasing lead in satisfaction over Retail Funds – Unisuper the top performer

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 8-Jul-19

New research by Roy Morgan shows that in the six months to May 2019, satisfaction with the financial performance of industry superannuation funds was 62.5% (up 0.5% points from the same period 12 months ago), compared with 56.5% for retail super funds (down 3.7% points). Satisfaction with retail funds was 1.8% below that of industry funds in 2018, and this gap has now increased to 6.0%. Ten of the top 12 performing super funds in May 2019, based on member satisfaction with their financial performance, were industry funds. The highest rating was for Unisuper (70.9%), followed by Tasplan on 69.6%. The only two retail funds to make it to the top 12 were Macquarie with 66.6% and Mercer on 64.3%. These results are from the newly released Roy Morgan report ‘Satisfaction with Financial Performance of Superannuation in Australia’, May 2019 edition. The data in this report represents some of the findings from Roy Morgan’s Single Source survey, which is based on in-depth interviews conducted face-to-face with over 50,000 consumers per annum in their homes, including over 30,000 with superannuation. These results are based on interviews conducted in the six months to May 2019.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED, CATHOLIC SUPER, UNISUPER LIMITED, MACQUARIE SUPERANNUATION, COLONIAL FIRST STATE SUPER

Super returns can’t last forever: Chant West

Original article by Andrew White
The Australian – Page: 31 : 28-Jun-19

Data from Chant West shows that the median growth superannuation fund is on track to deliver a return of 7.1 per cent for 2018-19. It would be the 10th year of positive returns after big losses in 2008 and 2009 due to the global financial crisis. However, Mano Mohankumar of Chant West cautions that the strong performance may not be sustained, noting that super funds have in effect simply been recovering from the financial crisis, while the sector faces a number of headwinds.

CORPORATES
CHANT WEST FINANCIAL SERVICES PTY LTD, STANDARD AND POOR’S ASX 200 INDEX