James Packer to sell almost half of his stake in Crown Resorts: Aus shares to open higher

Market Reports

by Katrina Bullock

The ASX200 is set to open higher following a late session rally on Wall Street which helped all of the major indexes inch higher, providing some relief for a market which is on track to see losses of around 5 per cent for the month of May. An updated estimate of US GDP was released overnight. It was revised lower to 3.1 per cent which was less than expected. Economist David Rosenberg says the most important takeaways from the GDP revision are that the capex recession has begun; the profits recession has arrived; and inflation is melting away. Many attribute the revision to the escalating trade war between China and the US which has weighed heavily on Wall Street this month.

Economic News 

We can expect to see the Reserve Bank release the private sector credit figures for April and data from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority on credit card spending is also due out.

To the figures from around the globe:

Wall Street closed higher yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.2 per cent, the S&P 500 gained 0.2 per cent and the NASDAQ increased 0.3 per cent to 7,568.

European markets closed higher: London’s, Paris and Frankfurt all gained 0.5 per cent.

Asian markets closed lower: Tokyo’s Nikkei fell 0.3 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 0.4 per cent and China’s Shanghai Composite lost 0.3 per cent. Hong Kong's stocks closed yesterday at a four month low as Beijing continues to feel the pressure of its trade dispute with the US.

Taking all of this into equation, the SPI futures are up 19 points. Yesterday, the Australian share market closed 48 points or 0.7 per cent lower at 6,392.

Company news

Hong Kong billionaire Lawrence Ho has agreed to purchase almost half of James Packer's shares in Crown Resorts (ASX:CWN) at approximately $13.00 per share. Mr Packer’s private investment vehicle, Consolidated Press Holdings has agreed to sell a 19.99 per cent stake in Crown to Mr Ho's Melco Resorts and Entertainment for around $1.76 billion. Mr Ho has signalled that he has an appetite to increase his stake once he clears the Australian probity and foreign investment regulatory hurdles. He also said there would be opportunities for the two casino empires to work together on marketing and cross-referrals to attract VIP gamers to their respective resorts in Australia and Asia. This follows US casino rival Wynn Resort's decision to abandon its takeover bid for the company last month. James Packer remains the company's biggest shareholder. Shares is Crown Resorts (ASX:CWN) closed 0.1 per cent lower at $12.92 yesterday.


One company is going ex dividend today. MCP Master Income Trust (ASX:MXT) is paying 0.87 cents unfranked.


One Australian Dollar at 7:40AM was buying 69.12 US cents, 54.84 Pence Sterling, 75.76 Yen and 62.11 Euro cents.


Iron Ore futures suggest a 0.5 per cent fall.
Gold has gained $6.90 to US$1,293 an ounce.
Silver was up 9 cents to US$14.51 an ounce.
Oil fell $2.40 to US$56.41 a barrel.

Katrina Bullock

Finance News Network
Katrina joined FNN in 2018. She holds a Bachelor of Laws (Honours first class), a Bachelor of Business (Distinction) and is currently undertaking a PhD in Law focused on stock exchange disclosures and corporate governance. She previously worked as a corporate lawyer in an Australian top tier commercial law firm and is currently the General Counsel for Greenpeace Australia Pacific.