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ASX edges higher, Crown Resorts shares surge on takeover bid

written by Bella Palmer

The ASX 200 closed 0.2 per cent higher at 7,397 points, having drifted in and out of negative territory throughout the day

Australian shares struggled for direction for most of Friday, following a mixed performance on Wall Street as inflation worries are still front and centre for investors.

The ASX 200 managed to end 0.2 per cent higher at 7,397 points, having drifted in and out of negative territory throughout the day.

Overall, the benchmark index fell by a moderate 0.6 per cent in the past week.

It was dragged down, in particularly, by the "big four" banks, which dragged the financials sub-index down 3.6 per cent for the week. It marks their worst weekly performance since October 2020.

The nation's largest banks have said in their trading updates these past few weeks that intense competition in the home loans market would continue to put pressure on margins. That caused Commonwealth Bank shares to slump by nearly 9 per cent over two days, before it regained some ground on Friday.

Some of today's best performing stocks were Altium (+5.2pc), Sonic Healthcare (+3.2pc), Treasury Wine Estates (+4.1pc), Whitehaven Coal (+3.8pc), and Mineral Resources (+3.5pc).

On the other side, Nanosonics (-4.9pc), Zip Co (-3.6pc), Orocobre (-3.8pc), Polynovo (-3.3pc), Flight Centre (-2.8pc) and ALS (-3.9pc) suffered heavy losses.

The Australian dollar dropped marginally to 72.75 US, even as the greenback eased from its 16-month high.

Shares in Crown Resorts surged 16.6 per cent to $11.54, after the casino operator said it received a sweetened takeover bid from US private equity giant Blackstone. It is the third attempt by Blackstone this year.

Blackstone made an unsolicited, non-binding offer to buy out the embattled Australian company for $8.46 billion, or $12.50 per share. However, its offer will be reduced if Crown pays its shareholders any dividends.

Back in May, Crown's board rejected its suitor's previous offers ($11.85 and $12.35 per share) because they were considered too low.

At the time, Crown favoured a $9 billion bid from Star Entertainment Group, which was withdrawn in July by the rival casino operator.

But Crown's share price has tumbled since then, as it faced two royal commissions in WA and Victoria over its role in facilitating money laundering.

The company was ultimately allowed keep its casino licence in Melbourne, subject to heavy restrictions.

This latest offer was a 26 per cent premium compared to Crown's closing share price on Thursday.

In a statement, Crown's board said it has not yet formed a view on the merits of the proposal. It will now assess the proposal, having regard to the value and terms of the proposal and other considerations.


This article is for information purposes only.

Please remember that financial investments may rise or fall and past performance does not guarantee future performance in respect of income or capital growth; you may not get back the amount you invested.

There is no obligation to purchase anything but, if you decide to do so, you are strongly advised to consult a professional adviser before making any investment decisions.

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