China turning off the cash tap

Original article by Glenda Korporaal
The Australian – Page: 1 & 2 : 9-Jun-20

A report produced by KPMG and the University of Sydney shows that Chinese investment in Australia fell to a 12-year in 2019. Chinese investment fell by 60 per cent to $3.4bn in total, including the acquisition of Bellamy’s Australia for $1.5bn. The report also shows that China-based investors made just 42 deals in Australia during 2019, compared with 74 in 2018. The report covers completed deals worth more than $US5m. Doug Ferguson of KPMG says Chinese investment in Australia is likely to continue to fall in 2020.

CORPORATES
KPMG AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

Tighter test for foreign investors

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 6 : 5-Jun-20

The federal government will announce a revamp of Australia’s foreign investment regime on 5 June; the government wants to close what it contends are ‘national security’ gaps in the current rules. One of the changes will see the Foreign Investment Review Board apply a National Security Test to assets defined as a ‘sensitive national security business’; such assets include water, telecommunications and energy. The government intends to legislate the changes in July, with the intention of having them come into effect in January.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. FOREIGN INVESTMENT REVIEW BOARD

Seven takes Bauer to court over mags deal

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: 15 : 9-Apr-20

Seven West Media has stated that Bauer Media’s contract to buy Pacific Magazines is unconditional following recent regulatory approval for the $40m deal. Seven has launched court action to ensure that Bauer completes the deal. There has been speculation that Germany-based Bauer could withdraw from the Australian market following its decision to shut down its New Zealand arm. Seven in turn has flagged the possibility of further asset sales to reduce its $541m debt.

CORPORATES
SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, PACIFIC MAGAZINES PTY LTD, BAUER MEDIA AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, BAUER MEDIA KG

Thriving US equities tipped to defy global risks

Original article by David Rogers
The Australian – Page: 28 : 11-Feb-20

Kevin Anderson of State Street Global Advisors expects US economic growth to slow in 2020, but he says the country is unlikely to go into recession. Anderson adds that the asset manager has an overweight exposure to equities, and it is particularly upbeat about US shares. He says earnings will be a major driver of returns from equities in 2020, and the US is less vulnerable to an earnings shock than other markets. Meanwhile, Anderson is not unduly concerned about a recent flattening of the US yield curve, saying it was primarily due to 10-year bonds being regarded as a safe-haven investment.

CORPORATES
STATE STREET GLOBAL ADVISORS INCORPORATED

Kaufland exit helps Coles

Original article by Eli Greenblat
The Australian – Page: 17 : 24-Jan-20

JP Morgan analyst Shaun Cousins says Coles and Metcash have most to gain from Kaufland’s decision to abandon the $100 billion Australian grocery market before it had even opened a store. He says the gap in the market that the German retailer had sought to fill was not obvious, while Citigroup’s Bryan Raymond says Kaufland’s exit has removed a major risk from what he says has been a very rational grocery industry in the past 12 months.

CORPORATES
COLES GROUP LIMITED – ASX COL, METCASH LIMITED – ASX MTS, KAUFLAND STIFTUNG & CO KG, JP MORGAN AUSTRALIA LIMITED, CITIGROUP PTY LTD

Retail invasion over as Kaufland beats a retreat from the Australian market

Original article by Eli Greenblat
The Australian – Page: 15 & 23 : 23-Jan-20

Shares in grocery retailers Coles and Woolworths rallied on 22 January, after German supermarket group Kaufland announced that it has abandoned plans to expand into the Australian market. Kaufland has advised that its 200 employees in Australia will receive their full entitlements; the majority had previously been employed by Coles or Woolworths. Schwarz Group is believed to have invested about $500m in Kaufland’s Australian operations, with plans to open at least 20 stores across the country.

CORPORATES
KAUFLAND STIFTUNG & CO KG, SCHWARZ GROUP, COLES GROUP LIMITED – ASX COL, WOOLWORTHS GROUP LIMITED – ASX WOW

Japan tipped to lead inbound M&A

Original article by Lucas Baird
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 14 : 6-Jan-20

Alex Cartel of Deutsche Bank expects Japanese companies to pursue more takeover deals in Australia during 2020, following bids for Carlton & United Breweries and DuluxGroup in 2019. He notes that Japan has replaced China as a key driver of inbound mergers and acquisitions deals in the last several years. Simon Ranson of JP Morgan adds that offshore private equity firms are cashed up, noting that factors such as the low Australian dollar will make the nation attractive to them.

CORPORATES
DEUTSCHE BANK AG, JP MORGAN AUSTRALIA LIMITED, CARLTON AND UNITED BREWERIES, DULUXGROUP LIMITED, ASAHI GROUP, NIPPON PAINT, HERBERT SMITH FREEHILLS PTY LTD, BELLAMY’S AUSTRALIA LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. FOREIGN INVESTMENT REVIEW BOARD, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION

Bight fight as drilling approved

Original article by Nick Evans, Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 13 & 18 : 19-Dec-19

The National Offshore Petroleum Safety & Environmental Management Authority has imposed a number of conditions on Equinor after granting environmental approval for its plans for a drilling program in the Great Australian Bight. Amongst other things, the Norway-based energy group will be restricted to drilling between October and May. Environmental groups have opposed drilling in the Bight, as has mining magnate Andrew Forrest. Equinor expects to drill the first exploration well in late 2020.

CORPORATES
EQUINOR ASA, AUSTRALIA. NATIONAL OFFSHORE PETROLEUM SAFETY AND ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF INDUSTRY, INNOVATION AND SCIENCE, CHEVRON CORPORATION, BP PLC, THE WILDERNESS SOCIETY, AUSTRALIAN PETROLEUM PRODUCTION AND EXPLORATION ASSOCIATION LIMITED, ACIL TASMAN PTY LTD, WOOD MACKENZIE

FAR moves closer to Senegal ambitions

Original article by Angela Macdonald-Smith
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 20 : 11-Dec-19

FAR Limited has yet to confirm details of a capital raising, with its shares placed in a trading halt on 10 December pending an announcement. The equity raising is believed to include a $146m share placement and a $30m share purchase plan. The capital raising and a new debt facility will provide FAR with the funding needed to proceed with the Sangomar oil project in Senegal, in which it has a 15 per cent stake. The project is initially slated to produce about 230,000 million barrels of oil, commencing in 2023.

CORPORATES
FAR LIMITED – ASX FAR, WOODSIDE PETROLEUM LIMITED – ASX WPL, CAIRN ENERGY PLC

Rio Tinto’s hold on Oyu Tolgoi deal firms with Mongolian court win

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 21 : 9-Dec-19

Rio Tinto and the Mongolian government entered into an agreement in 2015 regarding a $US5.3 billion expansion of the Oyu Tolgoi mine. The Mongolian First Administrative Court upheld a claim in November that proper parliamentary process may not have been followed when striking the agreement. However, a statement issued on the Court’s official website on 5 December indicated that the ruling is not likely to impact on the 2015 agreement.

CORPORATES
RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO