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ASX 200 drops 0.9%, Crown not suitable for Sydney casino, Macquarie rises

The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX:XJO) fell by 0.9% today. It was ruled that Crown Resorts Ltd (ASX:CWN) is not suitable to run the Crown casino.
The post ASX 200 drops 0.9%, Crown not suitable for Sydney casino, Macquarie rises appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia. –

ASX 200

The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) fell by 0.9% today to 6,821 points.

Here are some of the highlights from today:

Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG)

The Macquarie share price was the best performer in the ASX 200, rising by 6.6% today.

Macquarie said that trading conditions have improved across the group in the quarter ending 31 December 2020.

The investment bank said that its annuity-style businesses called Macquarie Asset Management (MAM) and banking and financial services (BFS) experienced a profit increased in the third quarter compared to the prior corresponding period. Net profit for the nine months from these businesses was broadly in line with the prior corresponding period due to base and performance fees being flat, partially offset by BFS margin pressure, increased credit impairment charges and higher costs to support clients through COVID-19.

The ASX 200 business said that its market-facing businesses of commodities and global markets (CGM) and Macquarie capital experienced a significant increase in net profit in the third quarter. However, FY21 year to date profit was broadly in line with FY20 year to date thanks to stronger activity across most CGM businesses, offset by lower fee revenue and principal income in Macquarie Capital.

Macquarie said that it has $8.1 billion of surplus capital and that it’s expecting the FY21 result to be slightly down on the FY20 result.

The Macquarie CEO, Ms Wikramanayake, said: “Macquarie remains well-positioned to deliver superior performance in the medium term due to our deep expertise in major markets, strength in business and geographic diversity and ability to adapt our portfolio mix to changing market conditions, an ongoing program to identify cost savings initiatives and efficiency, our strong and conservative balance sheet and a proven risk management framework and culture.”

Crown Resorts Ltd (ASX: CWN)

The Crown share price will be under scrutiny this week after the casino business was ruled to be not suitable to hold the licence to run the Barangaroo casino unless there are several changes, a NSW casino inquiry has found, according to reporting by media such as the Australian Financial Review.

Some of the recommendations include James Packer selling his shareholding to 10% (or less) of the company, down from 37%. Another suggestion is board changes.

Commissioner Patricia Bergin wrote: “Any applicant for a casino licence with the attributes of Crown’s stark realities of facilitating money laundering, exposing staff to the risk of detention in a foreign jurisdiction and pursuing commercial relationships with individuals with connections to triads and organised crime groups would not be confident of a positive outcome.”

Challenger Ltd (ASX: CGF)

The Challenger share price fell by almost 15% today, it was the worst performer in the ASX 200 after releasing its half-year result.

Challenger that its assets under management (AUM) increased over six months by 13% to $96.1 billion. Year on year, annuity sales increased by 12% to $2.2 billion and total life sales rose 10% to $3.4 billion.

Challenger’s normalised net profit before tax of $196 million was down by 30% compared to the prior corresponding period. Normalised earnings per share (EPS) was down by 35%.

The ASX 200 company said that it was on track to achieve its normalised net profit before tax guidance which is in the range of $390 million to $440 million. Challenger said that the bank acquisition will drive medium-term growth.

The board of Challenger decided to declare an interim dividend of 9.5 cents per share.

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Motley Fool contributor Tristan Harrison has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Challenger Limited and Macquarie Group Limited. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Crown Resorts Limited. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

The post ASX 200 drops 0.9%, Crown not suitable for Sydney casino, Macquarie rises appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia.

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