Global dividends on the rise

Original article by David Rogers
The Australian – Page: 27 : 8-Feb-19

Data from Plato Investment Management shows that dividends increased across the majority of developed markets in 2018, with a total payout to shareholders of $1.8trn. Globally, companies in the information technology sector increased their dividends by 33 per cent in the December quarter, followed by consumer staples (up 17.9 per cent). The global materials sector is the only one that did not record growth in dividend payments. In contrast, Australia’s materials sector recorded year-on-year dividend growth of 26 per cent.

CORPORATES
PLATO INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT LIMITED, STANDARD AND POOR’S ASX 300 INDEX, BROADCOM CORPORATION, VISA INTERNATIONAL

FIRB gets tougher on China firms

Original article by Angus Grigg
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 2 : 17-Jan-19

The Foreign Investment Review Board is now said to be subjecting most takeover bids by Chinese companies to scrutiny to ensure that they are in the national interest. Regulation of such takeovers was relaxed under the Australia-China free-trade agreement, with deals that are below a certain threshold being exempt from FIRB approval. However, sources have indicated that the policy shift has been prompted by the introduction of China’s National Intelligence Law, which has increased the central government’s influence over private companies.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. FOREIGN INVESTMENT REVIEW BOARD, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, UNITED STATES. DEPT OF DEFENSE, HEALIUS LIMITED – ASX HLS, JANGHO GROUP, AUSGRID PTY LTD, STATE GRID CORPORATION OF CHINA, APA GROUP – ASX APA, CHEUNG KONG INFRASTRUCTURE HOLDINGS LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN STRATEGIC POLICY INSTITUTE LIMITED, FEDERATION OF GERMAN INDUSTRIES

Banks plan exit from uninvestible Britain

Original article by Sarah Turner, Hans van Leeuwen, Lisa Murray
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 10 : 16-Jan-19

The Commonwealth Bank has confirmed that it will establish a subsidiary in Amsterdam in response to continuing uncertainty surrounding Britain’s departure from the European Union. Other Australian banks with a presence in the UK are also looking to set up subsidiaries in other European countries to ensure that they can keep operating in the region. Mark Tinkler of AXA Investment Managers says the UK is largely "uninvestible" until the Brexit uncertainty is resolved. The British parliament will shortly vote on the Brexit deal of Prime Minister Theresa May.

CORPORATES
COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, AXA INVESTMENT MANAGERS PTY LTD, GREAT BRITAIN. OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, ALPHINITY INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT PTY LTD, GRANT SAMUEL FUNDS MANAGEMENT PTY LTD, GERMANY. FEDERAL FINANCIAL SUPERVISORY AUTHORITY (BAFIN), BANK OF ENGLAND. PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY

China’s $2b swoop on health giant

Original article by Carrie LaFrenz
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 6 : 4-Jan-19

Shares in pathology, imaging and medical centres operator Healius closed 7.8 per cent higher at $2.63 on 3 January, in response to a takeover bid from Jangho Group. The Chinese company already has a 15.93 per cent stake in Healius and is offering $3.25 per share. Healius, which changed its name from Primary Health Care in late 2018, has advised shareholders to take no action regarding the unsolicited offer at present. It has stressed that Jangho’s approach may not necessarily result in a deal.

CORPORATES
HEALIUS LIMITED – ASX HLS, JANGHO GROUP, VISION EYE INSTITUTE LIMITED, MONASH IVF GROUP LIMITED – ASX MVF, HEALTHSCOPE LIMITED – ASX HSO, MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG, CHEUNG KONG INFRASTRUCTURE HOLDINGS LIMITED, APA GROUP – ASX APA, HUAWEI TECHNOLOGIES COMPANY LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRIES LIMITED – ASX API, SIGMA HEALTHCARE LIMITED – ASX SIG, AUSTRALIA. FOREIGN INVESTMENT REVIEW BOARD, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, KING AND WOOD MALLESONS, UBS HOLDINGS PTY LTD

Chinese look to exit unit projects

Original article by Lisa Allen, Ben Wilmot
The Australian – Page: 15 & 16 : 4-Jan-19

Many Chinese property developers are seeking to divest residential development sites on Australia’s east coast due to factors such as difficulty in securing financing and a decline in demand for apartments. Matrix founder Andrew Antonas says many sites that have scope for 300 to 400 apartments and are located within 15-20km of the Sydney CBD have been put on the market. However, he notes that smaller sites with a capacity of up to 200 apartments and the same distance from the CBD are being retained by developers. Mark Wizel of CBRE expects more Chinese developers to shift their focus to investing in local shopping centres.

CORPORATES
MATRIX PROPERTY GROUP PTY LTD, CBRE PTY LTD, SHIMAO PROPERTY HOLDINGS LIMITED, DALIAN WANDA GROUP COMPANY LIMITED, HNA GROUP, HPG, HAILIANG, YUHU GROUP (AUSTRALIA) PTY LTD, CHARTER HALL GROUP – ASX CHC

BHP left holding Chilean mine after deal collapses

Original article by James Thomson
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 23 : 14-Dec-18

Private equity firm EMR Capital will not proceed with a deal to buy BHP Group’s Cerro Colorado copper mine in Chile. EMR has advised that the $US320m ($443m) transaction has been abandoned due to problems in meeting its deadline to secure financing. The deal had been announced in June; EMR recently acquired a majority stake in a copper mine in Zambia.

CORPORATES
BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, EMR CAPITAL PTY LTD, RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, PT ADARO ENERGY TBK

Stop demonising us, says Adani chief

Original article by Mark Ludlow
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 11 : 4-Dec-18

Adani Mining CEO Lucas Dow has called for the "demonisation" of its controversial Carmichael coal mining project in Queensland to end. Adani announced in the week ending 30 November that the project will finally go ahead, albeit on a much reduced scale, and that it will be self-funded. Dow says Adani accepts that some people are against the Carmichael project, but the debate about it proceeding or not should be based around facts, not "myths, half-truths and deceptions". He says Adani is sick of being used as a "political football".

CORPORATES
ADANI MINING PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, QUEENSLAND RESOURCES COUNCIL LIMITED, GETUP LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET

Coal boom looms after Adani start

Original article by Michael McKenna, Jared Owens, Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 1 & 2 : 30-Nov-18

India-based Adani will commence construction work on the Carmichael thermal coal project in Queensland’s Galilee Basin before the end of 2018. The mine and associated rail infrastructure is slated to cost less than $2bn, compared with initial expectations of $16.5bn. The scale of the project has been pared back from 60 million tonnes per annum to just 10 million in its first year, although this will gradually increase to 27.5 million tonnes. Queensland Resources Council CEO Ian Macfarlane says that up to five other coal projects in the basin could now proceed.

CORPORATES
ADANI MINING PTY LTD, QUEENSLAND RESOURCES COUNCIL LIMITED, MACMINES AUSTASIA PTY LTD, QUEENSLAND. OFFICE OF THE CO-ORDINATOR GENERAL, GVK INDUSTRIES LIMITED, HANCOCK PROSPECTING PTY LTD, QUEENSLAND. DEPT OF THE PREMIER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF INDUSTRY, INNOVATION AND SCIENCE, CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, SEW-EURODRIVE PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN CONSERVATION FOUNDATION INCORPORATED

Rio cuts Iran ties, flags sovereign risks

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 15 : 27-Nov-18

Rio Tinto has advised that its 68.8 per cent stake in the Rossing uranium mine in Namibia will be sold to China National Uranium Corporation for between $US6.5 million and $US106.5 million. The Iranian Foreign Investments Company owns 15.29 per cent of Rossing; its ownership has caused discomfort for Rio, given that the US and other western nations have imposed sanctions on Iran in recent years. Rio CEO Jean-Sebastien Jacques says its investments in the developing world are still presenting challenges, including the Oyu Tolgoi copper mine in Mongolia.

CORPORATES
RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, CHINA NATIONAL URANIUM CORPORATION, IRANIAN FOREIGN INVESTMENTS COMPANY

APA shares plunge after Canberra blocks CKI buy bid

Original article by Matt Chambers, Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: Online : 9-Nov-18

Shares in APA Group fell by 10 per cent on 8 November after Treasurer Josh Frydenberg indicated his "preliminary view" on Hong Kong-listed CK Infrastructure’s $13 billion bid for the pipeline operator. Frydenberg stated he did not consider the bid to be in the "national interest"; he is expected to make his final decision in around two weeks. Superannuation fund infrastructure investor IFM is seen as the local entity most likely to make an approach to APA with a bid if Frydenberg’s views remain unchanged; any Australian-based bid for APA is expected to be lower than CKI’s

CORPORATES
APA GROUP – ASX APA, CHEUNG KONG INFRASTRUCTURE HOLDINGS LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, IFM INVESTORS PTY LTD, WOOD MACKENZIE, COOPER ENERGY LIMITED – ASX COE, DUET GROUP, MOODY’S ANALYTICS AUSTRALIA PTY LTD