AUSTRAC investigates Crown (ASX:CWN): Aus shares 0.97% higher at noon

Market Reports

by Katrina Bullock

The Australian share market opened flat and is trading 0.97 per cent higher at noon. All of the sectors have advanced this morning, except Real Estate Investment Trusts.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 60 points higher at 6,237. On the futures market the SPI is 59 points higher.

Company news

Shares in Crown Resorts (ASX:CWN) have taken a dive after the company flagged an AUSTRAC investigation. AUSTRAC’s Regulatory Operations branch has initiated a formal enforcement investigation into potential non-compliance, including concerns related to ongoing customer due diligence, and adopting, maintaining and complying with an anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing program. These concerns were raised during a compliance assessment in September last year. They focus on Crown Melbourne’s management of customers identified as high risk and politically exposed. Shares in Crown Resorts (ASX:CWN) are trading 7.7 per cent lower at $8.30 at noon.

Pacific Smiles (ASX:PSQ) has upgraded its outlook for the 2021 financial year. All of the company’s centres have been operating normal dental services since late September. Two new centres have opened and a further 10 sites are committed for next year. Pacific Smiles now expects patient fee growth of approximately 20 per cent and EBITDA growth of 25 per cent. It received $6.3 million in JobKeeper benefits in the first quarter of the 2021 financial year, which it says offset its Covid-19 related underperformance. Shares in Pacific Smiles (ASX:PSQ) are trading 6.9 per cent higher at $1.93 at noon.

Three of Clean Seas (ASX:CSS) independent non-executive directors are resigning after holding different views from cornerstone shareholders about the company’s strategic direction. Nick Burrows, Raelene Murphy and outgoing chairman Terry O’Brien, have resigned effective immediately. The company says it will move forward quickly to identify and recruit independent non-executive directors to fill the vacancies and ensure ongoing compliance with ASX listing requirements and the constitution. Shares in Clean Seas (ASX:CSS) are trading 2.1 per cent higher at $0.71 at noon.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Information Technology, adding just over 2 per cent, while the worst performing sector is REITs, shedding 0.4 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Lynas Corporation (ASX:LYC), rising 8.2 per cent to $2.90, followed by shares in Pro Medicus (ASX:PME) and WiseTech Global (ASX:WTC).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Crown Resorts (ASX:CWN),dropping 7.7 per cent to $8.30, followed by shares in Steadfast Group (ASX:SDF) and Magellan Financial Group (ASX:MFG).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,900 an ounce.
Iron ore price rose 0.3 per cent to US$119.08.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a further rise of 2.2 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 71.00 US cents.