Here are the stories from the S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX: XJO)(^AXJO) and Australian finance circles today.
The ASX 200 is expected to open lower, according to futures trading in Sydney, after a positive day on Wednesday.
First, here are the data points:
Australian Dollar ($A) (AUDUSD): 72.22 US cents
Dow Jones (DJI): up 0.64%
Oil (WTI): $US51.17 per barrel
Gold: $US1,246 per ounce
ASX 200 News
In sharemarket news today, Sonic Healthcare Limited (ASX: SHL) announced it has completed the bookbuild for its $600 million institutional capital raising at $19.50 per share. The funds are being used to acquire Aurora Diagnostics in the US for $750 million.
Sonic CEO Dr Colin Goldschmidt said: “We are delighted with the strong support for the Placement shown by investors, including existing shareholders. We look forward to completing the acquisition of Aurora and commencing work with our new colleagues in the near future.”
Also making headlines, the Managing Director and CEO of APA Group (ASX: APA), Mick McCormack, will retire in 2019. The pipeline business was recently the target of a failed takeover bid by China’s CKI Consortium.
The APA Chairman Michael Fraser said of his stewardship since 2005, “Over that time APA securityholders have enjoyed compound annual total securityholder returns of 14.9% making APA one of the ASX’s top performing entities.”
Finally, the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) has expressed some preliminary concerns about the proposed merger between TPG Telecom Ltd (ASX: TPM) and Vodafone Australia because of the potential impact on Australia’s telco markets.
The ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said: “Our preliminary view is that TPG is currently on track to become the fourth largest mobile network operator in Australia, and as such it’s likely to be an aggressive competitor…the merged TPG-Vodafone would not have the incentive to operate in the same way.”
Read more about the merger plans here: The TPG Telecom Ltd (ASX:TPM) $15b Merger
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