Three NSW regional councils go into lockdown

Original article by Anna Caldwell
The Daily Telegraph – Page: 7 : 21-Jul-21

New South Wales has recorded 78 new locally-acquired COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, including 29 people who were active in the community while they were infectious. Meanwhile, three local government areas in regional NSW will be subject to stage one lockdown restrictions for at least seven days in order to contain the spread of the Delta variant. A pet food delivery driver from south-west Sydney is believed to have been highly infectious when he recently visited a number of exposure sites in the shires of Orange, Blayney and Cabonne. Residents will only be permitted to leave their home for four essential reasons, although schools will remain open.

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Pubs plan one-size-fits-all pay for full-timers

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 6 : 21-Jul-21

The Australian Hotels Association has proposed the introduction of all-in pay rates for full-time workers in the hospitality sector. AHA CEO Stephen Ferguson says that no employee would be disadvantaged under the proposed loaded rates regime, which would provide workers with higher above-award pay rates in lieu of some penalty rates. He says many employees in the sector would benefit from a simplified pay system. The United Workers Union will consult with its members regarding the proposal, which has been put before the Fair Work Commission.

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AUSTRALIAN HOTELS ASSOCIATION, UNITED WORKERS UNION, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION

South Australia enters snap seven-day lockdown

Original article by Andrew Hough, Kara Jung, Katelin Nelligan, Gabriel Polychronis, Antimo Iannella
The Advertiser – Page: Online : 21-Jul-21

Premier Steven Marshall says South Australia is facing a "real and present threat" from the Delta variant of COVID-19. His government has imposed South Australia’s third lockdown since the pandemic began, after the cluster in the Adelaide suburb of Modbury rose to five people. Health authorities have identified more than 50 exposure sites that are linked to the oubreak. Residents of Adelaide, Gawler and the Adelaide Hills will be entitled to federal income support of up to $600 a week after Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly designated them as ‘hotspots’. The federal government is under growing pressure to reinstate the JobKeeper scheme, with more than 13 million Australians now subject to lockdowns.

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SOUTH AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PREMIER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF HEALTH

TV legend David Leckie dies at 70

Original article by Miranda Ward
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 3 : 21-Jul-21

Media identities have praised industry veteran David Leckie, who has passed away after a long illness. Leckie became CEO of the Nine Network in 1994, after holding a number of roles at the media group. He joined the Seven Network in 2003, and it subsequently displaced Nine as Australia’s top rating free-to-air network under his leadership. Seven West Media’s CEO James Warburton has described Leckie as a "true legend of the Australian media industry", while Nine CEO Mike Sneesby says he was a "giant of television".

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SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, SEVEN NETWORK LIMITED, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, NINE NETWORK AUSTRALIA LIMITED

Andrews extends lockdown, tightens Sydney border rules

Original article by Michael Fowler, Aisha Dow, Melissa Cunningham
The Age – Page: Online : 21-Jul-21

Victoria has recorded 13 new locally-acquired COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, including one mystery case. Four of the new cases were active in the community while they were infectious. The state government has responded by extending the state-wide lockdown by another seven days; it is now slated to end at 11.59pm on 27 July, although health experts caution that this will depend on the case load at the time. The government has also closed its borders to all travellers from New South Wales and the ACT for two weeks, including Victorian residents who are not deemed to be authorised workers or qualify for an exemption on compassionate grounds.

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Santos stalks wounded Oil Search

Original article by Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 13 & 16 : 21-Jul-21

Allan Gray Australia’s MD Simon Mawhinney says the board of Oil Search must engage with Santos after the latter revealed on 20 July that it had proposed an all-scrip merger in late June. Oil Search rejected the offer of 0.589 new Santos shares for each of its shares, arguing that it represented a premium of just 6.8 per cent. Mark Samter of MST Marquee agrees that Oil Search directors should have engaged with Santos regarding the bid. Meanwhile, the position of Oil Search chairman Rick Lee is under scrutiny after he told an investor briefing on 19 July that it had not received any takeover approaches. Oil Search subsequently issued a clarification.

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OIL SEARCH LIMITED – ASX OSH, SANTOS LIMITED – ASX STO, ALLAN GRAY AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, MST MARQUEE

RBA may rethink tapering as lockdowns bite

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

The Reserve Bank of Australia recently signalled that it will begin scaling back its bond-buying program in September, amid the nation’s stronger-than-expected economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. However, economists at a number of banks anticipate that the potential economic impact of the latest wave of lockdowns will prompt the central bank to delay plans to slash its bond-buying program by $1bn a week. Gareth Aird from the Commonwealth Bank says the RBA could potentially start to reduce its bond purchases in November.

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RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, COMMS GROUP LIMITED – ASX CCG

BHP flags long China coal ban

Original article by Nick Evans
The Australian – Page: 13 & 16 : 21-Jul-21

BHP has advised that it produced a record 284.1 million tonnes of iron ore in the Pilbara region of Western Australia during 2020-21. The resources group shipped 283.9 million tonnes of iron ore from the Pilbara, compared with 283.3 million tonnes for the previous financial year. BHP expects to produce 278 to 288 million tonnes of iron ore in the Pilbara in 2021-22, while the group has warned that China’s ban on Australian coal imports is likely to remain in place for some time.

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BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP

ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence plunges 5.7pts to 104.3 – its lowest since early November 2020 as lockdown extended in Sydney and Melbourne goes into fifth lockdown

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 21-Jul-21

ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence fell 5.7pts to 104.3 on July 17/18, after the Greater Sydney lockdown was extended until at least the end of July and Melbourne entered an unprecedented fifth lockdown late last week. Consumer Confidence is now sitting clearly below the 2021 weekly average of 110.9; however, it is still 13.6 points higher than the same week a year ago (90.7). Now 29% (up 2ppts) of Australians say their families are ‘better off’ financially than this time last year, while 28% (up 1ppt) say their families are ‘worse off’ financially. In addition, 38% (down 1ppt) of Australians expect their family to be ‘better off’ financially this time next year, and 17% (up 3ppts) expect to be ‘worse off’ financially. Some 15% (down 2ppts) of Australians expect ‘good times’ for the Australian economy over the next 12 months, while 24% (up 6ppts) expect ‘bad times’ (the highest figure for this indicator since late November 2020). Meanwhile, 36% (down 7ppts) of Australians say now is a ‘good time to buy’ major household items, while 30% (up 6ppts) say now is a ‘bad time to buy’ – an overall swing of 13ppts and the worst result for this question since early November 2020.

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ROY MORGAN LIMITED, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ

Mortgage stress near record low in mid-2021

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 21-Jul-21

New research from Roy Morgan shows that an estimated 677,000 mortgage holders (17.3%) were at risk of ‘mortgage stress’ in the three months to May 2021. This period encompassed the end of the JobKeeper wage subsidy in late March, low community transmission of COVID-19 and only a few ‘short and sharp’ lockdowns and border closures to deal with outbreaks. This level of mortgage stress is down sharply on a year ago when an estimated 794,000 mortgage holders (19.4%) were at risk during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic in the three months to May 2020. Of those mortgage holders considered ‘At Risk’ in the three months to May 2021, some 440,000 (11.8% of all mortgage holders), were considered ‘Extremely at Risk’, down from 480,000 (12.3%) on the three months to May 2020. These are the latest findings from Roy Morgan’s Single Source Survey, based on in-depth interviews conducted with over 50,000 Australians each year including over 10,000 owner-occupied mortgage-holders.

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ROY MORGAN LIMITED