Super funds lose billions as crisis hits

Original article by Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 15 & 22 : 25-Mar-20

The financial market turmoil caused by the coronavirus pandemic has weighed on asset valuations in the superannuation industry. AustralianSuper has slashed the value of its portfolio of unlisted assets by 7.5 per cent, while IFM Investors has cut the valuations of its Australian unlisted assets by an average of 7.6 per cent. Both group have exposure to a range of infrastructure assets, such as airports and toll roads. Other super funds are also reviewing the value of their unlisted assets.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIANSUPER PTY LTD, IFM INVESTORS PTY LTD

Bosses, union unite to save jobs

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 4 : 25-Mar-20

The Fair Work Commission has approved temporary changes to the industry award for hospitality workers in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The agreement between the United Workers Union and the Australian Hotels Association will allow employers to reduce workers’ hours to 60 per cent of full-time or regular part-time hours; employees can also be directed to take leave at half pay with just 24 hours’ notice. The changes to the Hospitality Award will initially be in place until 30 June. Employers and unions will seek similar changes to awards covering clerks and restaurant workers.

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

Wage subsidies not enough for small business

Original article by John Kehoe
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 8 : 25-Mar-20

Former Treasury official Steven Hamilton has urged the federal government to increase the wage subsidies for small and medium enterprises in response to the pandemic. He warns that the SME sector will be "completely wiped out" if the government does not act, while the nation will face a long and deep recession. Andrew Boak of Goldman Sachs agrees that the government’s existing wage subsidy measures will not be sufficient to avert large-scale job losses.

CORPORATES
GOLDMAN SACHS AUSTRALIA GROUP HOLDINGS PTY LTD, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY

Seven pulls guidance amid advertising uncertainties

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 25 : 25-Mar-20

Seven West Media has withdrawn the earnings guidance it issued in February, citing the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Seven had already downgraded its underlying EBIT guidance for 2019-20 at its half-year results presentation. Seven’s advertising revenue will be hit by the AFL’s decision to suspend its 2020 season until at least the end of May. It is also the official broadcaster of the Tokyo Olympic Games, which were to have been a key source of advertising revenue for the media group in 2020.

CORPORATES
SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM

Miners told to keep digging as rivals halt

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 23 : 25-Mar-20

Rio Tinto and South32 are among the Australian-listed mining companies whose operations will be affected by coronavirus lockdowns in South Africa and the Canadian province of Quebec. Production at mines in Australia is continuing at present, although New Hope Corporation’s CEO Shane Stephan says it is too soon to know if the virus will force local mines to close. He adds that it would be naive to suggest that there will be no impact. BHP CEO Mike Henry says senior government officials have indicated that they are keen for the resources industry to keep operating, given its contribution to the economy.

CORPORATES
NEW HOPE CORPORATION LIMITED – ASX NHC, BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP

BBQ ban: social life not ok

Original article by Greg Brown, Simon Benson, Geoff Chambers
The Australian – Page: 1 & 5 : 25-Mar-20

The federal government has announced further restrictions as part of the coronavirus lockdown. A range of non-essential service providers will be forced to close, including beauticians, nail salons and tattoo parlours, although hairdressers and barber shops will be permitted to remain open for now. Restrictions have also been placed on the number of people who can attend weddings and funerals, while cultural institutions such as libraries and museums will be closed. Prime Minister Scott Morrison has also urged people to stay at home if possible, and he has cautioned against attending large gatherings such as barbecues and birthday parties.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET

Brace for a record fall in GDP

Original article by Patrick Commins
The Australian – Page: 4 : 25-Mar-20

JPMorgan economist Ben Jarman expects GDP to fall by 10 per cent in the June quarter due to the coronavirus lockdown measures. The previous largest quarterly decline in GDP was just two per cent in 1974. Jarman also forecasts that the unemployment rate will rise to 11 per cent during the quarter, a view shared by Bill Evans of Westpac. However, Evans expects GDP to fall by just 3.5 per cent in the quarter. Westpac economists have also forecast a Budget deficit of $90bn in 2019-20 due to the federal government’s stimulus measures, and a deficit of $160bn in 2020-21.

CORPORATES
JP MORGAN AUSTRALIA LIMITED, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC

ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence plunges to 30-year low at 72.2

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 25-Mar-20

ANZ-Roy Morgan Australian Consumer Confidence fell a massive 27.8% to 72.2 in the week ended 12 March. This fall has bought the headline index to just above the all-time lows recorded in 1990, and 17% below the lowest point seen during the global financial crisis (Oct 2008). All sub-components of the survey plunged. Current financial conditions fell 23.9% while future financial conditions dropped 25.8%. The economic conditions subindices were also down sharply, with current economic conditions falling 37.1% and future economic conditions declining by 19.1%. ‘Time to buy a major household item’ fell by 37.2%, but the four-week moving average for ‘inflation expectations was stable at 4.0%.

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

Super fund satisfaction at risk as markets tumble

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 25-Mar-20

New data in Roy Morgan’s Superannuation Satisfaction Report shows that CARE Super has the highest customer satisfaction rating, at 74.5%. Self-managed funds scored the highest average satisfaction when compared to other sectors. The Superannuation Satisfaction Report, with data up to February 2020, shows CARE Super on 74.5%, an increase of 9.2% on 12 months ago. It placed ahead of Tasplan on 72.8% (+6.9%), Unisuper on 72.7% (+1.5%) and Cbus on 71.0% (+5.0%). Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine says that given recent heavy losses in equities markets due to the Coronavirus pandemic, these levels of customer satisfaction may be the highest we see for some time. The report’s findings are from Roy Morgan Single Source, Australia’s most trusted consumer survey, compiled by in-depth interviews with over 50,000 Australians each year.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED, CARE SUPER PTY LTD, TASPLAN LIMITED, CONSTRUCTION AND BUILDING UNIONS’ SUPERANNUATION FUND

Looking beyond the panic-buying, Australia’s big supermarket story is Aldi’s growing market share

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 25-Mar-20

Roy Morgan’s Fresh Food and Grocery Report shows that across 2019, Woolworths Group and Coles Group both declined in market share, while Aldi and other smaller supermarket chains increased. Aldi not only increased its market share of all supermarket spending, it also recorded strong growth in customer penetration. The report shows that Woolworths Group had a market share of 32.9% ($34 billion) of the total grocery market, a decrease of 0.7% compared with a year earlier. However, it was still ahead of Coles Group on 26.6% (down 1.4% to $27.4 billion), Aldi on 12.4% (up 0.6% to $12.8 billion), Fresh Food Stores on 11.8% (up 0.5% to $12.2 billion), Other Supermarkets on 9.1% (up 1.3% to $9.4 billion) and IGA on 7.3% (down 0.1% to $7.5 billion). Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine says that although the current Coronavirus shopping frenzy is the news of the day, Aldi’s continued growth is a story that has been building for many years. The report’s findings are from Roy Morgan Single Source, compiled by in-depth interviews with over 50,000 Australians each year.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED, WOOLWORTHS GROUP LIMITED – ASX WOW, COLES GROUP LIMITED – ASX COL, ALDI STORES SUPERMARKETS PTY LTD, IGA