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S&P/ASX 200 News Monday, Royal Commission Rolls On

Enjoy a turmeric latte as you digest today’s headlines from the S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX: XJO)(ASX: XJO) and Australian finance circles.

First, here are the data points:

Australian Dollar ($A) (AUDUSD): 71.50 US cents

Dow Jones (DJI): flat

Oil (WTI): $US68.90 per barrel

Gold: $US1,199 per ounce

Australian Investing News


Round 6 of the Royal Commission hearings into the insurance sector continue this week, the final week for insurers to front-up for poor practices. Super funds like Rest; banks such as AMP Limited (ASX: AMP) and Suncorp Group (ASX: SUN); and insurers TAL, Freedom Insurance and AIA have already felt the heat of the Commission’s spotlight.

National Australia Bank Ltd. (ASX: NAB) was also in the limelight for all the wrong reasons last week before it ‘decided’ to put customers first and keep mortgages interest rates on hold.

Then, on Friday, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ) updated the market on ASIC’s intention to pursue the bank for a share sale. ANZ’s statement read:

“The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has advised ANZ it has commenced civil penalty proceedings against the bank for failing to comply with its continuous disclosure obligations.”

ANZ had disclosed the matter a few months ago. As Rask Media revealed at the time:

“The CDPP [Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions] alleges ANZ was knowingly concerned in alleged in cartel conduct by the joint lead managers of ANZ’s underwritten Institutional Equity Placement of approximately 80.8 million shares in August 2015.”

In sharemarket news today, Tilt Renewables Ltd (ASX: TLT) has instructed its investors to reject the takeover offer put forward by Infratil Ltd (ASX: IFT) and Mercury Limited (ASX: MCY).  Tilt Renewables Chair Fiona Oliver said the offer of $2.30 per share is “significantly below the Independent Adviser’s valuation range of $2.56 to $3.01 per share.”

Oliver added, “Tilt Renewables is extremely well positioned to be a significant part of, and benefit from, the global push towards renewable energy and reducing carbon emissions.”

Finally, Collection House Ltd (ASX: CLH) announced the appointment of two new directors, Sandra Birkensleigh and Catherine McDowell, and Chairman Leigh Berkley has committed to relocating from the UK to Australia.

In addition, Collection House said Managing Director Anthony Rivas, “proposes to forego entitlement to 2m performance rights as a demonstration of his commitment to shareholders, and wishes to stay longer than his three-year term.”

“With Collection House well positioned for the next chapter of its evolution, now is the ideal time for a strengthened Board to guide our talented management team as we deliver on our sustainable growth strategies,” Mr Berkley said.


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