Closing Bell: RBA Board finally bottles out, snapping its 10-month winning streak
Local markets were ponderous for most of the day, right up until the RBA lit a firecracker under the ASX through the simple expedience of doing absolutely nothing.
Either that, or the Board has Australians confused with the mightiest of dinosaurs, the formidable T-Rex – “They can’t see us if we don’t move, right?”
By the close of the session, the ASX 200 benchmark had been to just about every point on the map before settling at +0.18% for the day.
But the RBA snapping the Big Banks’ 10-month winning streak will come as small comfort to Aussie landlords, giving most of them just a month to figure out a new reason for gouging the hoi polloi.
I jest, of course. They already know the next smart move is to a Rent-plus-Utilities model with a grossly inflated power margin built in to account for “market uncertainty” that they can drop at the feet of whatever hair-brained scheme the government has in the pipeline for “capping power bills”.
Sector-wise, Energy did best at +1.2%, followed by InfoTech on +1.1% and the Telcos on 0.8% – leaving poor old Materials scratching around in the dust at -1.0%, despite a sizeable 3.0% boost among the Goldies for the day.
Obviously, the Big News for the day was the RBA rate decision, which has offered slim respite for borrowers, who will take absolutely zero reassurance from Governor Lowe’s post-do-nothing media call.
“The board expects that some further tightening of monetary policy may well be needed to ensure that inflation returns to target,” Lowe said.
“The decision to hold interest rates steady this month provides the board with more time to assess the state of the economy and the outlook, in an environment of considerable uncertainty.”
“It has nothing to do with the RBA inquiry paper on Jim Chalmers’ desk,” Lowe didn’t say, because we all secretly know that must have been playing on the RBA Board hivemind.
That, and the realisation that the average cost of servicing a $600,000 mortgage went up to $3,910 – a rise of $1,058 a month.
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Besra Gold (ASX:BEZ) is back in the winner’s circle today on news that the “Initial Payment” of US$2m from Quantum Metal Recovery Inc has arrived in Australia, and is being held in trust pending satisfaction of the Conditions Precedent as set out in the non-binding Term Sheet for a US$300m Offtake Funding Facility announced on 21 March 2023.
Today’s climb is a 36% shot in the arm, taking BEZ over its recent $0.16 high to $0.17 a pop, and up over 286% for the month again.
Meanwhile, this morning’s leader Li-S Energy (ASX:LIS) has slipped back into second place, down from +35% at lunchtime to a more sedate +29.4%.
The battery maker came out of its trading halt this morning with huge news that it’s achieved a 45% increase in volumetric energy density with its newly-developed 20-layer semi-solid state lithium sulphur battery.
The cells have been produced in LIS’s semi-automated Phase-2 facility in Geelong, Victoria with test cell production capacity anticipated later in the year when the company’s new Phase-3 facility is completed.
LIS is trading 35.2% higher at lunchtime, but major LIS stakeholder PPK (ASX:PPK) is down 5.3% for the day, following the 29.6% power surge it had yesterday when LIS was in its pre-announcement trading halt and investors realised that PPK was a something of a backdoor into the LIS gains on the table.
And last one for now is Queensland Pacific Metals (ASX:QPM), up 23.8% after revealing that the company has inked a deal with some German suppliers in Australia on a junket trade delegation trip.
QPM has signed a Collaboration Agreement with Plinke GmbH, Andritz Separation GmbH and Siemens Ltd regarding supply of capital equipment for the TECH Project, which comes with a host of conditions including bid process restrictions and other fancy stuff.
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BWX Limited (ASX:BWX) has jointly and severally appointed KPMG Australia’s David Hardy, Gayle Dickerson, James Stewart and James Dampney as Receivers, following the company’s call to enter voluntary administration yesterday.
The Receivers have now assumed day-to-day control of the Australian operations of the BWX Group, which will continue to operate as normal while the Receivers undertake an assessment of the business.
There’s a laundry list of companies involved in the proceedings, including: BWX Limited, BWX Australia, BWX Brands, Beautiworx, Edward Beale Hair Care, Sukin Australia, Renew Skin Care Australia, Derma Sukin Australia, Lightning Distribution, BWX Digital and The Good Collective.
However, despite BWX holding a majority stake in skincare brand Go-To Skincare, the latter is not in Administration or Receivership and is managed and operated independently of the BWX Group, so it’s business as usual on that side of the parking lot.
And I bring you news of the Takeover Saga That Will Not End, thanks to Potentia Capital Management’s lodging of the 13th bidder’s statement in the fight to own Nitro Software (ASX:NTO).
Call me old fashioned, but 13 just sounds… excessive.
Anyhoo – Potentia says it’s prepared to pay the oddly-specific sum of $455,180,039.60 for NTO, which works out at $2.20 a share.
It’s a weird dollar value because somehow there are 206,900,018 shares kicking about.
What is becoming increasingly obvious is that even the bidders are getting the sh*ts with how long this has been dragging out – the initial offer landed on Nitro’s desk before Halloween last year (on October 28 2022, for those of you who like to know stuff).
How can I tell that everyone’s patience is wearing thin? Well, for starters, mine definitely is.
Also, Potentia included the following statement in its bid announcement today.
“Potentia Capital has put in place binding funding commitments totalling at least $580m” – partly because the Takeovers Panel wanted assurances that Potentia would be able to stump up the cash if the price went north of $2.00 a share, and partially because “We can keep doing this allllll day” is generally a pretty persuasive argument.
Alicanto Minerals (ASX:AQI) – Capital raising.
Invictus Energy (ASX:IVZ) – Capital raising.
Roots Sustainable Agricultural Technologies (ASX:ROO) – Capital raising.
Pacific Nickel Mines (ASX:PNM) – Announcement regarding financing of the Kolosori Nickel Project in the Solomon Islands.
Aldoro Resources (ASX:ARN) – Capital raising.
Cynata Therapeutics (ASX:CYP) – Capital raising.
Avenira (ASX:AEV) – Capital raising.
St Barbara (ASX:SBM) – Announcement concerning the status of the Genesis Minerals transaction.
Genesis Minerals (ASX:GMD) – Announcement concerning the status of the St Barbara transaction.
Kalium Lakes (ASX:KLL) – Management team changes.