Vocus has no regrets as turnaround proves too risky for EQT

Original article by James Fernyhough
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 13 & 20 : 6-Jun-19

Vocus Group CEO Kevin Russell says he is not aware of any other potential takeover approaches for the telco, after EQT Infrastructure chose not to make a binding offer for the company. EQT undertook due diligence on Vocus after approaching it with a non-binding offer of $5.25 per share. The Sweden-based private equity firm’s decision to walk away from a deal prompted a sell-down of Vocus shares on 5 June, with the stock closing almost 18 per cent lower at $3.77. Russell says Vocus is making progress in its turnaround strategy.

CORPORATES
VOCUS GROUP LIMITED – ASX VOC, EQT INFRASTRUCTURE, M2 GROUP LIMITED, AGL ENERGY LIMITED – ASX AGL, SINGTEL OPTUS PTY LTD, GREENCAPE CAPITAL PTY LTD

BHP faces call for write-down as Rio advances potash dream

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 15 : 3-Jun-19

BHP is slated to decide within 18 months if it will commit an additional $US5.5bn to the first stage of its Jansen potash project in Canada. CEO Andrew Mackenzie recently told investors that BHP has overinvested in the project to date, and James Gurry of Deutsche Bank says it may be a good time for BHP to review the carrying value of Jansen. He adds that there is potential for an initial impairment of around $US1.2bn ($1.7bn). Meanwhile, Rio Tinto’s Albany potash joint venture in Canada could commence production within two years.

CORPORATES
BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, DEUTSCHE BANK AG, RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, JSC AKRON

Packer’s sale of $1.76b stake in Crown Resorts puts spotlight on Barangaroo pledge

Original article by Nick Bonyhady, Nick Toscano
The Brisbane Times – Page: Online : 31-May-19

James Packer has sold half of his stake in Crown Resorts to Hong Kong-based Melco Resorts & Entertainment, a company with which Crown once operated a casino in Macau under a joint venture. The $1.76 billion deal was transacted via Packer’s private company Consolidated Press Holdings, and leaves Packer with around 25 per cent of Crown. However, there are suggestions that the share sale may breach the conditions of Crown’s operating licence in New South Wales; a condition of the agreement requires Crown to have no associations with Stanley Ho, the father of Melco owner Lawrence Ho.

CORPORATES
CROWN RESORTS LIMITED – ASX CWN, MELCO RESORTS AND ENTERTAINMENT

Banks bluffing on NZ lending threats: former PM

Original article by James Eyers
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 & 20 : 24-May-19

Former New Zealand prime minister Bill English has concerns about the Reserve Bank of NZ’s plans to require the local subsidiaries of Australia’s big four banks to increase their capital levels. S&P Global Ratings has estimated that the banks would need to raise an additional $8.1 billion, given that Australia’s four major banks have an 86 per cent share of the NZ lending market. English is worried that the move will make the banks more complacent about risk management, although he doubts that they will go ahead with threats to reduce lending in New Zealand.

CORPORATES
RESERVE BANK OF NEW ZEALAND, S&P GLOBAL RATINGS, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, STOCKBROKERS AND FINANCIAL ADVISERS ASSOCIATION LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

St Barbara confident of Atlantic gold

Original article by Nick Evans
The Australian – Page: 20 : 16-May-19

Gold producer St Barbara will finance its proposed $768m acquisition of Canada-based Atlantic Gold via a non-renounceable rights offer and cash holdings. Paul Hissey of RBC describes Canada as a "relatively safe move" for St Barbara. Atlantic has forecast that its gold production in 2019 will be within the range of 92,000-98,000 ounces. Newcrest Mining and Northern Star Resources are among the other Australian miners to have bought North American assets in the last year.

CORPORATES
ST BARBARA LIMITED – ASX SBM, ATLANTIC GOLD CORPORATION, RBC CAPITAL MARKETS, NEWCREST MINING LIMITED – ASX NCM, NORTHERN STAR RESOURCES LIMITED – ASX NST, ALLIED GOLD

Asians still biggest investors: Knight Frank

Original article by Lisa Allen
The Australian – Page: 25 : 9-May-19

The federal government’s restrictions on foreign investment in residential property have not been a deterrent for Asian buyers. Liam Bailey of Knight Frank says people from China and Southeast Asia are still the biggest investors in the local residential market. The global head of research notes that a number of other countries have imposed similar restrictions on foreign investors. Bailey forecasts growth in demand for geographically diverse property investments as global wealth increases.

CORPORATES
KNIGHT FRANK, CROWN RESORTS LIMITED – ASX CWN

Embattled Purplebricks to quit Australian market

Original article by Larry Schlesinger
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 29 : 8-May-19

UK-based online real estate agent Purplebricks has advised that its Australian operations will be discontinued, citing factors such as challenging market conditions. Purplebricks entered the local market in September 2016, with co-founder and global CEO Michael Bruce forecasting that the Australian business would succeed. However, its fixed-fee sales model proved to be problematic for real estate agents, particularly given the downturn in the housing market.

CORPORATES
PURPLEBRICKS AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, PURPLEBRICKS GROUP PLC, UBS HOLDINGS PTY LTD

Gupta to make 20,000 Aussie electric cars

Original article by Simon Evans
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 14 & 18 : 30-Apr-19

British billionaire Sanjeev Gupta has indicated that GFG Alliance will announce further details of its plans to build electric cars in Australia within weeks. Gupta says the company aims to build between 10,000 and 20,000 electric cars in Australia, adding that he is of the view that the nation should be a manufacturer of such vehicles rather than just importing them. He also says the price of electric cars is likely to fall over time as more consumers embrace the technology.

CORPORATES
GFG ALLIANCE, GORDON MURRAY DESIGN, ARRIUM LIMITED, ARCELOR MITTAL SA, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET

Woodside CFO upbeat on prospects for Kitimat LNG

Original article by Angela Macdonald-Smith
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 : 23-Apr-19

Woodside Petroleum and Chevron plan to increase the proposed capacity of their Kitimat LNG project in British Columbia from 10 million tonnes a year to 18 million tonnes, and add a third production train. Woodside CEO Sherry Duhe says it is too soon to know whether Chevron’s acquisition of Anadarko Petroleum will impact on the Kitimat project. She has also downplayed concerns about a fall in LNG spot prices in Asia, citing factors such as increased global supply and a warmer-than-expected winter in the northern hemisphere.

CORPORATES
WOODSIDE PETROLEUM LIMITED – ASX WPL, CHEVRON CORPORATION, ANADARKO PETROLEUM CORPORATION, ENN GROUP, CANADA. NATIONAL ENERGY BOARD, CITIGROUP PTY LTD

Japan Inc splashes out on Dulux

Original article by Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 17 : 18-Apr-19

Directors of DuluxGroup have endorsed a cash offer of $9.80 per share from Japan-based Nippon Paint, which values the deal at $3.8bn. DuluxGroup CEO Patrick Houlihan says the deal will allow the Melbourne-based company to sell its products in more international markets, following the recent launch of its Selleys range in Indonesia. Nippon Paint has stressed that DuluxGroup will retain its branding and leadership team.

CORPORATES
DULUXGROUP LIMITED – ASX DLX, NIPPON PAINT, SELLEYS CHEMICAL COMPANY PTY LTD, PARCHEM CONSTRUCTION PRODUCTS PTY LTD, CRAIG AND ROSE, JAPAN POST COMPANY LIMITED, TOLL HOLDINGS LIMITED, MITSUBISHI UFJ FINANCIAL GROUP INCORPORATED, COLONIAL FIRST STATE GLOBAL ASSET MANAGEMENT, ORICA LIMITED – ASX ORI