ASX’s most shorted stocks set for results reporting test

Original article by William McInnes
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 20 : 11-Feb-19

Some of the Australian sharemarket’s most heavily shorted companies will release their latest financial results in the week beginning 11 February, including JB Hi-Fi, Super Retail Group, Bendigo & Adelaide Bank and AMP. JB Hi-Fi is the most shorted S&P/ASX 200 stock, and Jun Bei Liu of Tribeca Investment Partners notes that the retail trading environment is challenging at present. Meanwhile, ASX 200 trading volumes were 11 per cent higher than average during the first week of the reporting season, as fund managers returned to the market.

CORPORATES
STANDARD AND POOR’S ASX 200 INDEX, JB HI-FI LIMITED – ASX JBH, SUPER RETAIL GROUP LIMITED – ASX SUL, BENDIGO AND ADELAIDE BANK LIMITED – ASX BEN, AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, TRIBECA INVESTMENT PARTNERS PTY LTD, FIRETRAIL INVESTMENTS PTY LTD, OPHIR ASSET MANAGEMENT PTY LTD, TELSTRA CORPORATION LIMITED – ASX TLS, AMCOR LIMITED – ASX AMC, CLEANAWAY WASTE MANAGEMENT LIMITED – ASX CWY, LEND LEASE GROUP LIMITED – ASX LLC, CYBG PLC – ASX CYB, JAMES HARDIE INDUSTRIES PLC – ASX JHX, NICK SCALI LIMITED – ASX NCK, IOOF HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX IFL, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, HARVEY NORMAN HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX HVN, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY

Global dividends on the rise

Original article by David Rogers
The Australian – Page: 27 : 8-Feb-19

Data from Plato Investment Management shows that dividends increased across the majority of developed markets in 2018, with a total payout to shareholders of $1.8trn. Globally, companies in the information technology sector increased their dividends by 33 per cent in the December quarter, followed by consumer staples (up 17.9 per cent). The global materials sector is the only one that did not record growth in dividend payments. In contrast, Australia’s materials sector recorded year-on-year dividend growth of 26 per cent.

CORPORATES
PLATO INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT LIMITED, STANDARD AND POOR’S ASX 300 INDEX, BROADCOM CORPORATION, VISA INTERNATIONAL

Contractor stuns AMP with identity data theft

Original article by James Frost, Misa Han
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 21 : 8-Feb-19

Former AMP contractor Yi Zheng has pleaded guilty to possessing identity information to commit an indictable offence. Police records reveal that he downloaded 20 identity documents one morning in October when working at AMP’s Kent Street office in Sydney, then sent them to his home email account before deleting them from his desktop. After AMP’s security system revealed that Zheng had downloaded a dark-web browser onto his AMP laptop, the laptop was taken from him and he was escorted from the building. He was later arrested at Sydney Airport when trying to flee to China. Zheng will be sentenced on 21 March.

CORPORATES
AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP

Finance Royal Commission likely to disrupt distribution of financial products

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

Financial intermediaries (including mortgage brokers and financial planners) currently account for the distribution of 35% of the total value of the major financial products. A number of the recommendations of the Financial Services Royal Commission relate to mortgage brokers and financial planners and if adopted, are likely to negatively impact their usage, particularly as it relates to borrowers rather than the lenders paying fees. Financial planners are also likely to be impacted by the need for greater fee disclosure, clarification of independence, improved focus on the best interests of the customer and the need to provide service for any fee involved. These are some of the latest findings from Roy Morgan’s Single Source survey in the 12 months to August 2018, which is based on in-depth interviews conducted face-to-face with over 50,000 consumers per annum in their homes, including detailed questioning across all aspects of investing, borrowing, insurance and banking.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY

Banks surge after royal pardon

Original article by David Rogers, Richard Gluyas
The Australian – Page: 19 & 23 : 6-Feb-19

Jon Mott of UBS has described the final report of the financial services royal commission as a "clear win" for Australia’s banks, saying its recommendations did not meet market expectations. Investors agreed, with shares in the banks and wealth managers AMP and IOOF Holdings rallying on 5 February. Brian Johnson of CLSA says bank stocks could rise further, as the market had priced in more onerous recommendations by commissioner Kenneth Hayne.

CORPORATES
UBS HOLDINGS PTY LTD, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, CLSA AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, IOOF HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX IFL, STANDARD AND POOR’S ASX 200 INDEX, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, AUSTRALIAN FINANCE GROUP LIMITED – ASX AFG, MORTGAGE CHOICE LIMITED – ASX MOC, MORGAN STANLEY AUSTRALIA LIMITED, MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG, MOODY’S INVESTORS SERVICE INCORPORATED, S&P GLOBAL RATINGS

Less bad outcome a relief for banks

Original article by David Rogers
The Australian – Page: 21 : 5-Feb-19

There is general consensus among equity analysts and portfolio managers that the final report of the financial services royal commission has not been as harsh on the banking sector as it could have been. Shares in the major banks and AMP are expected to rise when trading resumes on 5 February, although listed mortgage brokers are likely to face a sell-off after the inquiry recommended that brokers’ commissions paid by lenders be phased out in favour of ones paid by borrowers.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, NOMURA AUSTRALIA LIMITED, BELL DIRECT, TRIBECA INVESTMENT PARTNERS PTY LTD, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, MORTGAGE CHOICE LIMITED – ASX MOC, AUSTRALIAN FINANCE GROUP LIMITED – ASX AFG

Queue for new share listings shrinks after 18pc loss last year

Original article by Michael Bailey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 : 31-Jan-19

HLB Mann Judd expects Australia’s IPO market to remain subdued in 2019, after a poor performance in 2018. Companies that listed in 2018 had shed an average of 18 per cent of their value by the end of the year. IPO activity was also lower, with the number of floats falling from 110 in 2017 to just 93. Marcus Ohm of HLB Mann Judd notes that the 17 companies that have applied to list on the sharemarket so far in 2019 are seeking to raise just $179m in total.

CORPORATES
HLB MANN JUDD, IFLIX LIMITED, NETFLIX INCORPORATED, VIVA ENERGY GROUP LIMITED – ASX VEA, CORONADO GLOBAL RESOURCES INCORPORATED – ASX CRN, L1 LONG SHORT FUND LIMITED – ASX LSF, ADRIATIC METALS PLC – ASX ADT, EXOPHARM LIMITED – ASX EX1, ELIXINOL GLOBAL LIMITE – ASX EXL

Tough earnings season ahead as pressure builds

Original article by David Rogers
The Australian – Page: 27 : 31-Jan-19

Tony Brennan of Citigroup says earnings guidance in the February 2019 reporting season is likely to be influenced by factors such as the slowdown in Australia’s housing market and falling business sentiment. Brennan says companies in a range of sectors have downgraded their earnings forecasts in recent months, and this may be reflected in the upcoming profit reporting season. The S&P/ASX 200 has gained 4.3 per cent so far in 2019, and Citigroup still expects it to test the 6,300-point level by the end of the year.

CORPORATES
CITIGROUP PTY LTD, STANDARD AND POOR’S ASX 200 INDEX, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, CORELOGIC AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

Storm clouds gathering after a promising start

Original article by David Rogers
The Australian – Page: 24 : 30-Jan-19

Australia’s benchmark S&P/ASX 200 has gained more than four per cent so far in 2019, putting it on track to achieve its best performance in the month of January in five years. However, the local market could face a number of headwinds in the near-term, including the outlook for US interest rates and trade negotiations between the US and China. There is growing speculation that the Federal Reserve will pause its monetary policy tightening in 2019, and the exact timing of the next move in the cash rate remains uncertain.

CORPORATES
STANDARD AND POOR’S ASX 200 INDEX, UNITED STATES. FEDERAL RESERVE BOARD, DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE INDEX, PEPPERSTONE GROUP LIMITED, JP MORGAN AND COMPANY INCORPORATED, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, HUAWEI TECHNOLOGIES COMPANY LIMITED

Sharemarkets burst out of blocks

Original article by David Rogers
The Australian – Page: 15 & 18 : 29-Jan-19

The S&P/ASX 200 has gained 4.6 per cent so far in January 2019, and it has risen eight per cent since reaching a two-year low in December. Jason Steed of JP Morgan says the benchmark index could test the 6,300-point level by the end of 2019, which implies a 12 per cent gain for the year. Meanwhile, Deutsche Bank expects the S&P/ASX 200 to finish the year at 6,150 points. Overseas sharemarkets have also started the year strongly, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average having risen for five consecutive weeks.

CORPORATES
STANDARD AND POOR’S ASX 200 INDEX, JP MORGAN AUSTRALIA LIMITED, DEUTSCHE BANK AG, DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE INDEX, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, UNITED STATES. FEDERAL RESERVE BOARD, NEWCREST MINING LIMITED – ASX NCM, SYDNEY AIRPORT – ASX SYD, TELSTRA CORPORATION LIMITED – ASX TLS, ARISTOCRAT LEISURE LIMITED – ASX ALL, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, BLUESCOPE STEEL LIMITED – ASX BSL, BRAMBLES LIMITED – ASX BXB, RELIANCE WORLDWIDE CORPORATION LIMITED – ASX RWC, TREASURY WINE ESTATES LIMITED – ASX TWE