Hotel occupancy rates are forecast to be slashed in half this year as the crippled tourism industry reels from coronavirus. Tourism Accommodation Australia expects occupancies to sit at 40 per cent, down from pre-pandemic levels of about 78 per cent.
Business investment fell by 1.6 per cent during the March quarter, weighed down by a drop in private spending on equipment, plant and machinery. Seasonally adjusted data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Thursday showed total capital expenditure of $27.69 billion in the three months to March. The number was lower than market expectations for a 3.0 per cent decline but private capital expenditure is still likely to be a drag on next week's GDP data.
Toll road operator Atlas Arteria has cancelled its dividend and announced a $495 million equity raising to bolster finances after motorists stayed home during the coronavirus pandemic. The business, which operates four toll roads in France, Germany and the US, says its deferred dividend for the second half of 2019 is cancelled. The savings will be used to repay a 350 million euro loan from MIBL Finance of Luxembourg. Meanwhile, the equity raising will include an institutional placement of $420 million and a security purchase plan of up to $75 million.
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