- Commonwealth Bank of Australia received approval for the sale of its 80% equity interest in its Indonesian life insurance business.
- Westpac Bank recorded higher net interest income mainly due to movements in economic hedges.
- NAB offered Share Purchase plan to raise around $500 million.
- Vanguard Australian Shares Index ETF possesses minimum exposure to the performance of individual securities.
The Australian equity market has experienced back to back upheavals in the past few months caused by Bushfire and the current COVID-19 pandemic. The markets experienced a major sell-off during the month of March 2020, where most of stocks on the ASX have experienced a greater volatility. Against the backdrop, let us now have a look at top traded ASX stocks and ETF’s.
Commonwealth Bank of Australia
Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) is well-known Australian Bank, which provides banking and financial products and services. Recently, the bank updated the market that it secured definitive regulatory nod for the sale of its 80 percent equity interest in its PTCL (Indonesian life insurance) business division to PT FWD Life Indonesia, which is expected to complete in June 2020.
During Q3 FY20, the bank reported strong operational performance, which reflected disciplined execution of its strategy. At the end of quarter, the bank had strong funding with a rise of $10 billion in Retail/SME deposits in the month of March.
At the close of market session on 26th May 2020, CBA settled at $61.31 per share with a rise of 3.933%. CBA delivered a return of -0.93% in the last one month.
Westpac Banking Corporation
Australia based, Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC) offers banking, financial and related services. WBC recently stated that David Lindberg, Chief Executive, Consumer and Craig Bright, Chief Information Office were to quit the Company to explore new roles abroad and WBC had already begun with the global hunt for their replacements.
During 1H FY20, the bank recorded a decline of 62% to $1,190 million in net profit. Net interest income for the period increased $737 million against 1H FY20 and experienced a rise in net interest margin of 12 basis points to 2.21%. The movement in net interest income is mainly attributable to:
- movements in economic hedges;
- a decrease in the charge for estimated customer refunds, payments, associated costs and litigation.
At the close of trading session on 26th May 2020, WBC settled at $16.30 per share with a rise of 6.327% compared to its previous close. WBC delivered a return of 4.57% in the last one month.
Macquarie Group Limited
Macquarie Group Limited (ASX:MQG), recently released its FY20 results, wherein it reported net profit amounting to $2,731 million with a fall of 8% over FY19. Credit and other impairment charges for the period stood at $1,040 million, which is higher than $552 million noted in FY19. This reflects the potential economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
By the end of market session on 26th May 2020, the stock MQG settled at $108.71 per share with a rise of 2.392% from its last close. MQG delivered a return of 7.24% in the last one month.
National Australia Bank Limited
National Australia Bank Limited (ASX:NAB), recently announced that it would release its Q3 FY20 trading update on 14th August 2020. In order to raise around $500 million, the bank opened Share Purchase Plan to eligible shareholders on 4 May 2020. The SPP follows the completed institutional placement, which raised $3 billion in April. These proceeds provide the bank with enough capacity to continue supporting its customers during the challenging times ahead, and increasing its capital level to assist in order to manage through a range of possible scenarios.
Do Read: Dividend Cuts among major Banks
On 26th May 2020, the NAB was at $16.640 per share with a rise of 5.651% compared to its previous close. NAB delivered a return of -3.52% in the last one month.
Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited
Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ASX:ANZ) provides banking and financial products and services to individual and business customers. The bank entered the COVID-19 crisis with a strong capital position.
For the 1H FY20, the bank recorded a Statutory Profit after tax amounting to $1.55 billion, reflecting a fall of 51% over pcp. This fall was largely because of the credit impairment charges amounting to $1.674 billion which included increased credit reserves of $1.031 billion for the impact COVID-19.
As on 31st March 2020, the Common Equity Tier 1 Capital Ratio of ANZ stood at 10.8%. While Return on Equity went down to 4.7%. The bank has also decided to postpone its 2020 Interim Dividend till the time they gain better clarity with regards to the economic effect of COVID-19.
On 26th May 2020, ANZ settled at $16.52 per share with a rise of 5.965% from its last close. ANZ delivered a return of -0.38% in the last one month.
Webjet Limited (ASX:WEB) provides complete selection related to travel bookings services (online) for air travel, hotels, car hire, cruises, excursions, etc.
Recently, WEB completed retail component of its fully underwritten retail entitlement offer. This indicates completion of second stage of its $346 million equity raising. The Company would use the proceeds to cement the balance sheet considering the continued impact of COVID-19, as well as associated government restrictions only.
At the close of session on 26th May 2020, WEB settled at $4.400 per share with a rise of 5.769% from its last close. WEB delivered a return of 69.11% in the last one month.
Woodside Petroleum Ltd
Australia based, Woodside Petroleum Ltd (ASX:WPL) is mainly engaged with managing and operation related work of hydrocarbon.
During Q1 FY20, the Company reported production of 24.2 MMboe, reflecting a rise of 12% from Q1 FY19. The company successfully managed to soften the impacts of Tropical Cyclone Damien. WPL executed appropriate responses to combat with the impact of COVID-19 and lower commodity prices.
On 26th May 2020, WPL last traded at $23.24 per share with a rise of 2.741% compared to its last close. WPL gave a return of 12.09 percent in the last 30-day period.
Vanguard Australian Shares Index ETF
Vanguard Australian Shares Index ETF (ASX:VAS) offers low-cost, largely branched out experience to the entities in Australia and property trusts on ASX. The investment approach of Vanguard provides investors with an efficient way to capture long-term market performance. The Fund parks its investment in a diversified portfolio of securities.
As of 25th May 2020, the estimated intraday net asset value of the fund stood at $71.41 per unit. On 26 May 2020, VAS last traded at $73.44, up by 2.857% from its last close.
Vanguard Diversified High Growth Index ETF
Vanguard Diversified High Growth Index ETF (ASX:VDHG) strives for pursuing the weighted average return of the numerous indices of the underlying funds in which the fund makes investments. The fund manager gives low-cost access to numerous sector funds offering broad diversification in a range of asset classes. The ETF is designed for investors with an extreme patience pertaining to risk and looking for longstanding capital increase.
As of 25th May 2020, the intraday net asset value of the fund stood at $51.490 per unit. On 26 May 2020, VDHG was at $52.22, up by 1.418% from its previous close.
BetaShares U.S. Equities Strong Bear Currency Hedged (HF)
BetaShares U.S. Equities Strong Bear Currency Hedged (HF) (ASX:BBUS) aims to produce increased returns, that are negatively linked to the gains of the United States share market. The fund strategy includes a 1 percent drop in the United States stock market on a particular date can usually be anticipated to give a 2%- 2.75% growth in the value of the Fund (and vice versa). The investment in this fund provides benefits like hedging of portfolio and leveraged returns in the falling market.
At the close of 25th May 2020, the net asset value of the fund stood at $3.030. The fund was inclined towards its 52-week lower levels of $2.620. On 26 May 2020, BBUS last traded at $2.91, down by 3.96% from its last close.
(NOTE: Currency is reported in Australian Dollar unless stated otherwise)
There is no investor left unperturbed with the ongoing trade conflicts between US-China and the devastating bushfire in Australia.
Are you wondering if the year 2020 might not have taken the right start? Dividend stocks could be the answer to that question.
As interest rates in Australia are already at record low levels, find out which dividend stocks are viewed as the most attractive investment opportunity in the current scenario in our report.