|Bid||79.46 x 0|
|Ask||79.48 x 0|
|Day's Range||79.17 - 79.79|
|52 Week Range||65.26 - 83.99|
|Beta (3Y Monthly)||0.88|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||16.99|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||4.62 (5.74%)|
|1y Target Est||73.17|
(Bloomberg) -- Australia’s central bank was dragged further into the global easing tide as it cut interest rates for the third time this year, even as it risks refueling excesses that Governor Philip Lowe warned against just weeks ago.The Reserve Bank reduced the cash rate by 25 basis points to a record-low 0.75% and said it may ease even further, venturing deeper into levels where unconventional measures may need to be adopted. The move is in part designed to prevent a rebound in the depreciating currency that might have been triggered if it stood pat while global counterparts eased.“The global race to the bottom is, in a sense, dragging the RBA along,” said Michael Blythe, chief economist at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. “Failure to participate could see the Australian dollar move higher.”Global risks from the U.S.-China conflict to Hong Kong riots have forced Lowe to tilt from a stubborn focus on financial stability that defined the start of his tenure three years ago. Only in August, he was warning global policy makers at the Jackson Hole symposium that easier monetary conditions will “push up asset prices, which brings its own set of risks.”Lowe’s fears were confirmed locally just hours before Tuesday’s decision, with data showing the RBA’s June and July cuts had reawakened Australia’s dormant housing market at a time households are already saddled with record debt levels. Prices rose the most since March 2017, led by hot spots Sydney and Melbourne.“The board took account of the forces leading to the trend to lower interest rates globally and the effects this trend is having on the Australian economy and inflation outcomes,” Lowe said in his statement Tuesday. It “will continue to monitor developments, including in the labor market, and is prepared to ease monetary policy further if needed.”The Australian dollar declined, trading at 67.06 U.S. cents at 4:15 p.m. in Sydney, compared with 67.48 cents before the decision.What Bloomberg’s Economists Say“The RBA continued to signal willingness to ease policy further, if needed. That should continue to keep a rein on the Australian dollar, further nurturing a recovery.”\--Tamara Mast Henderson, EconomistClick here for the whole reportTuesday’s cut is also designed to give maximum kick to a “gentle turning point” that Lowe says he sees in the economy following a year of weak growth. The governor is similarly trying to stem unemployment -- which climbed to 5.3% in August as a swelling labor force overwhelmed an increase in hiring -- and bolster consumer confidence in order to revive household spending.“Forward-looking indicators of labor demand indicate that employment growth is likely to slow from its recent fast rate,” Lowe said. “The economy still has spare capacity and lower interest rates will help make inroads into that.”Lowe wants to stoke the local economy hard to try to ensure its resilience. At 0.75%, the cash rate is close to the lower bound that he and Deputy Governor Guy Debelle estimate is around 0.25%-0.5%. Both have previously said they don’t expect to have to turn to bond buying and other alternative measures, as they wait and gauge the success of existing stimulus.“The Reserve Bank is likely to cut again early next year,” said Callam Pickering, economist at global jobs site Indeed. “Bank officials are reluctant to discuss quantitative easing but it becomes a real possibility the closer we come to a cash rate of 0%.”Lowe is scheduled to speak at the RBA board dinner later Tuesday, at 7.20 p.m. in Melbourne. There will be no Q&A session.(Updates with economist comments.)To contact the reporters on this story: Michael Heath in Sydney at firstname.lastname@example.org;Chris Bourke in Sydney at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Nasreen Seria at firstname.lastname@example.org, Malcolm Scott, Chris BourkeFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Since getting burned in the financial crisis, HSBC Holdings Plc has been in sell rather than buy mode. But now that it’s out shopping, the bank is looking to splurge. HSBC is eyeing the Asian assets of struggling British insurer Aviva Plc, which could be worth between $3 billion and $4 billion, Bloomberg reporters Dinesh Nair, Manuel Baigorri and Stefania Spezzati wrote Thursday. That would make it one of the bank’s largest purchases since it bought subprime lender Household International for $15.5 billion in 2003.The London-based lender should be prepared to pay even more: Aviva is sure to have many suitors. While the company had a difficult run in Asia, a buyer with more regional presence could better navigate the regulatory hurdles of a fractured market. The bulk of Aviva’s Asian assets are in Singapore, where a large pool of affluent residents has helped gross written premiums rise 13% per year industry-wide, according to Bain & Co. Aviva has 885,000 customers in the Southeast Asian country and was the sixth-largest insurer in Singapore last year – ahead of HSBC. The company accounted for 4.2% of the city-state’s insurance assets in 2018, says Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Steven Lam.A rare, large asset like Aviva is bound to pique the interest of FWD Group Ltd., which Hong Kong billionaire Richard Li built from the ashes of Dutch insurer ING Groep NV’s Asian businesses. FWD, widely believed to be preparing for an initial public offering, has been busy buying assets: Late last year, it snapped up an 80% stake in Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s Indonesian life insurance arm for A$426 million ($302 million). The Japanese, meanwhile, have been avid acquirers of Southeast Asian insurance assets for years, as low growth and negative bond yields at home crimp the savings of its aging population. Just this week, Japan's Taiyo Life Insurance Co. said it will buy 35% of Myanmar's Capital Life Insurance Ltd. Tokio Marine Holdings Inc. bought the Thai and Indonesian businesses of Sydney-based Insurance Australia Group Ltd. for about A$525 million ($355 million) last year, and has been open about its Southeast Asian ambitions.It makes sense that HSBC is eager to jump in: Its chairman, Mark Tucker, is an insurance supremo, having run AIA Group Ltd. and Prudential Plc previously. The recent protests in Hong Kong are pressuring the bank, which gets more than half of its pretax profit from the former British colony, to diversify, as other firms with big bases in the city have done. On Thursday, HSBC broke its silence and called for a peaceful resolution to the tensions in a newspaper ad.With the midpoint of the $3 billion to $4 billion price range amounting to 22 times Aviva's 2018 adjusted operating profit, these jewels aren’t coming cheap. That’s the same level at which AIA, Asia’s biggest insurer, trades. Bidders should prepare for a price war.To contact the author of this story: Nisha Gopalan at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Rachel Rosenthal at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Nisha Gopalan is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering deals and banking. She previously worked for the Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones as an editor and a reporter.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Moody's Investors Service ("Moody's") has completed a periodic review of the ratings of Commonwealth Bank of Australia and other ratings that are associated with the same analytical unit. "IMPORTANT NOTICE: MOODY'S RATINGS AND PUBLICATIONS ARE NOT INTENDED FOR USE BY RETAIL INVESTORS. This publication does not announce a credit rating action and is not an indication of whether or not a credit rating action is likely in the near future.
(Bloomberg) -- Swedish payments and banking firm Klarna became the most valuable European fintech startup after new funding pushed its post-money valuation to $5.5 billion.Klarna reached that status after raising $460 million in an equity round that will help it “continue its rapid rise in the U.S. market where it is currently growing an annual rate of six million new U.S. consumers,” the company said in a statement on Tuesday.With its new funding, the Stockholm-based startup leapfrogs European fintech darlings TransferWise and N26, which have recently been valued at $3.5 billion.Klarna helps online shoppers arrange financing at points of purchase, as well as provide merchants with payment tools. It challenges companies such as PayPal Holdings Inc., Square Inc. and Adyen NV, each of which has their own twist on facilitating commerce between sellers and shoppers.Dragoneer Investment Group led the raise, according to the statement. Other participants included the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, HMI Capital LLC, Merian Chrysalis Investment Co. and Sweden’s AP1 state pension fund, as well as accounts managed by BlackRock Inc. These additional investments follow the January announcement that the rapper known as Snoop Dogg had invested in the Swedish firm.Numis acted as exclusive financial adviser and placement agent to Klarna.To contact the reporters on this story: Ali Ingersoll in London at email@example.com;Niklas Magnusson in Stockholm at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Giles Turner at email@example.com, Nate Lanxon, Molly SchuetzFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
SYDNEY/BENGALURU (Reuters) - Australia's three biggest banks said they will test a new bank-guarantee platform for shopkeepers that uses a shared database, claiming the project would mark the world's first use of blockchain technology to process retail financing. Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Westpac Banking Corp and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd are teaming up with local Westfield mall owner Scentre Group to test the use of IBM software to process financing contracts on the same network. The banks running the trial believe switching to blockchain could cut processing time to a day from a month and reduce the risk of fraud.
SYDNEY/BENGALURU, July 4 (Reuters) - Australia's three biggest banks said they will test a new bank-guarantee platform for shopkeepers that uses a shared database, claiming the project would mark the world's first use of blockchain technology to process retail financing. Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Westpac Banking Corp and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd are teaming up with local Westfield mall owner Scentre Group to test the use of IBM software to process financing contracts on the same network.
Australia's central bank cut rates to a record low on Tuesday and signalled willingness to go further as a worsening Sino-U.S. trade war raises recession risks for the world economy, pushing policymakers into what could be a global monetary easing cycle. RBA Governor Philip Lowe said the rate cut was designed to support employment growth and lift inflation, which has consistently undershot its 2%-to-3% medium-term target. "It is possible that the current policy settings will be enough – that we just need to be patient.
What’s curious is that Commonwealth – the biggest of the four banks that dominate deposit-taking and lending in Australia – is acting an awful lot like cornered prey when things don’t seem so bad. For another, Commonwealth Bank is head and shoulders above its rivals on two crucial fronts: price-to-book and net interest margins. Commonwealth Bank has the largest workforce among Australia’s big four banks, and the second-lowest sales-per-employee ratio in the most recent half-year reporting period, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Moody's Investors Service has assigned definitive ratings to the notes issued by Perpetual Corporate Trust Limited in its capacity as the trustee of the Flexi ABS Trust 2019-1. "IMPORTANT NOTICE: MOODY'S RATINGS AND PUBLICATIONS ARE NOT INTENDED FOR USE BY RETAIL INVESTORS.
Moody's Investors Service has assigned ratings to Delta Air Lines, Inc.'s Pass Through Certificates, Series 2019-1 that the company announced earlier today: $425 million Class AA with a legal final due date of October 25, 2025 at Aa3 and $75 million Class A with a legal final due date of October 25, 2025 at A3 (together, "the Certificates"). The senior unsecured rating of Delta is Baa3, its rating outlook is stable and neither is affected by this rating action.