Bank loan losses to reduce dividends

Original article by Richard Gluyas
The Australian – Page: 21 : 24-Apr-19

Citigroup has downplayed investors’ concerns about the high dividend payout ratios of Australia’ major banks. Brendan Sproule of Citigroup says banks are likely to absorb one-off costs rather than reduce their payout ratios. Instead, a sharp increase in loan losses is seen to be the main threat to continued high dividend ratios. Sproules adds that the Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s review of its bank capital framework is unlikely to impact on Australia’s major banks.

CORPORATES
CITIGROUP PTY LTD, BELL POTTER SECURITIES LIMITED, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, RESERVE BANK OF NEW ZEALAND

Lendlease and Vicinity both takeover targets, says JPM

Original article by Nick Lenaghan
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 31 : 23-Apr-19

JP Morgan’s Global REIT Radar report suggests that a sharp fall in the share prices of Lendlease and Vicinity Centres could make them potential takeover targets. Ben Brayshaw of JP Morgan says both stocks are currently trading well below the firm’s estimate of their net asset value. The report also notes that real estate investment trusts have delivered a total return of 18.5 per cent over the last year, while global equities have returned just 7.6 per cent.

CORPORATES
LEND LEASE GROUP LIMITED – ASX LLC, VICINITY CENTRES – ASX VCX, JP MORGAN AUSTRALIA LIMITED, CROWN ESTATE, MAURICE BLACKBURN PTY LTD, SUPREME COURT OF NEW SOUTH WALES

Santos warns of PRRT tax hit

Original article by Paul Garvey
The Australian – Page: 20 : 18-Apr-19

Santos has posted sales revenue of $1.01bn for the March quarter, which is 28 per cent higher than previously, while free cash flow rose to a record $327m. Santos has also advised that it produced 18.4 million barrels of oil equivalent during the quarter, which is up 33 per cent year-on-year. Meanwhile, Santos has indicated that its earnings could be adversely affected by changes to the petroleum resource rent tax that take effect on 1 July.

CORPORATES
SANTOS LIMITED – ASX STO, ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC, CONOCOPHILLIPS, QUADRANT ENERGY PTY LTD, RBC CAPITAL MARKETS

Iron ore players hit by Vale mine restart

Original article by Nick Evans
The Australian – Page: 17 & 26 : 18-Apr-19

Shares in Fortescue Metals Group, BHP and Rio Tinto fell sharply on 17 April, after Vale was cleared to resume production at its Brucutu iron ore mine. News that Vale expects production to resume within days also weighed on the iron ore price. Meanwhile, BHP has advised that its iron ore production costs will rise due to the impact of Cyclone Veronica; full-year production guidance for its Pilbara operations has been reduced to between 265 and 270 million tonnes. BHP’s Pilbara iron ore shipments totalled 64 million tonnes in the March quarter.

CORPORATES
FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG, BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, VALE SA, RBC CAPITAL MARKETS, CITIGROUP PTY LTD

Rio cuts iron ore production guidance as port problem lingers

Original article by Brad Thompson
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 : 17-Apr-19

Rio Tinto has advised that its iron ore production in the Pilbara is likely to be within the range of 333 million to 343 million tonnes in 2019. This compares with previous guidance of 338 million to 350 million tonnes. The downgrade follows disruptions caused by Cyclone Veronica and fires at two separate screening plants. Peter O’Connor of Shaw & Partners says the impact of these disruptions on Rio Tinto’s output should be offset by higher iron ore prices.

CORPORATES
RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, SHAW AND PARTNERS LIMITED

Industry funds to reach $2trn within 10 years

Original article by Joanna Mather
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 3 : 16-Apr-19

KPMG has forecast that Australia’s superannuation industry will boast $5.4trn worth of funds under management by 2029, compared with just $2.7trn at present. The firm’s 2019 Super Insights report also forecasts that industry funds will manage $2trn in 2029, up from $631bn in 2019. Paul Howes of KPMG says union-backed industry funds must ensure that they comply with the ‘sole-purpose test’ as their dominance of the super industry increases.

CORPORATES
KPMG AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, AUSTRALIANSUPER PTY LTD, SUNSUPER PTY LTD, HOST-PLUS, AUSTRALIAN WORKERS’ UNION-FEDERATION OF INDUSTRIAL, MANUFACTURING AND ENGINEERING EMPLOYEES, AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, MLC LIMITED, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, BT FINANCIAL GROUP PTY LTD, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP

Whitehaven to roll out driverless trucks

Original article by Nick Evans
The Australian – Page: 21 : 12-Apr-19

Whitehaven Coal has downgraded its sales expectations for 2018-19 to between 20.5 and 21 million tonnes, compared with previous guidance of 21.5 to 22.5 million tonnes. It follows a three per cent fall in production during the March quarter, with output affected by lower yields at its Maules Creek mine in New South Wales. Meanwhile, Whitehaven has advised that it aims to deploy six autonomous haulage trucks at the Maules Creek mine by October. It will be the first time driverless trucks have been used at an Australian coal mine.

CORPORATES
WHITEHAVEN COAL LIMITED – ASX WHC, BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, MORGANS FINANCIAL LIMITED

Nation’s residential building boom well and truly over: BIS

Original article by Michael Bleby
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 31 : 11-Apr-19

BIS Oxford Economics is bearish about the near-term outlook for Australia’s housing construction market. The firm has forecast that the sector will be hit by a two-year correction, with the number of new dwelling starts tipped to fall to 161,000 a year. This compares with between 220,000 and 230,000 annually over the last four years. Meanwhile, official data shows that there was a 16.3 per cent decline in housing starts during the December quarter, which is the largest quarter-on-quarter fall since September 2000.

CORPORATES
BIS OXFORD ECONOMICS PTY LTD, COMMONWEALTH SECURITIES LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, BROOKFIELD MULTIPLEX LIMITED

Rio faces new iron ore output hit after fire

Original article by Brad Thompson
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 : 10-Apr-19

Rio Tinto’s iron ore shipments from the Pilbara will be further disrupted following a fire at a screening plant on East Intercourse Island. It follows a fire at another iron ore screening plant in early 2019, while Rio Tinto declared force majeure on some of its supply contracts in the wake of Cyclone Veronica in March. The latest incident may affect Rio Tinto’s ability to meet its full-year production guidance of 338 million to 350 million tonnes. Meanwhile, Rio Tinto has advised that it paid $US4.8bn ($6.5bn) in taxes and royalties in Australia in 2018, and $US6.8bn globally.

CORPORATES
RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, UBS HOLDINGS PTY LTD, BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP

BHP’s forecasts blown away by wild weather

Original article by Nick Evans
The Australian – Page: 42 : 3-Apr-19

BHP has advised that Cyclone Veronica did not cause major damage to its iron ore operations in the Pilbara. However, the resources group has warned that its annual output will be reduced by 6-8 million tonnes due to the cyclone. BHP indicated earlier in 2019 that its export volumes had been cut by four million tonnes due to the forced derailment of an iron ore train in late 2018. Rio Tinto also recently downgraded its iron ore production forecast in the wake of Cyclone Veronica.

CORPORATES
BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, INCITEC PIVOT LIMITED – ASX IPL, UBS HOLDINGS PTY LTD, INSURANCE COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA LIMITED