Investors shrug off weak outlook, virus threat

Original article by David Rogers
The Australian – Page: 27 : 20-Feb-20

Pieter Stoltz of UBS notes that 28 per cent of Australia’s large-capitalisation stocks have exceeded their dividend expectations so far in the February reporting season. He says this may be due to factors such as demand for stable income or limited investment opportunities. Stoltz adds that 31 per cent of large companies have upgraded their earnings guidance, while just 19 per cent have downgraded their earnings guidance.

CORPORATES
UBS HOLDINGS PTY LTD

Investors see windfall from iron ore giants

Original article by Vesna Poljak, William McInnes, Lucas Baird, Elouise Fowler
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 13 & 20 : 17-Feb-20

Futures pricing suggests that the Australian sharemarket will shed about 0.2 per cent when trading resumes on 17 February, after the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 approached a record high in the previous session. The earnings season will be a key focus for investors in the next week, with speculation that BHP and Fortescue Metals Group will increase their dividend payouts due to a strong iron ore price. The impact of the bushfires and the coronavirus on some companies will also be closely scrutinised.

CORPORATES
STANDARD AND POOR’S ASX 200 INDEX, BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG

From bad to worse for AMP: $2.5bn loss, $6.3bn outflows, more to come

Original article by Joyce Moullakis
The Australian – Page: 19 & 23 : 14-Feb-20

Wealth manager AMP has posted a statutory loss of $2.5bn for the 2019 calendar year, while its underlying profit fell by 32 per cent to $464m. A $2.35bn impairment charge in the first half was the major contributor to the big loss. Meanwhile, AMP’s wealth division recorded net cash outflows of $6.3bn for the year, and CEO Francesco De Ferrari says outflows are likely to be high again in 2020. AMP has advised that its customer remediation program is expected to be completed in 2021.

CORPORATES
AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP

Thriving US equities tipped to defy global risks

Original article by David Rogers
The Australian – Page: 28 : 11-Feb-20

Kevin Anderson of State Street Global Advisors expects US economic growth to slow in 2020, but he says the country is unlikely to go into recession. Anderson adds that the asset manager has an overweight exposure to equities, and it is particularly upbeat about US shares. He says earnings will be a major driver of returns from equities in 2020, and the US is less vulnerable to an earnings shock than other markets. Meanwhile, Anderson is not unduly concerned about a recent flattening of the US yield curve, saying it was primarily due to 10-year bonds being regarded as a safe-haven investment.

CORPORATES
STATE STREET GLOBAL ADVISORS INCORPORATED

AMP wins Chinese approval for life sale

Original article by Joyce Moullakis
The Australian – Page: 17 & 20 : 10-Feb-20

The China Banking & Insurance Regulatory Commission is understood to have given its approval for AMP’s $2.5 billion divestment of AMP Life to Resolution Life. However, the transaction still has a number of hurdles to overcome, including approval from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand and Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board. Hamish Carlisle from Merlon Capital Partner says that if Chinese regulators have approved the transaction then this should be disclosed to the Australian sharemarket

CORPORATES
CHINA BANKING AND INSURANCE REGULATORY COMMISSION, AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, AMP LIFE LIMITED, RESOLUTION LIFE GROUP LIMITED, RESERVE BANK OF NEW ZEALAND, AUSTRALIA. FOREIGN INVESTMENT REVIEW BOARD, MERLON CAPITAL PARTNERS PTY LTD

Caution urged after euphoric stock recovery

Original article by David Rogers
The Australian – Page: 26 : 7-Feb-20

Global sharemarkets have rebounded quickly from a sharp fall in response to the coronavirus, with Wall Street reaching a new high and the Australian bourse approaching its record peak. However, equity strategists have warned that the rally may not be sustained; they note that it has been driven by factors such as indications that the coronavirus’s spread may be slowing and the recent move by the People’s Bank of China to increase market liquidity.

CORPORATES
STANDARD AND POOR’S ASX 200 INDEX, STANDARD AND POOR’S 500 INDEX, NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX, PEOPLE’S BANK OF CHINA

IPO drought expected to continue into the new year

Original article by Michael Bleby
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 18 : 30-Jan-20

Research by HLB Mann Judd shows that 28 companies with a market capitalisation of less than $100m listed on the Australian sharemarket in 2019, compared with 72 in 2018. In total, just 62 companies debuted on the local bourse in 2019, collectively raising $6.91bn. The downturn in IPO activity has carried over into 2020, and HLB Mann Judd partner Nicholas Guest says many owners of high-growth businesses are likely to seek private equity backing rather than an IPO in the current environment.

CORPORATES
HLB MANN JUDD

How CSL and BHP helped drive the index above 7000

Original article by William McInnes
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 27 : 17-Jan-20

The S&P/ASX 200 has taken just over two years to rise from 6,000 points to its new record high of 7,000. The index rose above 6,000 for the first time since the global financial crisis on 7 November 2017. BHP and CSL have been the biggest contributors to the S&P/ASX’s 200 rally since this time, adding 200 and 277 points respectively to the benchmark. Shares in CSL were trading at just $144.59 in November 2017, and the stock rose above $300 for the first time on 16 January.

CORPORATES
STANDARD AND POOR’S ASX 200 INDEX,{SPAC}BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP,{SPAC}CSL LIMITED – ASX CSL

Investors ready to turn savage

Original article by Melissa Yeo
The Australian – Page: 21 : 15-Jan-20

The sharemarket rally has seen the S&P/ASX 200’s price-to-earnings multiple rise to a record high of 18 times. Mirrabooka Investments’ MD Mark Freeman says high valuations means that stocks which fail to meet expectations in the February reporting season will be punished by investors. Meanwhile, Mirrabooka has reported a 2019-20 interim profit of $4.4m, compared with $4.6m previously. Shareholders will receive a first-half dividend of $0.35 per share.

CORPORATES
MIRRABOOKA INVESTMENTS LIMITED – ASX MIR, STANDARD AND POOR’S ASX 200 INDEX

Conditions ideal for melt-up in world markets

Original article by David Rogers
The Australian – Page: 18 : 10-Jan-20

The S&P/ASX 200 fell just shy of the record 6,893.7 points on 9 January, as tensions between the US and Iran eased. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 reached a new intra-day high. Peter Cecchini of Cantor Fitzgerald says the S&P 500 could potentially reach 3,300 points in the near-term, but he expects it to fall to 2,880 by the end of 2020. However, there is every indication that equities markets in developed countries will continue to rally in the near-term; the Australian market will receive a further boost if the cash rate is reduced in February.

CORPORATES
STANDARD AND POOR’S ASX 200 A-REIT INDEX, STANDARD AND POOR’S 500 INDEX, CANTOR FITZGERALD, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA