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ASX 200 morning report – RHC, RIO & AGL shares in focus

It was a flat day for the local bourse, with the S&P/ASX 200 (ASX: XJO) managing to deliver a gain of just four points or 0.05% as the dualling pull of falling commodity prices and a surge in healthcare offset each other.

The materials sector was down 1.5% and energy 0.6%, with every other sector finishing higher behind healthcare, which recorded a 2.6% jump.

Ramsay’s massive payday

After a period of relative underperformance, the ASX healthcare sector rebounded after private hospital operator Ramsay Health Care Limited (ASX: RHC) confirmed it had received a takeover bid backed by global private equity giant KKR to acquire the company.

The offer price was a 37% premium to the last closing Ramsay share price, being $88 per share and valuing the company at over $20 billion.

Despite the premium, most analysts view the deal as reasonably priced with some suggesting a bidding war may be in the offing given the group’s significant property holdings. The Ramsay share price finished 24.2% higher on the news.

ASX healthcare ancillary gains

The Ramsay tide lifted all boats in the healthcare sector with the likes of ResMed CDI (ASX: RMD) and Sonic Healthcare Limited (ASX: SHL) also gaining more than 2% each on the knowledge that private equity is clearly focused on the sector.

Santos announces buyback

Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) outperformed the broader ASX energy sector, falling just 1.1% after the company announced it would be returning capital to shareholders via an on-market share buyback of up to US$250 million.

AGL faults to drag

Shares in AGL Energy Ltd (ASX: AGL) reversed, falling 3.2% after management confirmed the struggling Loy Yang A Power Station would remain out of service until at least 1 August due to a continuing electrical fault at the plant; this will likely send energy prices higher in winter.

Rio Tinto underwhelms

Iron ore miner Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) weakened by 2.8% after flagging a “challenging” first quarter of production but keeping guidance at 320 to 335 million tonnes despite facing labour and workplace challenges.

Zebit delists

Shares in BNPL minnow Zebit Inc (ASX: ZBT) are officially gone after the company announced plans to delist following a 97% fall in its share price since a momentum-driven IPO in 2020.

News Corp set to enter betting

Online gambling technology provider Betmakers Technology Group Ltd (ASX: BET), backed by Matthew Tripp, entered a trading halt.

Rumours are suggesting it may have entered a partnership with News Corp (ASX: NWS) for a long-awaited foray into the lucrative sports gambling market, which is only just being made legal in the US.

ASX 200 today

Looking ahead, the ASX 200 is set to open higher this morning despite a mixed lead from US stock markets overnight.

Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) stock dominated the headlines, tumbling 35% after the streaming service lost subscribers for the first time in a decade. To find out more, check out my US stock market report.

The Golden Rules of Investing

We might be experts in retirement, but with combined financial advice experience of 35+ years, we’ve nearly seen it all. 

In mid-2023, our senior team at Wattle Partners Financial Planning put the finishing touches on a brand-new report “The Golden Rules of Investing“.

In this free report, we outline the key principles that determine all of the portfolio construction and investment decisions of Wattle Partners. Collated over decades, this paper should be seen as a work-in-progress, constantly under review in light of the ever-evolving nature of markets. 

You’ll find the free report on my Author page. Simply click the button below to view the Golden Rules.

Information warning: The information on this website is published by The Rask Group Pty Ltd (ABN: 36 622 810 995) is limited to factual information or (at most) general financial advice only. That means, the information and advice does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It is not specific to you, your needs, goals or objectives. Because of that, you should consider if the advice is appropriate to you and your needs, before acting on the information. If you don’t know what your needs are, you should consult a trusted and licensed financial adviser who can provide you with personal financial product advice. In addition, you should obtain and read the product disclosure statement (PDS) before making a decision to acquire a financial product. Please read our Terms and Conditions and Financial Services Guide before using this website. The Rask Group Pty Ltd is a Corporate Authorised Representative (#1280930) of AFSL #383169.

At the time of publishing, the author of this article does not have a financial or commercial interest in any of the companies mentioned.

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Wattle Partners is a financial advice firm, servicing clients around Australia, specialising in retirement planning (pre and post retirement). 

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