S&P/ASX 200 Morning News – TGIF

Companies and indices mentioned:

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

First, here are the data points:

Australian Dollar ($A) (AUDUSD): 72.56 US cents

Dow Jones (DJI): flat

Oil (WTI): $US60.75 per barrel

Gold: $US1,224 per ounce

Finance News

Making finance headlines is the decision by Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg to block Hong Kong’s CK Asset Holdings Limited’s (CK Group) from acquiring Australia’s largest pipeline owner and operator, APA Group (ASX: APA).

Rask Media covered the takeover offer in great detail here and here.

“I have formed this view on the grounds that it would result in an undue concentration of foreign ownership by a single company group in our most significant gas transmission business,” Treasurer Frydenberg said.

“I formed my preliminary view taking into account the significant analysis undertaken through a coordinated whole-of-government assessment and in close consultation with the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) and the Critical Infrastructure Centre (the CIC), which are key sources of advice to support Government decision-making, including on investment transactions.”

Mr Frydenberg added that Australia welcomes foreign investment which is not contrary to our national interest.

“My preliminary view is not an adverse reflection on CK Group or the individual companies… My preliminary view reflects the size and significance of APA Group.”

In share market news, News Corp (ASX: NWS), the owner of The Australian newspaper and many others, released its quarterly report for the three months to September 30th, 2018, showing a 23% increase in revenue to $2.52 billion.

Net profit was $128 million, compared to $87 million in the same quarter a year early.

“In the first quarter, our growth in revenue and earnings reaffirmed our strategy to focus on digital development, and to put particular emphasis on subscriptions as the advertising market continues to evolve,” CEO Robert Thomson said.

News Corp is a large investor in REA Group Ltd (ASX: REA), the owner of realestate.com.au. REA Group reported its latest results on Thursday: REA Group’s Cautious Outlook

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