S&P/ASX 200 News Wednesday


Companies and indices mentioned:
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Here are the stories from the S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX: XJO)(ASX: XJO) and Australian finance circles. Rask Media has your financial news headlines sorted.

First, here are the data points:

Australian Dollar ($A) (AUDUSD): 71.01 US cents

Dow Jones (DJI): up 1.8%

Oil (WTI): $US66.35 per barrel

Gold: $US1,224 per ounce

Finance News 

In Aussie finance news, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ) released its 2018 financial report to investors this morning.

Whilst statutory profit was virtually unchanged at $6.4 billion, it was the 16% fall in cash profit to $5.8 billion and 5% fall of ‘continuing basis’ cash profit to $6.5 billion where ANZ noted it felt the pain.

ANZ’s dividend was held, despite the bank incurring $377 million for customer refunds and remediation.

Read more: 3 Headlines From ANZ’s 2018 Report

Also in the news, Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) announced the divestment of its global asset management business, Colonial First State Global Asset Management or CFSGAM, to Japan’s Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation (MUTB) for $4.13 billion.

Following CBA’s announcement to divest its mortgage broking and investment businesses earlier this year, MUTB approached the bank.

“CFSGAM is a high quality business that has achieved strong growth under CBA’s ownership for over 18 years,” CBA CEO Matt Comyn said. “We believe that CFSGAM’s clients and employees will benefit from MUTB’s supportive longterm ownership.”

The deal remains subject to a number of regulatory approvals but CBA expects the deal to complete in Mid-2019.

NIB Holdings Ltd (ASX: NHF) provided a press release/market update on its financial performance in 2019. nib’s CEO Mark Fitzgibbon said a benign claims environment has helped the company’s Australian Residents Health Insurance business (arhi).

“Across the industry for the past year or so we’ve seen claims utilisation at historic low levels,” Fitzgibbon said. “Our previous guidance assumed arhi net margin to be at the upper end of our 5% to 6% target range, whereas we are now expecting FY19 net margin to be similar to FY18

nib expects to report underlying operating profit of at least $190 million in 2019.

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