Virgin Australia Group (ASX:VAH) administrators confirm buyer shortlist: Aus shares up 1.3% at noon

Market Reports

by Ortenzia Borre

The Australian share market opened higher this morning and is now trading 1.3 per cent up at noon. Saracen Mineral Holdings (ASX:SAR) is leading the top 200 gains at midday, up over 10 per cent, with Macquarie Group (ASX:MQG) coming in last. The S&P/ASX 200 index is 70 points up at 5,475. On the futures market the SPI is 72 points up. 

Local economic news 

If you’re feeling lonely – you are not alone, that's according to the latest ABS Household Impacts of COVID-19 Survey.

Loneliness was the most widely reported source of personal stress for Australians during April affecting 28 per cent of women and 16 per cent of men.

Around one in five people (19 per cent) also reported that they were experiencing difficulties maintaining a healthy lifestyle, which was more of a problem for those aged 18 to 64 years (22 per cent) than those aged 65 years and over (9 per cent).

Broker moves 

Citi has rated Ardent Leisure Group (ASX:ALG) as a Buy. The broker assesses that after the 75% fall in the share price since the first half result and considering the $100m asset backing in theme parks, investors are only paying around $200m for Main Event. Citi says this represents a severe discount to peers and appears overly bearish to the broker and now assigns a High Risk addition to its Buy rating, given the repair required for the balance sheet amid the risk of a second wave of coronavirus. Five Main Event centres have re-opened in May 2020, with plans for 18 more to re-open by the end of the month.Target is reduced to $0.55 from $1.74, on the back of changes to earnings estimates. Shares in Ardent Leisure Group (ASX:ALG) are trading 0.8 per cent higher at 33 cents at noon. 

Company news 

Virgin Australia Group (ASX:VAH) administrators Deloitte have this morning announced they’ve shortlisted a small number of parties to be invited into the next stage of the process to find a new owner and bring airline out of voluntary administration as soon as possible.

According to the AFR, the four parties are financial sponsors Bain Capital and BGH Capital, US aviation firm Indigo Partners and New York-based investor Cyrus Capital Partners. Lead Partner for the Administrators, Vaughan Strawbridge said these parties enabled them to seek the best available commercial solution while meeting their responsibility to maximise the outcome for creditors and see the airline continue as one of the country’s two carriers serving Australians across cities and regions. Shares in Virgin Australia Group (ASX:VAH) last traded at 9 cents.

Best and worst performers 

The best-performing sector is Materials, adding 3.6 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Financials shedding 0.4 per cent. 

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Saracen Mineral Holdings (ASX:SAR), rising 10.5 per cent to $5.58, followed by shares in Elders (ASX:ELD) and St Barbara (ASX:SBM)

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Macquarie Group (ASX:MQG) dropping 3 per cent to $101.91, followed by shares in United Malt Group (ASX:UMG) and Boral (ASX:BLD)

Commodities and the dollar 

Gold is trading at US$1,757 an ounce. 
Iron ore price is up 1.6 per cent to US$93.65 
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 4.7 per cent. 
One Australian dollar is buying 64.45 US cents.