Coming to you live from Melbourne here are 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): 72.23 US cents

Dow Jones (DJI): up 0.7%

Oil (WTI): $US69.75 per barrel

Gold: $US1,202 per ounce

Australian Finance News

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In Australian investing news today, Peter Kell, the deputy head of the finance industry watchdog (ASIC) has announced his resignation. The Treasurer’s office said, “the Coalition Government thanks Mr Kell for his contribution to ASIC and wishes him well in his future endeavours.” Kell joined ASIC in 2011 and has held the role since 2013.

His resignation comes amid more revelations in the banking and finance Royal Commission, which has now turned its focus to the insurance sector. Yesterday, it was revealed Insurance Australia Group Ltd (ASX: IAG), which owns the Swann brand of insurance (among others), sold add-on insurance to customers that was inappropriate for their circumstances.

On the same day, the ABC reported the Royal Commission heard that Allianz tried to “manipulate” reports prepared by independent consultants which were required by APRA, the bank regulator.

Australian Investing News

ASX-listed dairy business Synlait Milk Ltd (ASX: SM1) reported 2018 net profit of $74.6 million, almost double that of a year earlier. Synlait, which supplies infant formula product to the likes of a2 Milk Company Ltd (ASX: A2M), said its expanded production capabilities enable to it look forward to even stronger operating performance.

“This has been a milestone year for Synlait as we grew both in capability and capacity,” Synlait Chair Graeme Milne said. “We’re stepping up in terms of our performance, and we’re looking ahead at where we want to be.”

Also in the dairy space, in a public filing on Tuesday afternoon, Bega Cheese Ltd (ASX: BGA) updated the market on its share purchase plan (SPP) as it seeks to raise capital from investors. Click here to learn what a capital raising and share purchase plan means.

As Rask Media reported earlier this month, Bega Cheese is raising $250 million from both institutional ($200 million) and smaller retail investors ($50 million) to pay down debt.

Finally, Inghams Group Ltd (ASX: ING) announced it has commenced a search for two new directors and its New Zealand boss, Adrian Revell, will step down in March 2019 to be replaced by Jonathan Gray. Inghams is also searching for a group CEO.

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