New Hope cuts jobs, dividend after loss

Original article by Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 16 : 23-Sep-20

Coal producer New Hope Corporation has posted a net loss of $156.7m for the year to 31 July, following a $210.4m profit for the previous financial year. The latest result was marred by writedowns totalling $346m, including a $110.7m impairment charge against its New Acland thermal coal mine. New Hope has also retrenched 175 workers at the New Acland mine, whose proposed expansion is subject to a legal challenge from environmentalists. A total of 23 jobs have also been cut at its head office and Brisbane coal terminal, while shareholders will not receive a final dividend.

CORPORATES
NEW HOPE CORPORATION LIMITED – ASX NHC

Shock and awe budget rate cut to cushion bumpy recovery

Original article by Patrick Commins
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 23-Sep-20

The Reserve Bank of Australia’s deputy governor Guy Debelle has signalled that there could be a further reduction in the cash rate, which fell to a record low of 0.25 per cent in March. The next scheduled meeting of the central bank’s board is on 6 October, when the federal government will also hand down the Budget. National Australia Bank’s chief economist Alan Oster says the cash rate is likely to be reduced to 0.1 per cent on this day or in November. He adds that further cutting the cash rate may not do much to stimulate the economy or create jobs,

CORPORATES
RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB

Citizens detaining fellow citizens a bridge too far: jurists

Original article by Damon Johnson, Rachel Baxendale
The Australian – Page: 1 & 5 : 23-Sep-20

A group of barristers and retired judges have written an open letter to the Victorian government expressing concern about the COVID-19 Omnibus (Emergency Measures) and Other Acts Amendment Bill. They have urged the state’s upper house to reject the bill outright or push for changes to it, warning that the powers that would be given to ‘authorised officers’ to arrest and detain people would be "unprecedented, excessive and open to abuse". Amongst other things, the bill would allow people to be detained indefinitely if it is suspected that they could potentially breach COVID-19 restrictions. Key crossbenchers have signalled that they will reject the bill, which has already passed the lower house.

CORPORATES
REASON PARTY

Retail can thrive in online shopping shift

Original article by Glenda Korporaal
The Australian – Page: 13 & 19 : 23-Sep-20

More consumers have embraced online shopping due to the coronavirus pandemic, a trend that Australian Retailers Association CEO Paul Zahra expects to continue. He says the proportion of retail sales that are made online could rise to 20 per cent over the next 18-24 months, compared with about 10 per cent prior to COVID-19. Zahra warns that more physical stores are likely to close in coming years, but the shift to online will force retailers to adapt their business models. The pandemic has also prompted more consumers to support retailers within their local community.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN RETAILERS ASSOCIATION

Kayo climbs off canvas to hit new high

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 10 : 23-Sep-20

Foxtel CEO Patrick Delany says the pay-TV group now boasts nearly two million sports subscribers across its broadcast and streaming platforms. The Kayo Sports streaming service now has more than 600,000 subscribers, compared with 542,000 in early August. Kayo’s subscriber base fell to around 331,000 in May after the coronavirus pandemic forced major sports such as the Australian Football League and National Rugby League to temporarily put their 2020 seasons on hold.

CORPORATES
FOXTEL MANAGEMENT PTY LTD, KAYO SPORTS, AUSTRALIAN FOOTBALL LEAGUE, NATIONAL RUGBY LEAGUE

States take tentative steps to reopen borders

Original article by Tom Burton, Finbar O’Mallon
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 5 : 23-Sep-20

The South Australian government has advised that New South Wales residents will be able to visit the state again, with border restrictions to be lifted from midnight on 23 September. The Queensland government will in turn expand its "border bubble" with NSW from 1 October, which will allow people in an additional five local government areas in northern NSW to travel to Queensland with a permit. NSW recorded two new coronavirus cases on 22 September, and the state has had no mystery cases for five consecutive days.

CORPORATES

NBN push for fibre to the home

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 11 : 23-Sep-20

The federal government has forecast that a major upgrade of the national broadband network will boost GDP by $6.4bn a year by 2024. The $4.5bn upgrade project is also expected to generate about 25,000 jobs over coming years as more businesses and households gain fast internet access. NBN Co will allocate $3.5bn to rolling out high-speed fibre cables to nearly 10 million households and businesses, which will be given the option of taking up a fibre-to-the-premises connection. Communications Minister Paul Fletcher says it was always the Coalition’s intention to upgrade the NBN to full fibre when the initial rollout was completed.

CORPORATES
NBN CO LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF INFRASTRUCTURE, TRANSPORT, REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND COMMUNICATIONS

Fitch tips 10pc fall in house prices as immigration weakens

Original article by Ben Wilmot
The Australian – Page: 15 : 23-Sep-20

Fitch Ratings has forecast that housing prices in Australia will fall by 5-10 per cent over the next 12-18 months. The credit ratings agency says the reduction in net immigration due to COVID-19 travel restrictions and the resulting impact on population growth will weigh on the residential market; it also warns that the restrictions are unlikely to be eased well into 2021. The National Housing Finance & Investment Corporation recently estimated that underlying demand for new houses and apartments could fall by up to 232,000 over the next three years as a result of the coronavirus.

CORPORATES
FITCH RATINGS LIMITED, NATIONAL HOUSING FINANCE AND INVESTMENT CORPORATION – ASX NFI

Give more help to borrowers: APRA

Original article by Cliona O’Dowd
The Australian – Page: 17 : 23-Sep-20

Repayments on more than 900,000 mortgage and business loans were deferred in late March due to the coronavirus pandemic. Many borrowers are now facing the six-month anniversary of their deferral, and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority has offered lenders a number of suggestions about how to handle customers who are slated to resume repayments. Amongst other things, APRA has suggested that lenders should contact borrowers via a number of channels in the lead-up to the expiry of their deferral period. National Australia Bank CEO Ross McEwan recently indicated that 20 per cent of these customers have failed to respond when it has contacted them regarding the issue.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB

ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence up 1.1pts to 93.5 as new cases of COVID-19 continue decline and restrictions ease in Country Victoria

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 23-Sep-20

ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence rose 1.1pts to 93.5 on the weekend of September 19/20. It is now 16.6pts lower than a year ago (110.1) and just 0.2pts below the 2020 weekly average of 93.7. Consumer Confidence has now increased for three straight weeks and is up 3.3pts since hitting a low of 90.2 in late August. Now 23% (down 2ppts) of Australians say their families are ‘better off’ financially than this time last year, while 35% (up 1ppt) say their families are ‘worse off’ financially. In addition, 34% (unchanged) of Australians expect their family to be ‘better off’ financially this time next year, and 19% (down 1ppt) expect to be ‘worse off’ financially. Only 7% (up 1ppt) expect ‘good times’ for the Australian economy over the next 12 months, while 43% (down 4ppts) expect ‘bad times’. Meanwhile, 35% (down 2ppts) of Australians say now is a ‘good time to buy’ major household items, while 35% (unchanged) say now is a ‘bad time to buy’.

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