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ASX 200 finishes lower, Afterpay (ASX:APT) shares rise

The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX:XJO) finished lower today. It was a busy day, one highlight was an AUSTRAC update from Afterpay Ltd (ASX:APT).
The post ASX 200 finishes lower, Afterpay (ASX:APT) shares rise appeared first on Motley Fool Australia. –

ASX 200

The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX:XJO) fell by 0.27% to 6,179 points today.

Here are some of the highlights from today:

Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT)

The Afterpay share price climbed by over 2% today after giving an update regarding AUSTRAC.

Afterpay said that after AUSTRAC looked at the final audit report from independent auditor Neil Jeans and Afterpay’s response to the findings, it has decided it won’t be taking any further regulatory action.

AUSTRAC noted that Afterpay has lifted its anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing compliance framework and financial crime function, and satisfactorily completed all required remediation activity.

Zip Co Ltd (ASX: Z1P)

Fellow ASX 200 buy now, pay later business Zip provided an update for the quarter ending 30 September 2020.

Zip reported record quarterly revenue of $71.7 million, up 88% year on year. It achieved record quarterly transaction volume of $943.1 million, up 96% year on year. Zip said its transaction volume is now annualising at $3.8 billion.

Its customer numbers grew by 114% year on year to 4.5 million. Merchants on the platform grew by 69% year on year to 34,400.

Zip’s Australian monthly arrears, which it views as a forward indicator of future losses, reduced from 1.33% in June to 0.91% in September.

During the quarter, it completed the acquisition of QuadPay in the US. Last quarter, Quadpay achieved $322.5 million of transaction volume, $23.4 million of revenue and it finished with 2.2 million customers.

The Zip share price finished lower by around 4%.

CSL Limited (ASX: CSL)

CSL held its AGM today and increased its FY21 guidance.

The biggest ASX 200 company is now expecting revenue to grow in the range of 6% to 10% in FY21. Net profit after tax (NPAT) is expected to come in between US$2.17 billion to US$2.265 billion in constant currency terms, which would represent growth of between 3% to 8%.

That profit prediction for FY21 is an upgrade from the previous guidance, which was growth of between 0% to 8%.

CSL is expecting strong demand for its plasma and recombinant therapies to continue. With Seqirus, it’s expecting to continue to benefit from its differentiated products and strong demand for flu products. Sales of albumin are expected to normalise after the transition to the new business model in China.

In terms of R&D, the company is expecting to spend between 10% to 11% of R&D due to the COVID-19 response and new R&D initiatives.

The CSL share price went up by 1.4%.

Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC)

The major ASX 200 bank has been reviewing its Asian, European and US businesses.

Westpac has decided to consolidate its international operations into three branches: Singapore, London and New York.

This means that Westpac is going to exit Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Mumbai and Jakarta.

The acting chief executive of Westpac’s institutional bank, Curt Zuber, said: “Westpac’s priority is to focus on its core Australian and New Zealand customers and to support them in areas where we have scale and capability.

“To support this, WIB will be focusing on our international footprint in three critical locations and streamlining the product set and customers we support outside Australia and New Zealand.

“For WIB, the change will enable us to deliver products and services to customers more efficiently. Our ambition is to be the leading Australia and New Zealand-focused institutional bank for customers while delivering sustainable returns.”

“We are fully committed to supporting our employees, customers and partners through this changes.”

The changes are not expected to have a significant impact on cash earnings and the bank hopes it will improve the capital efficiency, including by reducing risk-weighted assets by over $5 billion.  

The Westpac share price fell 1.2% today, though all of the big ASX banks’ share prices dropped today.

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Tristan Harrison has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of CSL Ltd. and ZIPCOLTD FPO. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of AFTERPAY T FPO. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

The post ASX 200 finishes lower, Afterpay (ASX:APT) shares rise appeared first on Motley Fool Australia.

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