Tax big banks for implied guarantee

Original article by Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 25 : 22-Mar-19

Australia’s four major banks are able to access wholesale funding at cheaper rates because of an implied guarantee that the federal government will not let them fail because of their size. ME Bank CEO Jamie McPhee says governments should tax the bigger banks because they get cheaper funding as a result of the "too big to fail" guarantee, and that this would make it easier for smaller banks to compete. ME Bank has advised that its net profit for the second half of 2018 fell 11 per cent to $41 million.

CORPORATES
ME BANK, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIA. PRODUCTIVITY COMMISSION

TPG calls for reduction in damaging NBN price

Original article by James Fernyhough
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 14 & 20 : 20-Mar-19

TPG Telecom has posted a 2018-19 interim net profit of $47.4m, which is 76.3 per cent lower than previously. The result was marred by a write-down associated with a decision to shelve plans for its own mobile network. TPG has advised that earnings from its core residential fixed-line broadband business fell 4.8 per cent to $243m during the half-year. CFO Craig Levy has warned that TPG will have to scrap its entry-level national broadband network plan unless NBN Co reduces its wholesale prices for budget plans.

CORPORATES
TPG TELECOM LIMITED – ASX TPM, NBN CO LIMITED, TELSTRA CORPORATION LIMITED – ASX TLS, NEW STREET RESEARCH, GOLDMAN SACHS AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, VODAFONE AUSTRALIA LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION

Delays imperil 300 mining jobs

Original article by Paul Garvey
The Australian – Page: 22 : 20-Mar-19

New Hope Corporation has posted a 2018-19 interim net profit of $159.8m, which is 33 per cent higher than previously. The result was boosted by its increased stake in the Bengalla coal mine in New South Wales. Meanwhile, MD Shane Stephan has warned that the company will have to retrench workers at its New Acland mine in Queensland if it does not gain approval for its third-stage expansion by the September quarter. New Acland boasts 300 direct employees and 500 contractors.

CORPORATES
NEW HOPE CORPORATION LIMITED – ASX NHC, MORGANS FINANCIAL LIMITED

ING gains as customers flee the big banks

Original article by James Eyers
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 : 14-Mar-19

The number of customers for whom ING Australia is their main bank has risen by 57 per cent in the last year, to 645,000. This compares with just 100,000 customers in 2013. ING Australia CEO Uday Sareen says positive advocacy from the digital-only bank’s existing customers has been a major of its recent growth, which has also coincided with the Hayne royal commission. ING Australia booked a statutory net profit of $401m in 2018, an increase of 15 per cent, while deposits grew by nine per cent to $43.4bn.

CORPORATES
ING AUSTRALIA HOLDINGS LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, BANK OF QUEENSLAND LIMITED – ASX BOQ, BENDIGO AND ADELAIDE BANK LIMITED – ASX BEN, APPLE PAY, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC

Reprieve for Myer as profits rise

Original article by Eli Greenblat
The Australian – Page: 17 & 27 : 7-Mar-19

Department store group Myer Holdings has posted a 2018-19 interim profit of $38.4m, compared with a writedown-marred loss of $476m for the previous corresponding period. Myer’s underlying profit was up 3.1 per cent at $41.3m, but sales fell by 2.8 per cent to $1.67bn. CEO John King says Myer will continue to sale overseas fashion brands, but it will seek to increase its in-house brands’ share of group sales from 17.5 per cent to 20 per cent.

CORPORATES
MYER HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX MYR, DAVID JONES LIMITED, CREDIT SUISSE (AUSTRALIA) LIMITED

Resources strength holds up reporting season

Original article by David Rogers
The Australian – Page: 28 : 5-Mar-19

Paul Winter of UBS notes that Australia’s latest February reporting season featured more earnings downgrades than upgrades for the first time in the last four years. Hasan Tevfik of MST Marquee adds that while the reporting season was better than expected, this was largely due to a strong performance by the resources sector, which offset weakness in other sectors. Earnings-per-share growth for S&P/ASX 200 stocks is now forecast to be 6.3 per cent in 2018-19, compared with 7.6 per cent in 2017-18.

CORPORATES
STANDARD AND POOR’S ASX 200 INDEX, UBS HOLDINGS PTY LTD, MST MARQUEE, MORGAN STANLEY AUSTRALIA LIMITED

Miners fuel drive towards surplus

Original article by David Uren
The Australian – Page: 4 : 5-Mar-19

Westpac and the ANZ Bank expect the latest national accounts data to show that the Australian economy grew by 0.2 per cent in the December quarter, while National Australia Bank has forecast growth of 0.4 per cent. Meanwhile, data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that pre-tax profits in the resources sector rose by $17.5bn in calendar 2018, which will in turn boost federal government revenue. However, earnings outside of the resources sector fell by 1.5 per cent during 2018.

CORPORATES
WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY

Ramsay plays down Brexit risks as recovery starts to show

Original article by Carrie LaFrenz
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 & 22 : 1-Mar-19

Ramsay Health Care has reported a 2018-19 interim net profit of $270.1 million, up 9.6 per cent, while revenue rose by 14.9 per cent to $5.12 billion. Meanwhile, CEO Craig McNally says its UK division is beginning to show some promising signs, although Brexit could pose some short-term challenges. Ramsay’s UK unit generates less than 10 per cent of the private hospital operator’s revenue. McNally says that staffing and supply would be the two biggest areas where Brexit would impact on its UK division.

CORPORATES
RAMSAY HEALTH CARE LIMITED – ASX RHC, CAPIO AB, MONTGOMERY INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT PTY LTD

House slump hits Harvey Norman

Original article by Sue Mitchell
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 & 22 : 1-Mar-19

Furniture and electronics retailer Harvey Norman has posted a 2018-19 interim net profit of $222.8m, which is 7.3 per cent higher than previously. Its Australian franchised stores recorded sales of $2.95bn for the period, a decline of 1.7 per cent, and there was an 0.6 per cent fall in same-store sales. However, its overseas stores boasted sales of $1.07bn, an increase of 12.1 per cent. Chairman Gerry Harvey is confident that Harvey Norman’s overseas stores will eventually contribute 50 per cent of its earnings.

CORPORATES
HARVEY NORMAN HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX HVN, ALLERON INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT LIMITED, IKEA

OZ sets sights on long-term payoff

Original article by Simon Evans
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 : 28-Feb-19

OZ Minerals has posted a 2018 net profit of $222.4m, which is 3.8 per cent lower than previously, although revenue was up 9.2 per cent at $1.12bn. Shareholders will receive a final dividend of $0.15 per share, but OZ has opted against paying a special dividend to finance growth projects such as the Carrapateena copper mine in South Australia. CEO Andrew Cole has also indicated that OZ will not proceed with a concentrate treatment plant in SA as it does not "stack up" at present.

CORPORATES
OZ MINERALS LIMITED – ASX OZL, AVANCO RESOURCES LIMITED, JP MORGAN AUSTRALIA LIMITED