Stocks of the Hour: ANZ, Westpac & Incitec Pivot

Company News

by Michael Luu

Big-four bank ANZ (ASX:ANZ) has decided to double its interim dividend from last year’s rate to 70 cents per share, buoyed by increased cash profits and favourable economic conditions. The $82 billion company has reported an increase in cash earnings of 28 per cent, as ANZ snapped up cash profit of $2.99 billion in the six months ending on March 31.

Shares in ANZ Banking Group (ASX:ANZ) are trading 1.7 per cent lower at $28.33.

Westpac (ASX:WBC) has confirmed awareness of legal action against the corporation by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission on account of alleged insider trading. ASIC claimed that Westpac’s interest hedging process during the $16 billion Ausgrid transaction in 2016 was in violation of the banker’s Australian Financial Services License obligations. The corporation watchdog believes the bank had gained access in advance to inside intel that Westpac would be chosen by a consortium of AustralianSuper and IFM to coordinate the interest-swapping project and deliberately exploited this information.

Shares in Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC) are trading 0.8 per cent higher at $26.20.

Chemicals manufacturer Incitec Pivot (ASX:IPL) has secured a prospective annual supply of up to 2.3 million tonnes of granular urea fertiliser for 20 years. Australia’s largest supplier of fertilisers has agreed to an offtake deal with Western Australia-based Perdaman Chemicals and Fertilisers, subject to Perdaman's attainment of financial backing for its urea production plant.

Shares in Incitec Pivoc (ASX:IPL) are trading 1.9 per cent higher at $2.70.

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