Seven, Prime buff up terms of merger deal

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 : 9-Dec-19

Seven West Media and regional affiliate Prime Media Group have declined to comment on speculation that investors may be offered a special dividend to make their proposed merger more attractive. Seven’s offer values Prime at between $0.183 and $0.206 per share, but an independent expert’s report has valued Prime at between $0.21 and $0.24 per share. Paying a cash dividend and utilising Prime’s franking credits would lift the bid to a range that is closer to this valuation.

CORPORATES
SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, PRIME MEDIA GROUP LIMITED – ASX PRT, LONERGAN EDWARDS AND ASSOCIATES LIMITED, WIN CORPORATION PTY LTD, BIRKETU PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN COMMUNITY MEDIA, REGAL FUNDS MANAGEMENT PTY LTD

Hayne rebukes directors, PM on climate risk failure

Original article by James Fernyhough
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 4 : 9-Dec-19

Royal commissioner Kenneth Hayne says there is no excuse for inaction when it comes for the need for directors to deal with climate change risk. Hayne says it is now international expert consensus that such risk exists, and that Australia’s financial regulators are all clear that climate change represents real and measurable financial risks. Hayne was speaking at a recent gathering of business leaders, regulators and government officials that was organised by the Centre for Policy Development.

CORPORATES
CENTRE FOR POLICY DEVELOPMENT LIMITED, HIGH COURT OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG, QBE INSURANCE GROUP LIMITED – ASX QBE, COLES GROUP LIMITED – ASX COL

Penfolds loss in China counterfeit wrangle

Original article by Eli Greenblat
The Australian – Page: 19 : 9-Dec-19

The Beijing High Court has overturned a previous decision by a Beijing intellectual product court. The latter had thrown out a trade mark used by winery Rush Rich, with its labelling similar that used by Treasury Wine Estates’ Penfolds brand. Treasury Wine Estates has been trying to get the ‘copycat’ Rush Rich label outlawed by the Chinese courts for two years, while it prosecuted an intellectual property case against Rush Rich earlier in 2019 and was awarded $375,302 in compensation.

CORPORATES
TREASURY WINE ESTATES LIMITED – ASX TWE, PENFOLDS WINES PTY LTD, RUSH RICH, HIGH COURT OF BEIJING

Foxtel leads ad streaming wars

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich, Zoe Samios
The Australian – Page: 25 : 9-Dec-19

Foxtel CEO Patrick Delany says streaming and data are a focus for the pay-TV group, noting that it has invested a lot of money on data in the last year. About 53 per cent of Foxtel customers with an IQ4 set-top box used video-on-demand in October, compared with 45 per cent in July. Meanwhile, the launch of Kayo Sports has attracted new advertisers to Foxtel, which has also introduced a new six-second advertising format.

CORPORATES
FOXTEL MANAGEMENT PTY LTD, KAYO SPORTS, FOXTEL MEDIA, FOXTEL NOW, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, TELSTRA CORPORATION LIMITED – ASX TLS, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, SOUTHERN CROSS MEDIA GROUP LIMITED – ASX SXL, OOH!MEDIA LIMITED – ASX OML

New heart drives Morrison agenda

Original article by Simon Benson, Geoff Chambers
The Australian – Page: 5 : 9-Dec-19

A senior Coalition source has indicated that a streamlined Expenditure Review Committee is now the ‘heart of government’. The source claims that the federal government’s major decisions and broad economic strategies are made by the ERC, and it now comprises just six permanent members, including Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg. Meanwhile, some cabinet ministers have highlighted the extremely close relationship between Morrison and Frydenberg.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. EXPENDITURE REVIEW COMMITTEE, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY

2020 visions: big calls for new year

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 30 & 31 : 9-Dec-19

The CEOs of Australian media, digital media and advertising groups have shared their views on the outlook for their company in 2020 and the media sector in general. Bauer Media Australia CEO Brendon Hill says the deal to acquire Pacific Magazines will increase the publisher’s stability and allow it to increase its focus on the creation of compelling branded content, while Foxtel CEO Patrick Delaney says the pay-TV group’s large customer base will be its biggest advantage in 2020. Southern Cross Media Group CEO Grant Blackley says factors such as weak consumer sentiment and its flow-on effect on the advertising market will be the biggest challenge facing his company in 2020.

CORPORATES
BAUER MEDIA AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, FOXTEL MANAGEMENT PTY LTD, SOUTHERN CROSS MEDIA GROUP LIMITED – ASX SXL, AUSTRALIAN COMMUNITY MEDIA, SEEK LIMITED – ASX SEK, OOH!MEDIA LIMITED – ASX OML, CARSALES.COM LIMITED – ASX CAR, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, HT&E LIMITED – ASX HT1, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, PRIME MEDIA GROUP LIMITED – ASX PRT, SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, DOMAIN HOLDINGS AUSTRALIA LIMITED – ASX DHA, STAN ENTERTAINMENT PTY LTD, GOOGLE AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, FACEBOOK AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, TWITTER AUSTRALIA HOLDINGS PTY LTD, TEN NETWORK HOLDINGS LIMITED, REA GROUP LIMITED – ASX REA, FETCHTV PTY LTD, JC DECAUX AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

Banks struggle despite RBNZ retreat: analysts

Original article by Cliona O’Dowd
The Australian – Page: 20 : 9-Dec-19

Jonathan Mott of UBS says the outlook for Australia’s banks remains "very challenging", despite the fact that they will be treated more favourably than expected under the Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s new capital requirements. The central bank will phase in the new capital rules over a longer time-frame, while the banks will able to hold a wider range of securities as tier-one capital. Several analysts expect the new capital rules to result in the banks receiving lower dividend payouts from their New Zealand subsidiaries.

CORPORATES
RESERVE BANK OF NEW ZEALAND, UBS HOLDINGS PTY LTD, 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, CITIGROUP PTY LTD, MORGAN STANLEY AUSTRALIA LIMITED

Rio Tinto’s hold on Oyu Tolgoi deal firms with Mongolian court win

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 21 : 9-Dec-19

Rio Tinto and the Mongolian government entered into an agreement in 2015 regarding a $US5.3 billion expansion of the Oyu Tolgoi mine. The Mongolian First Administrative Court upheld a claim in November that proper parliamentary process may not have been followed when striking the agreement. However, a statement issued on the Court’s official website on 5 December indicated that the ruling is not likely to impact on the 2015 agreement.

CORPORATES
RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO

Humbled Westpac faces shareholder anger

Original article by Glenda Korporaal
The Australian – Page: 17 & 20 : 9-Dec-19

Some 64 per cent of votes cast at Westpac’s 2018 annual meeting rejected its remuneration report. The bank is likely to incur a second ‘strike’ at its 2019 annual meeting on 12 December, while the re-election of director Peter Marriott is uncertain in the wake of the scandal over breaches of anti-money laundering laws. However, Westpac is likely to avoid a resolution calling for a board spill. The Australian Shareholders’ Association and proxy adviser ISS will vote against the remuneration report, although the ASA will oppose any push to spill the board.

CORPORATES
WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, AUSTRALIAN SHAREHOLDERS’ ASSOCIATION, INSTITUTIONAL SHAREHOLDER SERVICES INCORPORATED, OWNERSHIP MATTERS PTY LTD, CGI GLASS LEWIS PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN COUNCIL OF SUPERANNUATION INVESTORS INCORPORATED, AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT. AUSTRALIAN TRANSACTION REPORTS AND ANALYSIS CENTRE

Health insurance crisis looms

Original article by Cliona O’Dowd
The Australian – Page: 17 & 18 : 9-Dec-19

Medibank Private’s chief customer officer David Koczkar and NIB Holdings MD Mark Fitzgibbon have stressed the need to reign in rising costs in Australia’s health care system. Private Healthcare Australia CEO Rachel David has warned that smaller private health insurers in particular may not be viable unless reforms are implemented. The federal government has approved a 3.27 per cent increase in Medibank’s premiums for 2020, while NIB and Bupa will lift their premiums by 2.9 per cent and 3.26 per cent respectively.

CORPORATES
MEDIBANK PRIVATE LIMITED – ASX MPL, NIB HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NHF, BUPA AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, PRIVATE HEALTHCARE AUSTRALIA LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF HEALTH, AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, GRATTAN INSTITUTE