From ANZ to Crown Resorts: Five ASX shares that grabbed headlines

Highlights 

  • Crown Resorts’ shares dropped following the appointment of its new chairman.
  • ANZ share slipped more than 1% as it faces a class action.
  • Charter Hall Retail REIT shares fell on acquiring Ampol portfolio.
  • Australian Ethical Investments fell over 5% despite raising earnings guidance.
  • Codan shares gained on acquiring a UK-based company.

Australian shares closed lower on Wednesday following September quarter gross domestic product (GDP) numbers. The detection of the first confirmed community case of Omicron, a coronavirus variant, also weighed on market sentiment. The ASX 200 benchmark index ended 20.10 points or 0.28% lower at 7,235.90, led by index heavyweights GUD Holdings (ASX:GUD), Pro Medicus (ASX:PME), and Chalice Mining (ASX:CHN).

Individual stocks that created a buzz on the ASX today include Crown Resorts, ANZ, Charter Hall Retail REIT, Australian Ethical Investments, and Codan. Here’s how these ASX-listed stocks performed today:

Charter Hall Retail REIT

Shares of Charter Hall Retail REIT (ASX: CQR) declined as much as 2.4% to hit an intraday low of AU$4.06 apiece, paring early gains. CQR shares opened higher and gained 1.7% in early deals after the property investment firm acquired Ampol portfolio and upgraded its earnings guidance.

The company has acquired a 49% interest in a portfolio of 20 Ampol Fuel and Convenience Retail Centres for AU$50.5 million. The remaining 51% shares will be retained by Ampol.

As per the company, the deal will be funded by existing debt facilities and the transaction is expected to close in February 2022.

Commenting on the development, CEO, Greg Chubb said, “We are delighted to announce today’s acquisition and introduce another major convenience retailer to the CQR portfolio. Today’s acquisition is consistent with our strategy of growing exposure to market-leading convenience retailers and further enhancing the resilience, growth and stability of CQR’s income.”

The company has also raised its earnings guidance for the financial year 2022. The company expects earnings per unit to be 28.2 cents per unit, up 3.3% compared to FY21 earnings per unit.

Crown Resorts

Shares of casino operator Crown Resorts (ASX: CWN) dropped 1.2% to touch a day’s low of AU$10.89 following the report of the appointment of its new chairman.

The crisis-hit company, which recently received a takeover offer from private equity fund Blackstone, has appointed Dr Ziggy Switkowski as its new chairman. Switkowski replaces interim chairwoman Jane Halton, who held the role of Interim Chairman since 26 August 2021 and will remain as an independent non-executive director.

The appointment of Switkowski as an independent non-executive director of Crown has become effective following the receipt of all necessary regulatory approvals.

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group

Shares of Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ) slipped as much as 1.4% to AU$26.33 as it faces a class action from a law firm, Phi Finney McDonald.

The class action is said to cover certain credit card holders in the period from 1 July 2010 to 1 January 2019, alleging that the bank’s credit card contracts violated the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act.

The bank said it would review the claim and would provide any update as required.

Australian Ethical Investment

Shares of Australian Ethical Investment (ASX: AEF) fell as much as 5.5% to AU$13.77 despite raising earnings guidance.

The wealth management company expects net profit in the range of AU$5 million to AU$5.5 million over the six months to 31 December 2021, up 8% at the mid-point on the prior corresponding period.

The country’s leading ethical investment manager said funds under management (FUM) increased 9% to AU$6.64 billion as at 31 October 2021 from 30 June 2021. The rise in FUM was attributed to net fund inflows and positive investment performance.

Codan

Shares of metal detector and wireless communications business, Codan (ASX: CDA), gained 1.7% to AU$9.91 in an intraday trade on Wednesday. The stock opened lower today and dropped over 2% in early trade after it announced the acquisition of a UK-based company, Broadcast Wireless Systems (BWS).

The company’s subsidiary, Domo Tactical Communications (DTC), has acquired 100% of the shares in BWS from its founders. The transaction was funded by Codan’s existing debt facility.

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