The Australian share market has been falling lower through out the morning and is tracking 0.7 per cent lower at noon. Australian Pharmaceutical Industries (ASX:API), saw a rise today after reiterating its desire to merge with Sigma Healthcare (ASX:SIG). They already hold 12.95 per cent of shares in Sigma. Nine Entertainment Co Holdings (ASX:NEC) saw a drop of over 10 per cent - not long after their recent merger with publishing house Fairfax Media. The best performing sector is REITS while the worst performing sector is Telcos. The S&P/ASX 200 index is 41 points down at 5621. On the futures market the SPI is 23 points lower.
Citi says its surprised by the ACCC’s preliminary concerns about the potential merger with TPG Telecom (ASX:TPM) and Vodafone (ASX:HTA). City says at this stage TPG is ‘only a very small competitor in the mobile market’ and Vodafone only recently entered the fixed line broadband market, so the two companies are not significant competitors. Citi says if the merger is blocked TPG will need to focus on its mobile network rollout. Citi values TPM share are $6.75 per share. Currently trading 4.3 per cent at $6.17
Wesfarmers (ASX:WES) has strengthened its board with the appointment of Mike Roche. He was Deutsche Bank’s Chairman of Mergers and Acquisitions (Australia and New Zealand) for 10 years and was with the bank for over 22 years. He was also a member of the Takeovers Panel for two terms from 2008 to 2014. Shares in Wesfarmers (ASX:WES) are trading 0.4 per cent higher at $31.40.
Fonterra Shareholders' Fund (ASX:FSF) announced Mike Cronin has been appointed as Managing Director Co-operative Affairs, a new role for the firm, which unites the Co-op’s current Corporate Affairs and Farm Source teams. Mike has worked in Fonterra for 17 years and is already a member of the exec leadership team. Shares in Fonterra are trading 3 per cent lower at $4.27 at noon.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector is REITS adding 0.1 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Telcos, shedding 1.5 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Australian Pharmaceutical Industries (ASX:API), rising 4.4 per cent to $1.54, followed by shares in Infigen Energy (ASX:IFN) and New Hope Corporation (ASX:NHC).
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Nine Entertainment Co Holdings (ASX:NEC), dropping 10.1 per cent to $1.47, followed by shares in AfterPay Touch Group (ASX:APT) and Speedcast International (ASX:SDA).
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1,243 an ounce.
Iron ore price rose 1.4 per cent to US$66.65 and its futures are pointing to a rise of 1.4 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 72.1 US cents.