|Bid||0.00 x 0|
|Ask||0.00 x 0|
|Day's Range||9.03 - 9.78|
|52 Week Range||7.98 - 20.08|
|Beta (5Y Monthly)||0.92|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||6.21|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||1.09 (10.67%)|
|Ex-Dividend Date||Nov 07, 2019|
|1y Target Est||9.90|
(Bloomberg) -- Shares in Australia’s biggest banks slumped Wednesday after the Bank of Queensland Ltd. become the first to delay its dividend as the prudential regulator urged lenders to reduce payouts during the coronavirus crisis.The Brisbane-based bank said it would defer a decision on its first-half dividend until the economic outlook is clearer, helping send the stock down as much as 7.4%. It pared losses to close 2.1% lower.The move sparked a broader selloff among banks. Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. fell 4.9%, Commonwealth Bank of Australia dropped 3.3%, National Australia Bank Ltd. declined 4.8% and Westpac Banking Corp. slumped 5.3%. The benchmark S&P/ASX200 Index fell 0.9%.In a further blow, S&P Global Ratings lowered its outlook on the big four banks to negative, mirroring an earlier cut to the outlook on the nation’s triple-A sovereign debt rating.A lower sovereign rating would mean there is a “slightly reduced capacity to provide timely financial support to the systemically important financial institutions, if needed,” S&P credit analyst Sharad Jain said in a statement.Fitch also cut its ratings on the major banks late Tuesday.Bank stocks are widely held by retail investors for their steady stream of dividend payouts. The big four banks and Macquarie Group Ltd. combined paid out about A$25.6 billion ($15.7 billion) last year, according to Bloomberg calculations.Retail shareholders own an average of about 47% of the major banks, meaning a suspension of dividends would be another source of pressure on household incomes, according to Morgan Stanley analysts. Australia is heading for its first recession in almost 30 years as the virus shuts down large swathes of the nation.Read more: Westpac, National Australia, ANZ Bank to Slash Dividends: CitiWestpac, National Australia, ANZ Bank and Macquarie are all due to release first-half earnings in late April or early May.In a letter to banks and insurers late Tuesday, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority made it clear it expected both dividends and executive bonuses to be cut to preserve capital.“Dividend volatility in coming months created by this approach from APRA will unsettle many investors, particularly retail,” Citigroup Inc. analyst Brendan Sproules said in a note to clients Wednesday. “On the flip-side, more capital retained lowers the risk of substantial capital raisings and dilution to shareholders.”John Pearce, the chief investment officer of A$85 billion pension fund UniSuper, said that while he expected the major banks wouldn’t cancel dividends entirely, they would be “materially reduced.”“Our banks have entered this crisis in far better shape than they entered the GFC, with ample capital and liquidity buffers,” Pearce said in an update to members Wednesday. “This is just as well, because there’s no doubt that bad debts will rise -- the only question being the magnitude.”(Adds closing share prices.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- New Zealand’s central bank is open to increasing the size and scope of its asset-purchase program to boost stimulus as the coronavirus pandemic threatens to throw the economy into a deep recession.“We’re in a rapidly evolving situation, the assessment of the economy in financial markets is moving very quickly, and that’s what we will have to take into account when we reconsider the size and nature of the program that we run,” Reserve Bank Assistant Governor Christian Hawkesby said in a telephone interview Wednesday in Wellington. “We are very open to changing the size of the program to an appropriate size given our assessment of the economic outlook.”The New Zealand dollar fell on the comments and bond yields declined. The yield on April 2029 bonds fell to 1.07% from as high as 1.14% earlier Wednesday.Just two weeks after announcing a NZ$30 billion ($18 billion) quantitative easing program that was considered huge at the time, the RBNZ is under pressure to do more to cap bond yields and ensure markets are functioning. Yesterday it added NZ$3 billion of Local Government Funding Agency debt to its QE slate and said its Monetary Policy Committee would reassess the program at the next policy meeting in May.When the MPC met over the weekend to discuss LGFA, “we did not receive a full economic assessment of the outlook for inflation and employment, and we didn’t make a decision around the appropriate size of the total program,” Hawkesby said. He also said the RBNZ “didn’t know the exact size of Debt Management’s debt program before we announced our QE program originally.”New Zealand Debt Management will offer a record NZ$17 billion of government bonds in the three months through June 30, threatening to drive up yields unless the RBNZ soaks up some of the additional supply.At the same time, Hawkesby said “there’s a limit around the percentage of the bond market we could purchase without creating distortions or disruption.”“We can’t be the total market ourselves,” he said. “There still needs to be a good, dispersed range of holders of these securities for markets to function properly.”Purchase LimitAsked what the appropriate percentage is, he said “in the order of 40 to 50% of individual issues.”“The total program size is based on an assessment of the amount of stimulus that the economy requires,” Hawkesby said. “So when we come back in May as the Monetary Policy Committee and have a full economic assessment, then that will provide us with an indication of the total size of the program that’s appropriate.”He noted that for central banks that had engaged in QE overseas, “their holdings do sit in that broad range of 40 to 50% as a limit.”Hawkesby’s comments suggest a sizable increase in the QE program is possible when the MPC meets on May 13, said Nick Smyth, an interest rate strategist at Bank of New Zealand in Wellington. The nominal government bond market will be almost NZ$75 billion by June and could be more than NZ$100 billion by mid-2021 due to increased issuance, he said.“Our best guess at this stage is that the MPC will increase its QE program size in just nominal government bonds to ‘up to’ NZ$50 billion,” Smyth said. “That would give RBNZ staff some leeway to buy that full amount, or less if it started to have a detrimental impact on liquidity and overall market function.”Hawkesby said the RBNZ has considered adding other asset classes to its QE program and will continue to do so. He said inflation-indexed bonds weren’t considered at the latest MPC meeting, “but they remain on the list of potential asset classes that could be included in a broader program.”He said RBNZ purchases of LGFA debt should support the broader corporate bond market.‘Create Liquidity’“It will free up space for intermediaries and fund managers who are selling us LGFA,” Hawkesby said. “That’s going to create liquidity such that they can switch or transfer into these other issuers in the corporate bond market that are smaller. So that’s a really key element of the way we think that our actions won’t just support the issuer who’s been added to the program but it will have benefits right across the corporate bond market.”The RBNZ was “stepping up to the plate” and would “really like to see is the banks and intermediaries stepping up to provide market making, liquidity, price transparency to their clients in the corporate bond market and be part of that solution,” he said.New Zealand is halfway through a four-week nationwide lockdown aimed at eradicating the coronavirus, which has brought the economy to a virtual standstill. Business confidence plunged to a record low this month, according to preliminary data released by ANZ Bank today.Asked about cutting the official cash rate further below its current level of 0.25%, Hawkesby said banks weren’t operationally ready for negative rates and the RBNZ had given them an assurance that was off the table for the time being. However, the central bank was “open minded” about a negative OCR, he said.“There could well be point down the track, where time passes, that we do have a negative official cash rate somewhere, sometime in the future.”(Updates with strategist’s comment in 12th paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Australian job advertisements suffered their largest drop in more than a decade in March as strict social distancing rules and business closures to combat the coronavirus curbed demand for labour. Tuesday's figures from Australia and New Zealand Banking Group showed total job ads fell 10.3% in March, erasing a 1.2% gain the month before. It was the steepest decline since January 2009 when the global financial crisis was raging.
New Zealand's central bank said on Thursday that all banks should not pay dividends or redeem capital notes given the widespread economic uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The local unit of Australia and New Zealand Banking Group said it will not redeem NZ$500 million ($295.80 million) in capital notes as per the Reserve Bank of New Zealand's directive.
Unfortunately for some shareholders, the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX:ANZ) share price has dived 41...
(Bloomberg) -- New Zealand’s central bank has taken the historic leap to quantitative easing to try to limit a looming recession as the negative economic impacts of the coronavirus outbreak intensify.The Reserve Bank will buy up to NZ$30 billion ($17 billion) of government bonds in the secondary market over the next 12 months, it said in a statement Monday. It will seek to buy NZ$750 million bonds a week across a range of maturities, via an auction process, it said. The program will begin this week with NZ$500 million of purchases.The RBNZ had come under mounting pressure to unleash QE for the first time as the coronavirus pandemic roils financial markets around the world and a domestic recession looks imminent. Bond yields have soared on the prospect of a flood of debt issuance by governments as they look to fund massive fiscal spending packages to counter the economic slump.“This package is huge,” said David Croy, interest rate strategist at ANZ Bank New Zealand in Wellington. “QE will help support the economy and soothe markets that have been dysfunctional. This package will have an immediate and significant impact on the local bond market.”New Zealand bond yields slumped across the curve after the RBNZ’s announcement. The 10-year yield plunged 52 basis points to 0.95% after soaring as high as 1.77% last week. The kiwi dollar extended its decline, buying 56.73 U.S. cents at 9:49 a.m. in Wellington. The currency has dropped almost 16% since the start of this year.The RBNZ’s Monetary Policy Committee last week cut the official cash rate to 0.25% and freed up limits on bank capital. The government also announced a NZ$12.1 billion support program and promised more to come, spooking debt markets with the prospect of a flood of bonds into the market.“The RBNZ is, in effect, stepping up to fund the government,” said Nick Smyth, interest rate strategist at Bank of New Zealand in Wellington. “The QE program will, at the very least, help offset the upward pressure in yields that would have occurred due to the forthcoming increase in issuance.”The RBNZ said it will exclude inflation-indexed bonds from its purchases. That means it will buy as much as 55% of the nominal bonds outstanding in the market, adjusted for the approaching maturity of April 2020 bonds, Smyth said. The program is the equivalent of 10% of gross domestic product, he said.The government supports QE and has signed a memorandum of understanding and a letter of indemnity with the RBNZ to enable the program to proceed, Finance Minister Grant Robertson said in a statement.“This is part of our strategy to mobilize all arms of New Zealand’s economic infrastructure in our fight against the COVID-19 virus,” he said. “We are all uniting together -– the Government, the Reserve Bank, private businesses and the retail banks -– to cushion the impact on New Zealand from this global pandemic.”Joining the ClubThe RBNZ is joining other central banks in the QE club, including Australia’s, which last week pledged to buy three-year bonds and target a yield on those securities of 0.25%.“The severity of the impacts on the New Zealand economy has increased,” the RBNZ said today. “Weaker global activity is affecting the economy through a range of channels, not just reduced trade. Domestic measures to contain the outbreak of the virus are also reducing economic activity. Employment and inflation are expected to fall relative to their targets in the near term.”The RBNZ also said that financial conditions in New Zealand “have tightened unnecessarily” over the past week, reducing the effectiveness of the low OCR.“Heightened risk aversion has caused a rise in interest rates on long-term New Zealand government bonds and the cost of bank funding,” it said. The bond purchase program “aims to provide further support to the economy, build confidence, and keep interest rates on government bonds low,” it said.(Updates with strategist comment in seventh paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Australia's central bank bought A$5 billion ($2.87 billion) in local government bonds on Friday, in the first round of its unlimited quantitative easing programme as it looks to cushion the economic shock from the coronavirus pandemic. The Reserve Bank of Australia's (RBA) operation is aimed at reducing the funding costs for banks so that cheap credit is freely available across the economy that is on the verge of its first recession in nearly three decades. The move brings the RBA into an uncharted monetary policy setting of controlling the yield curve that only Japan has so far attempted but with little success in stimulating its economy.
(Bloomberg) -- New Zealand’s central bank may need to make the historic leap to quantitative easing sooner than it expected as financial markets become increasingly stressed and dysfunctional.There are signs that the Reserve Bank’s official cash rate, which it slashed to 0.25% in an emergency move on March 16, is not being properly transmitted. New Zealand’s 90-day bank bill rate, which should closely track the OCR, has risen to 0.69%, opening the biggest gap between the two since 2014.“There is growing risk that the RBNZ announces a QE program imminently, to restore market function and the transmission of monetary policy,” said Nick Smyth, a rate strategist at Bank of New Zealand in Wellington. “The credit market, even for high-grade bonds, is extremely strained.”When it cut rates on Monday, the RBNZ said it would turn to large-scale asset purchases if further stimulus was required. The RBNZ’s Chief Economist Yuong Ha told Bloomberg in an interview the same day he wanted a QE program on the table for consideration by the next monetary policy meeting in May. However, events are unfolding rapidly as markets are roiled by the coronavirus crisis sweeping the globe. New Zealand bond yields have jumped amid the turmoil.“Who would have thought, it’s been about 75 hours since the RBNZ cut the cash rate and already we’ve seen the market slip into a liquidity vacuum,” said David Croy, rate strategist at ANZ Bank New Zealand in Wellington. “We’re borderline dysfunctional here.”The government this week announced its intention to issue more bonds to fund its NZ$12.1 billion ($7 billion) fiscal stimulus package. The prospect of more supply has helped to push yields higher. Yields should fall if the RBNZ were to signal it will start buying bonds and mopping up the additional supply.“The Reserve Bank needs to signal its willingness to do QE at a scale that will support the government’s fiscal package as early as possible and needs to start buying them perhaps as soon as next week,” said John McDermott, a former RBNZ Assistant Governor who now heads the Motu economic think tank.Westpac Head of New Zealand Strategy Imre Speizer also said in a note to clients this morning he expects the RBNZ “to embark on QE, causing longer maturity yields to eventually fall, resulting in a flatter yield curve.”Croy said a RBNZ QE program would need to be at least NZ$15-20 billion to be effective. Smyth said NZ$10 billion would be the minimum size, “but the risks are skewed to more.”In his Monday interview with Bloomberg, Ha said while the central bank still has work to do on a QE program, it conducts asset purchases routinely for balance sheet management. “So it’s not a big material jump to go from what we do day to day to scaling up to something more significant,” he said.Australia’s central bank, which is expected to launch its own version of QE later today, has in recent days been injecting record amounts of cash into its financial system in an attempt to alleviate stress.Smyth said the RBNZ could also take additional steps to ease market strains, such as reactivating the Term Lending Facility, while Croy said the central bank has broad scope to intervene in markets in order to implement monetary policy.“The RBNZ frequently transacts with the market in FX swaps and this power could be used to intervene in the New Zealand government bond market to restore smooth functioning in the wake of the recent blowout in yields that is threatening to undermine monetary policy settings,” he said.In an emailed statement, the RBNZ said it is aware of and monitoring current market developments.“These are not unanticipated or unusual given the nature of the global event, and recent Government announcements on fiscal policy in New Zealand and overseas,” it said. “We are in close contact with Treasury and other market participants.”(Updates with strategist’s comments in fifth paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
SYDNEY/HONG KONG, March 16 (Reuters) - At least three Australian takeovers potentially worth a combined $1.2 billion are facing lower prices and contract conditions, three sources said, as financial market turmoil sparked by the coronavirus has made it difficult for advisers and bidders to put price tags on deals. The rethinking on price comes as dealmakers had hoped Australia's relatively low number of coronavirus cases would leave it as a dealmaking sweetspot, while so many other Asia-Pacific economies, including China, the region's biggest driver of takeovers, were hit hard by the virus. Some bidders for Australian and New Zealand Banking Group's car lender UDC Finance and AMP's New Zealand wealth management business are lowering their offers and adding conditions due to the COVID-19 market chaos, two sources with knowledge of the deals said.
SYDNEY/LONDON, March 16 (Reuters) - Only a year after losing their homes to floods in parts of Australia's north eastern coast of Queensland, people are moving into new houses built on or near the same plots. A tradesman who has bought a new home in Townsville after walking away from his water-damaged dwelling 15 kilometres (9.32 miles) away, said the insurance premium had risen 350%, a price he was not willing to pay to protect against another flood. Banks appear to be taking a similar view, with long-term funding still widely available for new and existing housing, while insurers are more picky.
(Bloomberg) -- New Zealand’s central bank slashed its benchmark interest rate by 75 basis points as strict border controls to curb the coronavirus look set to tip the economy into recession.In an emergency move early Monday in Wellington, the Reserve Bank cut its official cash rate to 0.25% from 1% and said it will remain at that level for at least the next 12 months. Should further stimulus be required, the RBNZ said it would turn to quantitative easing for the first time in New Zealand history by undertaking large-scale purchases of government bonds.“We are in uncharted territory economically,” said Sharon Zollner, chief economist at ANZ Bank New Zealand in Auckland. “We see QE as inevitable in the near future and it will work hand in hand with fiscal policy. The spotlight is now firmly on fiscal policy to step up to the plate, with a very significant package expected tomorrow.”Policy makers are responding to the severe economic disruption caused by the global spread of the coronavirus. The U.S. Federal Reserve this morning cut its benchmark rate by a full percentage point to near zero and said it will boost its bond holdings to cushion its economy from the outbreak.Over the weekend, New Zealand’s government introduced what it said were some of the most stringent measures by a nation to control the spread of the virus, requiring almost every individual who enters the country, including citizens and residents, to self-isolate for 14 days.“This will be a major economic disruption, most obviously for the tourism and travel sectors, but it will ripple through the economy more widely,” Westpac New Zealand senior economist Michael Gordon said. “At this point a severe recession is inevitable.”Air New Zealand said Monday it is reducing flights across the board, with long-haul capacity cut by 85%. The airline is reviewing its cost base and will need to start the process of job cuts, it said. “For the coming months at least, Air New Zealand will be a smaller airline requiring fewer resources, including people,” Chief Executive Greg Foran said in a statement.The RBNZ said its policy committee met Sunday and was briefed by the Treasury Secretary on the government’s intended fiscal policy measures. Finance Minister Grant Robertson is due to make a “multi-billion dollar” announcement on Tuesday.Coordination“The Government, through the Treasury, and the Reserve Bank have been working closely together to co-ordinate our actions as we respond to the economic impacts of COVID-19,” Robertson said.RBNZ Governor Adrian Orr will hold a press conference at 11 a.m. local time. The bank’s scheduled rate review on March 25 has been canceled.The New Zealand dollar fell below 60 U.S. cents for the first time since 2009 in early Monday trading before jumping on the Fed’s statement. It bought 61.01 cents at 10:11 a.m. in Wellington. Swap rates and government bond yields fell.The impact of the virus on the economy will be significant, the RBNZ said in a statement.“Demand for New Zealand’s goods and services will be constrained, as will domestic production. Spending and investment will be subdued for an extended period while the responses to the COVID-19 virus evolve,” it said.Should further stimulus be required, the RBNZ said a “Large Scale Asset Purchase program of New Zealand government bonds would be preferable to further OCR reductions.”“The commitment to hold the OCR down and signal bond purchases should help to suppress long-term interest rates,” said Nick Tuffley, chief economist at ASB Bank in Auckland. “The RBNZ looks set to explore unconventional tools rather than to test the limits of the OCR. There will be considerable inter-play between monetary and fiscal policy. The government will be borrowing heavily to support the economy, and the RBNZ can effectively provide the funding.”The RBNZ has also delayed the start date for increased capital requirements for banks to help support lending, estimating this will enable banks to supply about NZ$47 billion ($28 billion) more than would have been the case.The RBNZ in December said it would require banks to increase capital buffers over a seven-year period to better withstand economic shocks, with the transition to start in July 2020. Today it delayed that start for a year.“Should conditions warrant it next year, the Reserve Bank will consider whether further delays are necessary,” Deputy Governor Geoff Bascand said in a separate statement. “We are taking this action now to help support lending in the economy at a time when there is a lot of uncertainty. The Reserve Bank’s expectation is that banks will utilize this flexibility to maintain lending to households and businesses.”(Updates with economist’s comment in third paragraph, Fed in fourth)To contact the reporter on this story: Matthew Brockett in Wellington at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Matthew Brockett at email@example.com, Tracy Withers, Michael HeathFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Unfortunately for some shareholders, the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX:ANZ) share price has dived 30...
Citigroup has hired Loretta Ko to return to the investment bank and head its financial institutions group (FIG) for Hong Kong, the bank said on Wednesday. Ko was most recently at Banco Santander, where she held the same position that she will take on at the U.S. investment bank. Ko spent 15 years with Citigroup between 1989 and 2004, according to her LinkedIn profile.
Australia's financial regulators will discuss the impact of a new coronavirus outbreak on Australia's A$2 trillion ($1.3 trillion) economy in an emergency meeting on Monday, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters. The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) will meet on Tuesday for its monthly rate review. A Reuters poll last week found few analysts expected a cut from a record low 0.75%, but the sheer scale of market losses around the globe prompted financial futures to now imply a 96% chance of a move compared with just 18% last week.
An Australian investigator who helped bring criminal cartel charges against Citigroup Inc and Deutsche Bank AG told a court he met agents from another regulator in a cafe to discuss the matter but the talks were "high level" only. Citi, Deutsche, their client Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd and several of their current and former executives are accused of forming an agreement during an A$2.5 billion ($1.7 billion) ANZ stock issue to withhold selling unwanted shares to prevent them from falling when they hit the market in 2015. In pre-trial hearings, lawyers for the banks and their staff have suggested witnesses for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), which brought the charges in Australia's biggest white collar criminal case, relied on evidence that was tainted by outside influences and pressure from above.
An Australian investigator who helped bring criminal cartel charges against Citigroup Inc and Deutsche Bank AG told a court on Wednesday he felt "pressure" after his boss made public comments suggesting imminent prosecutions. The disclosure in a pre-trial hearing relates to a central plank of the defence in Australia's biggest white collar criminal case, over a controversial 2015 stock issue for Australia and New Zealand Banking Group: the banks' lawyers want to show investigators used tainted evidence and deviated from regular process due to pressure. The matter of Australia vs Citi, Deutsche, ANZ and several of their current and former executives is being closely watched by investment bankers around the world because it could have implications on the way they are allowed to run share sales.
An Australian investigator who helped bring criminal cartel charges against Citigroup Inc and Deutsche Bank AG said he first heard concerns about a stock issue they worked on from a rival regulator, but the agencies acted independently. The disclosure on Tuesday in a pre-trial court hearing relates to a central part of the defence against the country's biggest white collar criminal case: the investment banks want to show the evidence used to charge them was tainted by outside influences and departure from due process. The banks, their client Australia and New Zealand Banking Group and several current and former executives are charged with colluding during a 2015 stock issue for ANZ to withold unsold shares and keep the stock from falling.
Overseas investors purchased a net $459 million worth of regional equities last month, a sharp reduction from $2.92 billion of net buying in December, data from stock exchanges in India, Indonesia, Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam showed. Analysts expect flows to slow in the region, especially in economies which are dependent on China through trade and tourism channels.
An Australian antitrust investigator who helped bring criminal cartel charges against Citigroup Inc and Deutsche Bank AG denied acting with "impropriety" when presented with communications between the regulator and informants' lawyers. The court testimony from Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) enforcement director Michael Taylor on Monday points to a defence strategy questioning the integrity of an investigation that ended in charges of collusion during a A$2.5 billion ($1.67 billion) share sale in 2015. In pre-trial hearings, lawyers for the investment banks and their client, retail lender Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ANZ), have been trying to show witness statements by a third investment bank which worked on the deal, JPMorgan Chase & Co, were tainted by coordination between JPMorgan's lawyers and the authorities.
An Australian magistrate processing a criminal cartel case against investment bank giants Citigroup Inc and Deutsche Bank AG repeatedly professed to being "lost" as an early hearing ground its way through a Sydney court on Friday. Some 20 months after authorities charged the banks and their former executives in Australia's biggest white collar criminal case, the prosecution is still in its early stages. The large number of defendants - the two banks, their client, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd, and six of their former staff - has meant that pre-trial hearings have run longer than the five days scheduled last December as lawyers haggle over parameters of the case.