Rio on track for world iron ore crown

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 18 : 17-Oct-19

Rio Tinto shipped 86.1 million tonnes of Pilbara iron ore during the September quarter, and 240 million tonnes in the first nine months of 2019. A strong performance in the fourth quarter could see Rio Tinto’s full-year exports top 330 million tonnes, which is the upper range of its guidance for the calendar year. This would also allow it to surpass Vale as the world’s biggest iron ore exporter, given that the Brazilian company now expects to export about 319 million tonnes for the year. Meanwhile, Rio Tinto has advised that its alumina and bauxite production in 2019 will be below previous guidance.

CORPORATES
RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, VALE SA, TURQUOISE HILL RESOURCES LIMITED

Southern Cross hit hard by sell-off

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: 19 : 16-Oct-19

Southern Cross Media Group has advised that EBITDA for the first half of 2019-20 is expected to be within the range of $60m to $68m, compared with $82m for the same period in 2018-19. The group has also reported that revenue for the first quarter was 8.5 per cent lower than previously, due to challenging conditions in the advertising market. CFO Nick McKechnie says the group has no plans for further asset sales after selling its broadcast transmission assets in August.

CORPORATES
SOUTHERN CROSS MEDIA GROUP LIMITED – ASX SXL, BROADCAST AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

ANZ compo bill jumps to $1.2bn

Original article by Joyce Moullakis
The Australian – Page: 21 : 9-Oct-19

The ANZ Bank has advised that its cash profit for the second half of 2018-19 will be marred by an after-tax charge of $559m due to increased provisions for customer-related remediation. ANZ has now announced a total of $1.22bn in after-tax compensation charges since 2017. Australia’s major banks have set aside a combined $7.6bn pre-tax to compensate customers, and Jarrod Martin of Credit Suisse expects this to increase. ANZ will release its financial results for the year to 30 September in late October.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, CREDIT SUISSE (AUSTRALIA) LIMITED, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, MORGANS FINANCIAL LIMITED, CITIGROUP PTY LTD

Billion dollar hit for NAB after ASIC action

Original article by James Fernyhough
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 15 & 18 : 3-Oct-19

National Australia Bank has advised that its cash earnings for the second half of 2018-19 will fall by about $1.23bn, while its full-year net profit will fall by $1.18bn. This has been attributed to an additional after-tax charge of $832m for its customer remediation program, as well as a change to its software capitalisation policy. NAB’s total provisions for customer remediation in the wake of the fees-for-no-service scandal has now topped $2bn. NAB will release its full-year results on 7 November.

CORPORATES
NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, MOODY’S INVESTORS SERVICE INCORPORATED, S&P GLOBAL RATINGS

Mining earnings heading for peak

Original article by Sarah-Jane Tasker
The Australian – Page: 17 & 20 : 30-Sep-19

Resources Minister Matt Canavan says the latest Resources and Energy Quarterly report underlines the importance of mining to Australia’s economy, noting that the sector contributed a third of GDP growth in the June 2019 quarter. He has urged lenders to continue to provide financing for resources and energy projects, at a time when local mining companies intend to increase their annual investment expenditure for the first time in six years. The report forecasts that resources and energy exports will top $282bn in 2019-20, eclipsing the record $279bn in 2018-19.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF INDUSTRY, INNOVATION AND SCIENCE

Westpac dividend under pressure

Original article by James Eyers
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 : 23-Sep-19

There is growing speculation that Westpac could reduce its dividend payout in response to the Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s new capital requirements. Westpac has yet to determine the size of its final dividend for 2018-19, but Credit Suisse has forecast both a lower payout and a capital raising of at least $1.5bn when Westpac releases its full-year results in early November. The prospect of further official interest rate cuts in Australia is also weighing on the earnings of the nation’s banks.

CORPORATES
WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, RESERVE BANK OF NEW ZEALAND, CREDIT SUISSE (AUSTRALIA) LIMITED, CITIGROUP PTY LTD, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, EVANS AND PARTNERS ASIA FUND – ASX EAF, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, PM CAPITAL LIMITED

Telstra stung by go-slow on NBN

Original article by Supratim Adhikari
The Australian – Page: 19 : 3-Sep-19

NBN Co’s latest corporate plan indicates that seven million homes will have an active National Broadband Network service by 30 June 2020, compared to its previous forecast of 7.5 million. The slowdown in the number of homes being connected to the NBN will not only impact on NBN Co’s revenue forecasts but on Telstra’s as well. The telco has advised that the slowdown will reduce its revenue by about $400m.

CORPORATES
NBN CO LIMITED, TELSTRA CORPORATION LIMITED – ASX TLS

Potential $50b wave of gas M&A deals around the corner

Original article by Angela Macdonald-Smith
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 27 : 30-Aug-19

David Low of Wood Mackenzie says mergers and acquisitions activity in Australia’s oil and gas sector could increase in coming years. He identifies Cooper Energy and Senex Energy as being among the smaller companies that could become takeover targets, while Oil Search could also potentially attract suitors following its recent share price weakness. Low adds that international companies such as ConocoPhillips and Eni could opt to divest some or all of their assets in Australia.

CORPORATES
WOOD MACKENZIE, COOPER ENERGY LIMITED – ASX COE, SENEX ENERGY LIMITED – ASX SXY, OIL SEARCH LIMITED – ASX OSH, CONOCOPHILLIPS, ENTE NAZIONALE IDROCARBURI SPA, COMET RIDGE LIMITED – ASX COI, GALILEE ENERGY LIMITED – ASX GLL, WOODSIDE PETROLEUM LIMITED – ASX WPL, SANTOS LIMITED – ASX STO, QUADRANT ENERGY PTY LTD

Macquarie’s $1.6bn capital raise

Original article by Joyce Moullakis
The Australian – Page: 17 & 21 : 29-Aug-19

Macquarie Group has advised that its profit for the six months to 30 September will be about 10 per cent higher than the $1.3bn result for the same period in 2018. Macquarie posted a record profit of $2.98bn for the year to 31 March, and Jonathan Mott of UBS has forecast a profit of $3.04bn for fiscal 2020. Meanwhile, Macquarie is seeking to raise $1bn from institutional investors and up to $600m from retail investors via a share purchase plan. Most of the proceeds will be invested in assets such renewable energy, technology and infrastructure.

CORPORATES
MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG, UBS HOLDINGS PTY LTD, CADENCE CAPITAL LIMITED – ASX CDT, MOODY’S INVESTORS SERVICE INCORPORATED, CITIGROUP PTY LTD

FMG’s dilemma as record profit meets price fall

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 : 26-Aug-19

Fortescue Metals Group is forecast to post a record underlying profit of $US3.03bn ($4.49bn) for 2018-19, following a rally in the iron ore price during the financial year. Some analysts expect the pure-play miner to announce a final dividend on 26 August, despite the recent fall in the iron ore price and the fact that Fortescue’s interim dividend was well within its stated target of paying 50-80 per cent of its net profits in dividends.

CORPORATES
FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG, BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, UBS HOLDINGS PTY LTD, MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG, ILUKA RESOURCES LIMITED – ASX ILU