May 27, 2014

Morning Market Report

A steady day on local markets, with most overseas markets shut for public holidays.

The market is down one point. US and UK markets were closed due to public holidays. European share markets were stronger -- The German DAX rose 1.28% and the French CAC rose 0.75%. The Italian market rose 3.5%, reflecting strong support for new Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. European parliamentary elections -- results are coming through and suggest pro-European parties will maintain a majority in the new parliament. But Eurosceptic parties made strong gains in France, the UK, Greece and Denmark. French Prime Minister Manuel Valls described the success of the anti-immigrant and anti-euro National Front party as a political “earthquake.” Ukraine’s new president -- Petro Prorshenko, the "Chocolate King" has claimed victory, promising to further align the country with Europe and end the conflict with pro-Russian rebels. The Aussie dollar was stronger and is currently trading at US92.40c. Gold rose US$0.90 or 0.07% to US$1292.60 an ounce. Iron ore rose US$1.10 to US$98.60 a tonne. No Australian economic data today. There is an Institute of Chartered Accountants of Australia Business forum being held. STORIES
  • TWE -- The AFR reports that Chairman Paul Rayner has written to shareholders advising the board would take no further action on KKR’s latest takeover bid. In the letter he says the board has looked at the offer and decided it doesn’t reflect the value of the company, especially considering plans going forward. But he is open for any higher offers.
  • Suncorp (SUN 1369c) -- Earnings downgrade. Plans to write down their Life business by $500 million due to deteriorating market conditions in the sector. The write-down will reduce net profit but won’t affect their dividend payout ratio. Suncorp Life financial year 2014 underlying profit seen $75-$85 million. SUN also says it will continue to target a ROE of at least 10% in fiscal 2015 and expects to be in a position to announce further capital management initiatives with the release of their results on Aug 13.
  • Quickflix (QFX) and Dick Smith (DSH 215c) -- Has announced a new partnership. Launching today supported by media advertising as well as catalogue and in store promotion, customers of DSH will be rewarded with a special Quickflix gift card entitling them to an introductory subscription to streaming and online DVD rental valued at $47.50 for in store purchases of $100 or more. The partnership is the latest in a series of new alliances that QFX is entering as part of its drive to introduce more and more customers to its entertainment service and support growth.
  • Rio Tinto (RIO 6095c) -- Have agreed to an investment accord with Guinean government on terms for a potential $21.6 billion iron ore mine, port and rail project. The government, RIO, Chinalco and World Bank-owned International Finance Corporation have all signed an investment framework deal and are all shareholders in the Simandou project. RIO holds a license to mine around half of the deposit, so around $10 billionn worth of iron ore at current prices. The infrastructure and mining project will cost around $20 billion. The mine could produce 100 million tonnes of iron ore a year, operate for 40 years, double the country's GDP and stimulate 45,000 indirect jobs.
  • OzForex (OFX) -- Shares are falling after the company posted its financial year results. Statutory profit of $15.9 million down from $17.1 million a year earlier. Despite profit coming in ahead of the PDS forecast of $14 million it was below expectations. Fully-franked dividend of 2.37c per share.

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