Rise in failures a pointer to future

Original article by Patrick Commins
The Australian – Page: 17 : 15-Jan-21

Michael Fung of PwC and Sal Algeri from Deloitte expect the rate of business failures in Australia to be higher than usual in 2021. The federal government has wound back some of the COVID-19 support measures that helped businesses to stay afloat during the virus-induced economic downturn, while the JobKeeper scheme is slated to be phased out in March. Data from the Australian Securities & Investments Commission supports the view that a rise in insolvencies is likely; an average of 60 companies were placed in external administration in the final two weeks of 2020, compared with 13 during the same period in 2019.

CORPORATES
PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS AUSTRALIA (INTERNATIONAL) PTY LTD, DELOITTE TOUCHE TOHMATSU LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION

Investment bankers brace for deal blitz

Original article by Tim Boyd
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 6 : 11-Jan-21

Australian investment bankers are upbeat about the outlook for mergers and acquisitions activity in 2021. John Pickhaver of Macquarie Capital says local companies are likely to attract interest from foreign suitors, given Australia’s comparative success in combating COVID-19. James Disney of Credit Suisse expects private equity firms to actively pursue acquisitions in 2021. There was a spike in M&A activity in the fourth quarter of 2020, although data from Dealogic shows that the value of announced deals for the full year reached a 10-year low of $US63.2bn ($81.4bn).

CORPORATES
MACQUARIE CAPITAL PTY LTD, CREDIT SUISSE (AUSTRALIA) LIMITED, DEALOGIC (AUSTRALIA) PTY LTD

New year tech floats pipeline bulging after late 2020 surge

Original article by Yolanda Redrup
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 13 & 14 : 11-Jan-21

Beforepay, Marketplacer and Vinomofo are among the companies that are believed to be looking to pursue an IPO in 2021. Technology stocks are expected to be among the leading IPO candidates again, following the sharemarket debuts of companies such as Nuix and Hipages in late 2020. ASX Limited’s Max Cunningham says the success of Nuix’s IPO demonstrates the strong interest in high-growth technology companies. However, Paul Bassat of Square Peg Capital says companies should delay an IPO if they have doubts about being ready to go public.

CORPORATES
BEFOREPAY, MARKETPLACER, VINOMOFO, NUIX LIMITED – ASX NXL, HIPAGES GROUP HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX HPG, ASX LIMITED – ASX ASX, SQUARE PEG CAPITAL PTY LTD

Failed Xinja scored secret China lifeline

Original article by Michael Roddan
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 13 & 14 : 21-Dec-20

Xinja recently handed back its banking licence to the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority following its failure to secure a $433 million injection from Dubai-based World Investments, while sources have stated that Xinja failed to secure any monies from Australian institutional investors. It has been revealed that Xinja secured a multimillion-dollar capital injection from a "shadowy" Chinese company during 2019, but that it kept the investment a secret; it is believed the company in question was called Happy Sino Steel.

CORPORATES
XINJA BANK LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, HAPPY SINO STEEL, WORLD INVESTMENTS

Dividend payouts fall 50pc in quarter

Original article by Cliona O’Dowd
The Australian – Page: 15 : 23-Nov-20

Data from Janus Henderson shows that Australian-listed companies paid out $US9.6bn ($13.4bn) worth of dividends in the September quarter, which is 47.8 per cent lower than the same period in 2019. This was primarily due to reduced dividends from three of the major banks, while a number of companies chose to withhold dividends. Jane Shoemake of Janus Henderson says payout ratios in Australia were too high and a "reset" was needed. Janus Henderson expects dividend payouts to rise in the second quarter of 2021.

CORPORATES
JANUS HENDERSON GROUP PLC – ASX JHG

Regulator urged not to curtail BNPL

Original article by Richard Gluyas
The Australian – Page: 21 : 20-Nov-20

Liberal senator Andrew Bragg will use a StartUp Aus speech on 20 November to caution against over-regulating the ‘buy now, pay later’ sector. In the wake of the Australian Securities & Investments Commission’s recent report on the sector, Bragg will emphasise the need for ASIC to enforce the law rather than "pontificate on policy". Bragg will also use the speech to argue that the new national security in Hong Kong presents an opportunity for Australia to become a regional financial centre.

CORPORATES
LIBERAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION

A November to remember amid US poll results, vaccine hope

Original article by David Rogers
The Australian – Page: 13 & 20 : 12-Nov-20

Australia’s benchmark S&P/ASX 200 has gained 8.8 per cent so far in November, and it is now just 11.5 per cent shy of the record peak of 7,197.2 points in February. The market has been boosted by factors such as the outcome of the US presidential election and the encouraging initial clinical trial results for Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine candidate. JP Morgan anticipates further upside for equities, forecasting that the global bull run is not yet over.

CORPORATES
STANDARD AND POOR’S ASX 200 INDEX, JP MORGAN AND COMPANY INCORPORATED

US fund Ares in AMP buyout talks

Original article by Bridget Carter, Lachlan Moffet Gray
The Australian – Page: 13 & 20 : 30-Oct-20

New York Stock Exchange-listed private equity firm Ares Management has been given access to AMP’s data room and is said to be considering a full takeover play. Ares boasts more than $US149bn ($211.3bn) in assets under management, and CEO Michael Arougheti has flagged the potential for acquisitions in the Asia-Pacific region. AMP recently announced a portfolio review, which could result in the sale of all or part of the business. AMP’s market capitalisation is about $4.4bn, based on the stock’s closing price of $1.28 on 29 October.

CORPORATES
AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, ARES MANAGEMENT CORPORATION

AMP bids to reassure investors on outflows

Original article by Cliona O’Dowd
The Australian – Page: 17 : 23-Oct-20

AMP CEO Francesco De Ferrari says the company has been resilient during the coronavirus pandemic. However, the wealth manager has reported net outflows of $8bn for the September quarter, with net inflows of just $6bn. The AMP Capital division has posted net outflows of $1.1bn for the period, while its assets under management fell 0.4 per cent to $189.2bn. Meanwhile, AMP Bank’s deposits increased by $52m to $17bn during the quarter, but its loan book fell $303m to $20.6bn.

CORPORATES
AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, AMP CAPITAL INVESTORS LIMITED, AMP BANK LIMITED

Blue chips steal AGM season spotlight

Original article by Vesna Poljak
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 22 : 12-Oct-20

Futures pricing suggests that the Australian sharemarket will open flat on 12 October, despite a positive lead from Wall Street. The annual general meetings season is set to again be the key focus for investors in the coming week; the Commonwealth Bank, Telstra and CSL are among the blue-chip stocks that are slated to hold their AGMs. Macquarie has indicated that trading updates and commentary are likely to be of increased importance during the current AGM season, given that just 19 per cent of listed companies provided earnings guidance during the recent reporting season.

CORPORATES
STANDARD AND POOR’S ASX 200 INDEX, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, TELSTRA CORPORATION LIMITED – ASX TLS, CSL LIMITED – ASX CSL, MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG