ASX 200 rises 0.7% on Wednesday

The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX:XJO) went up on Wednesday. Commonwealth Bank (ASX:CBA) announced the merger of Lendi and Aussie Home Loans.
The post ASX 200 rises 0.7% on Wednesday appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia. –

ASX 200

The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) went up by approximately 0.7% to 6679 points.

Here are some of the highlights from the ASX today:

Aussie Home Loans to merge with Lendi

Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) announced today it has agreed to merge mortgage broker Aussie Home Loans with Lendi, an online home loan portfolio.

CBA said that the complementary capabilities of Aussie and Lendi are expected to support the growth of the existing businesses and to deliver a range of additional benefits over time for customers and brokers, including enhanced digital capabilities and improved operational efficiencies.

Upon the deal’s completion, CBA will hold a 45% shareholding in the combined business, with existing Lendi shareholders holding the remaining 55% shareholding. CBA will also receive deferred consideration and a pre-completion dividend of $105 million in aggregate, subject to adjustments. CBA said the transaction is not expected to have a material financial impact on CBA’s capital position.

Matt Comyn, the CEO of CBA said: “We believe that the combined business will have a stronger platform to offer enhanced digital capabilities for Aussie brokers and a superior experience.”

David Hyman, the co-founder and CEO of Lendi said: “The role of digital technology in strengthening customer outcomes, compliance and operational agility is only growing in importance and by coming together with a robust and trusted business like Aussie, we will be able to drive even stronger outcomes for more homeowners and brokers alike.”

This transaction is subject to ACCC approval and other conditions. It’s expected to occur by the middle of the 2021 calendar year.

The CBA share price rose 0.9% today.

Service Stream Limited (ASX: SSM)

The network services business announced that it has secured a long-term agreement with NBN Co to provide service activations, operations and maintenance services to the multi-technology NBN.

Under the new unified field operations agreement (Unity Services), Service Stream will be providing services across fibre to the node (FTTN), fibre to the premise (FTTP), fibre to the basement (FTTB), fibre to the curb (FTTC) and hybrid fibre coax (HFC).

The agreement is for an initial period of four years, and two two-year extension options, each at the NBN’s election. The agreement replaces the existing operations and maintenance master agreement (OMMA) that has been held by Service Stream since it started in 2015.

Unify Services is expected to generate approximately $70 million of revenue for Service Stream in the first year, with subsequent years dependent on annual work volumes.

Service Stream Managing Director Leigh Mackender said: “As a leading provider of operations and maintenance across services to the telecommunications industry, we are pleased to secure another long-term maintenance agreement with NBN and to continue providing vital support to its customers.

“Following the recent signing of the Unify Networks agreement in August across a similar term, Service Stream will effectively be providing nbn with operations and maintenance support across all mainland and territories under either the Unify Networks or Service agreements. We look forward to continuing to support NBN’s maintenance programs for many years to come.”

The Service Stream share price fell 12% today. 

APA Group (ASX: APA)

Energy infrastructure business APA announced today that it was going to increase its FY21 interim distribution by 4.3% to 24 cents per security for the six months ending 31 December 2020.

The APA distribution will be fully covered by operating cash flows. The components of the interim distribution including its tax deferred status and allocated franking credits will be confirmed after the finalisation of its half year results on 23 February 2021.

The APA share price went up 1.2% today.

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

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