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 mixed, according to futures trading in Sydney. However, we’re an optimistic bunch here at Rask Media.
First, here are the data points:
Australian Dollar ($A) (AUDUSD): 71.79 US cents
Dow Jones (DJI): up 0.3%
Oil (WTI): $US45.89 per barrel
Gold: $US1,253 per ounce
ASX 200 News
In sharemarket news, property business GPT Group (ASX: GPT) released an independent valuation update for its 62 properties. Across its portfolio of logistics, office and retail premises, the average improvement was 4.7% or $447 million in total.
“We have continued to see strong growth achieved by the office and logistics portfolio during the period, with the office portfolio continuing to benefit from its high exposure to the strongly performing Sydney and Melbourne markets,” GPT CEO Bob Johnston.
Property groups need to revalue their assets on a regular basis to keep the market informed of the value of their assets. However, these valuations do not generate cash for the company, they are simply updates to valuations conducted by third parties or internal valuers.
In other news, health insurer NIB Holdings Ltd (ASX: NHF) announced it will increase its health insurance premiums by an average of 3.38%. In addition, its GU Health insurance premiums will rise 1.8%.
Obviously, the rapidly rising cost of private health is a big problem for consumers and the Government. Therefore, nib was pleased to point out that it was the lowest annual increase in premiums in 16 years.
“This is the fifth consecutive year we’ve been able to deliver an average premium change lower than the previous year reflecting our ongoing focus on cost containment and inflation,” NIB CEO Mark Fitzgibbon said.
From April 2019, nib will offer streamlined choices of insurance products and provide greater flexibility for hospital excess.
Finally, small-cap software company ELMO Software Limited (ASX: ELO) announced the acquisition of HROnboard, a cloud-based employee onboarding software company, for $7 million upfront and a deferred amount of $3 million. The seller could also earn up to $5 million in cash payments.
In the last 12 months, HROnboard generated $2.6 million in revenue.
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