ACM gets go-ahead to raise stake in Prime

Original article by Sophie Elsworth
The Australian – Page: 15 : 9-Apr-21

Australian Community Media has been cleared to increase its stake in Seven Network affiliate Prime Media Group to 19.99 per cent. The deal to buy a five per cent stake in Prime from WIN Corporation owner Bruce Gordon had to be cleared by the Australian Communications & Media Authority, as ACM would exceed the 15 per cent threshold that is deemed to be a controlling interest under the Broadcasting Services Act 1992. ACM’s Anthony Catalano says the legislation needs to be updated, as the ‘voices test’ for regional areas does not include digital media. He adds that ACM will have to sell two newspapers in Victoria and New South Wales unless the legislation is changed.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN COMMUNITY MEDIA PTY LTD, PRIME MEDIA GROUP LIMITED – ASX PRT, WIN CORPORATION PTY LTD, SEVEN NETWORK LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN COMMUNICATIONS AND MEDIA AUTHORITY

Funds fall as super savers hit by Covid

Original article by Anthony Keane
The Australian – Page: 20 : 9-Apr-21

Data from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority shows that some of the nation’s largest superannuation funds recorded overall growth in members in 2019-20. However, seven out of 10 super funds had a net loss of members during the financial year, particularly retail funds. The federal government’s early access scheme contributed to the closure of some super accounts, but Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia CEO Martin Fahy says the main factor was the federal government’s policy of consolidating accounts with low balances.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, THE ASSOCIATION OF SUPERANNUATION FUNDS OF AUSTRALIA LIMITED

News Corp to raise $1b as it looks at potential buying spree

Original article by Zoe Samios
The Age – Page: Online : 9-Apr-21

Media giant News Corporation has flagged the potential for acquisitions after announcing plans to raise $US750 million ($985 million) via the issuance of senior notes. It has advised the New York stock exchange that the proceeds of the debt raising will be used for ‘general corporate purposes’, which could include acquisitions and working capital. News Corp has struck several deals in recent weeks, including the acquisition of Investor’s Business Daily.

CORPORATES
NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS

UK halts AstraZeneca jabs for under-30s

Original article by Hans van Leeuwen
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 14 : 9-Apr-21

Britain’s Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency has recommended that people under the age of 30 should not be given AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine due to the potential risk of blood clots. MHRA CEO June Raine says the decision was made out of "utmost caution", and notes that the incidence of blood clotting is extremely rare. More than 20 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine have been administered across the UK to date, with 79 cases of blood clots having been reported; 19 of them were fatal. The MHRA has stated that the benefits of vaccination outweigh any risks.

CORPORATES
GREAT BRITAIN. MEDICINES AND HEALTHCARE PRODUCTS REGULATORY AGENCY

Options for investors as bourse nears record high

Original article by David Rogers
The Australian – Page: 20 : 9-Apr-21

Australia’s benchmark S&P/ASX 200 is within striking distance of its record high of 7,197.2 points, set in February 2020. The index reached an intra-day high of 7,012.4 points on 8 April, having gained 60 per cent since falling to a pandemic-induced low in March 2020. The index has gained three per cent in the month to date, compared with an average gain of 2.5 per cent in April. Pieter Stoltz of UBS expects cyclicals and value stocks to outperform the broader sharemarket in the near-term; he also likes stocks with overseas earnings and those with exposure to the housing and mining services sectors.

CORPORATES
STANDARD AND POOR’S ASX 200 INDEX, UBS HOLDINGS PTY LTD

Clot fears force vaccine switch

Original article by Natasha Robinson
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 9-Apr-21

The federal government has acted on the advice of the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation, which has recommended that AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine be restricted to people aged 50+. ATAGI stated that Pfizer’s vaccine is now preferred for people under the age of 50, after the European Medicines Agency concluded that there is a link between the AstraZeneca vaccine and a blood-clotting syndrome. Department of Health secretary Brendan Murphy says the government has acted out of an "abundance of caution", given that the extremely rare syndrome mainly affects younger people. Prime Minister Scott Morrison has conceded that the target date for giving all Australians at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine will need to be revised.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN TECHNICAL ADVISORY GROUP ON IMMUNISATION, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF HEALTH, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, ASTRAZENECA PLC, PFIZER INCORPORATED, EUROPEAN MEDICINES AGENCY

Rio chair to face Juukan anger

Original article by Nick Evans
The Australian – Page: 17 : 9-Apr-21

Rio Tinto is expected to incur a backlash against its remuneration report at the London leg of its annual general meeting on 9 April. Outgoing chairman Simon Thompson is likely to be the main target of investors’ wrath in the wake of the scandal over the destruction of ancient indigenous rock shelters at Juukan Gorge in Western Australia. The scandal resulted in the departure of three senior executives – including former CEO Jean-Sebastien Jacques – who will receive lucrative severance payments. Rio Tinto will hold its Australian annual general meeting on 8 May.

CORPORATES
RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO

Westpac insurance sales misleading: ASIC

Original article by Jonathan Shapiro
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 18 : 9-Apr-21

The Australian Securities & Investments Commission is taking legal action against Westpac in the Federal Court. ASIC claims that Westpac mis-sold credit card insurance to customers who did not want it, with more than 380 customers affected in a four-month period between April and July 2015. Westpac has stated that it will work with ASIC constructively through the court process, and that it has not sold credit card insurance since 2019. Credit card insurance came under scrutiny during the Hayne royal commission, and the big banks have stopped selling the product.

CORPORATES
WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA

‘Ideology gone mad’: Silk slams super veto laws

Original article by Cliona O’Dowd
The Australian – Page: 17 : 9-Apr-21

AustralianSuper CEO Ian Silk has criticised key elements of the federal government’s proposed superannuation reforms. He is particularly concerned about provisions of the ‘Your Future, Your Super’ bill which allow the government to block an investment by a super fund, even if it is in members’ best financial interests. Silk says that amongst other things, this raises genuine concerns about sovereign risk. David Knox of consultancy firm Mercer in turn warns that subjecting super funds to performance tests will result in lower returns over the longer term, as trustees will be reluctant to invest in some asset classes.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIANSUPER PTY LTD, MERCER INVESTMENTS PTY LTD

Record property prices still climbing

Original article by Mackenzie Scott
The Australian – Page: 15 : 9-Apr-21

New figures show that house prices in Australia’s capital cities increased by 5.6 per cent in the March quarter. House prices rose by 2.8 per cent nationally in March, and Eliza Owen of CoreLogic says the combined value of Australian dwellings topped $7.9trn during the month. Meanwhile, the national median house price is now 5.6 per cent above the previous market peak in 2017.

CORPORATES
CORELOGIC AUSTRALIA PTY LTD