Gas tax hike: Treasurer sparks energy backlash

Original article by Jamie Walker, Sarah Elks
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 6 : 12-Jun-19

Queensland Treasurer Jackie Trad has defended the state government’s decision to increase the royalty on gas production from 10 per cent to 12.5 per cent, arguing that the state’s LNG royalty has been frozen for 10 years. She describes the increase as a "modest measure" given than some countries have LNG royalties of up to 30 per cent. The Budget measure has been criticised by Queensland Resources Council CEO Ian Macfarlane and former federal resources minister Martin Ferguson, who warn of the impact of the move on gas supply and prices.

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QUEENSLAND. TREASURY, QUEENSLAND RESOURCES COUNCIL LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN PETROLEUM PRODUCTION AND EXPLORATION ASSOCIATION LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, ACTU

Qantas lifts its share as travel numbers fall

Original article by Robyn Ironside
The Australian – Page: 19 : 12-Jun-19

New figures show that Qantas increased its share of Australia’s international travel market from 16.9 per cent to 18.2 per cent in March 2019. Qantas and its subsidiary airlines lifted their combined share of international passengers to 27.4 per cent, while Virgin Australia’s market share increased from six per cent to 6.7 per cent. The Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport & Regional Economics’ data also shows that international passenger numbers fell by 2.5 per cent year-on-year in March.

CORPORATES
QANTAS AIRWAYS LIMITED – ASX QAN, JETSTAR AIRLINES PTY LTD, JETSTAR ASIA, VIRGIN AUSTRALIA HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX VAH, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF INFRASTRUCTURE AND REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT. BUREAU OF INFRASTRUCTURE, TRANSPORT AND REGIONAL ECONOMICS, THE AUSTRALIAN FEDERATION OF TRAVEL AGENTS LIMITED, INTERNATIONAL AIR TRANSPORT ASSOCIATION, AMERICAN AIRLINES INCORPORATED, SINGAPORE AIRLINES LIMITED, AIR NEW ZEALAND LIMITED – ASX AIZ, EMIRATES AIRLINES

Stockmarket boosted as Prospa prospers on debut

Original article by Joyce Moullakis
The Australian – Page: 21 : 12-Jun-19

Prospa Group’s joint CEO Beau Bertoli is upbeat about the outlook for the small business lending market, despite the slowing Australian economy. The fintech specialises in loans of between $5,000 and $300,000, and Bertoli say there is a lot of unmet demand for small business loans. Prospa’s shares peaked at $4.55 on the stock’s first day of trading on 11 June, having been issued at $3.78. Prospa has forecast a pro-forma net loss of $1.5m for fiscal 2019.

CORPORATES
PROSPA GROUP LIMITED – ASX PGL, REFINITIV, QUALITAS REAL ESTATE INCOME FUND – ASX QRI, LIFE360 INCORPORATED – ASX 360

AGL under pressure to explain Vocus takeover

Original article by Lucas Baird, Simon Evans
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 15 & 22 : 12-Jun-19

Vocus Group has agreed to allow AGL Energy to commence due diligence after offering $4.85 per share for the telco. AGL investors have responded bearishly to the $3bn bid, with its share price falling 7.2 per cent to $19.40 on 11 June. Sentiment toward AGL was also affected by an earnings downgrade on 7 June, before the stock market closed for a long weekend. Justin Braitling of Watermark Funds Management and James Nevin of RBC Capital Markets have questioned whether Vocus is an appropriate target for AGL.

CORPORATES
AGL ENERGY LIMITED – ASX AGL, VOCUS GROUP LIMITED – ASX VOC, WATERMARK FUNDS MANAGEMENT PTY LTD, RBC CAPITAL MARKETS, EQT INFRASTRUCTURE, M2 GROUP LIMITED

Cormann says power price drops on the way

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 6 : 12-Jun-19

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann has reiterated the federal government’s commitment to reducing electricity prices by 25-30 per cent by the end of 2021. He notes that the Coalition has a range of policy initiatives aimed at achieving this goal, including its so-called "big stick" legislation and its proposal to underwrite baseload generation projects. Action to reduce power prices is among the key demands of Senate crossbenchers in return for backing the Coalition’s income tax cuts package.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF FINANCE, ONE NATION PARTY, CENTRE ALLIANCE, AUSTRALIAN CONSERVATIVES, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Media demands legal shake-up, not an inquiry

Original article by Rosie Lewis, Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: 1 & 2 : 12-Jun-19

Prime Minister Scott Morrison held talks with the ABC’s MD David Anderson and chair Ita Buttrose on 11 June, in the wake of a controversial police raid on the public broadcaster’s Sydney offices. Morrison has signalled that the federal government is open to holding a parliamentary inquiry into press ­freedom. However, News Corp Australia executive Campbell Reid argues that an inquiry is not necessary; instead, he says that legislation governing freedom of the press should be reviewed by a working group comprising politicians, legal experts and media representatives.

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AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, LAW COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, CENTRE ALLIANCE, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE

Woodside expects reduced output

Original article by Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 20 : 12-Jun-19

Oil and gas producer Woodside Petroleum has advised that its production for 2019 will be at the lower end of its previous guidance of 88-94 million barrels of oil equivalent. Woodside has attributed the revised guidance to a delay in resuming production at the Pluto LNG plant due to maintenance issues. RBC Capital Markets estimates that a two per cent reduction in annual output would reduce Woodside’s earnings by around three per cent.

CORPORATES
WOODSIDE PETROLEUM LIMITED – ASX WPL, RBC CAPITAL MARKETS, BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP

Savers to be slugged $1.3b by rate cut

Original article by James Frost
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 6 : 12-Jun-19

Data from Canstar shows that smaller banks have reduced their interest rates on at-call cash accounts by up to 30 basis points in the wake of the Reserve Bank’s official interest rate cut. The four major banks have yet to reduce their own rates on at-call accounts, but Finder’s Graham Cooke warns that is only a matter of time. It is estimated that savers’ income from the interest on at-call accounts will be slashed by around $1.3bn if the official interest rate cut is passed on in full.

CORPORATES
CANSTAR PTY LTD, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, FINDER.COM.AU, AMP BANK LIMITED, SUNCORP BANK, BENDIGO AND ADELAIDE BANK LIMITED – ASX BEN, BANK AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, MACQUARIE CREDIT UNION LIMITED, RATECITY PTY LTD, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC

Streaming consolidation tipped

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: 19 : 12-Jun-19

PwC’s latest Australian Entertainment & Media Outlook report has forecast that the expected entry of Disney+ and Apple TV+ will prompt consolidation in Australia’s subscription video-on-demand market. Netflix is the market leader in Australia, and PwC notes that there will be a wide field of contenders for the title of the nation’s second-ranked SVOD provider. Justin Papps of PwC says content and a "great viewing experience" are essential to success in the streaming market.

CORPORATES
PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS AUSTRALIA (INTERNATIONAL) PTY LTD, DISNEY+, WALT DISNEY COMPANY, APPLE TV+, APPLE INCORPORATED, NETFLIX INCORPORATED, STAN ENTERTAINMENT PTY LTD, FOXTEL NOW, KAYO SPORTS, AMAZON PRIME VIDEO, 10 ALL ACCESS, PRESTO ENTERTAINMENT PTY LTD, SEVEN NETWORK LIMITED, FOXTEL MANAGEMENT PTY LTD, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS

Senator in no hurry for deal on tax cuts

Original article by Rosie Lewis
The Australian – Page: 2 : 12-Jun-19

The federal government will make its income tax cuts package a top priority when parliament resumes on 2 July. However, Centre Alliance senator Rex Patrick says his party will take its time over negotiations with the government to ensure that it achieves the best outcome. Patrick has signalled that in addition to its previously stated demands in return for supporting the tax package, Centre Alliance will seek additional assistance for pensioners who will not benefit from the tax cuts.

CORPORATES
CENTRE ALLIANCE, ONE NATION PARTY, AUSTRALIAN CONSERVATIVES, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIAN GREENS, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF FINANCE, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF INDUSTRY, INNOVATION AND SCIENCE