Australia’s Securities Exchange, ASX ((ASX)), has leaped into the forefront of the digital revolution, deciding to replace its ageing systems for clearing and settlement of transactions with a new platform. The company will replace its CHESS equity clearing and settlement system with a distributed ledger technology (DLT).
While the ASX Ltd has stepped up efforts to find a new CEO to replace Elmer Funke Kuper who quit last month, the country’s major stockmarket operator found not having a boss any bar to maintaining its high level of profits.
ASX Ltd, the most profitable company listed on the ASX, is looking for a new CEO after the incumbent, Elmer Funke Kupper resigned immediately yesterday afternoon to confront allegations of foreign bribery against Tabcorp during his time as head of the gaming company.
FY19 results were slightly below Morgan Stanley's estimates. The special dividend of $1.29 was also below estimates. Guidance is for FY20 operating expenditure growth of 6-8% and capital expenditure of $75-80m.
Credit Suisse observes corporate actions were weak in the second half of FY19. Margin on listings in the current half year is expected to be significantly higher, as particularly low-margin listings are cycled.
UBS observes strong equity markets and volatility in interest rates support stronger second half activity. Average daily cash equity turnover is now up 8.5% while futures volumes are running 14% higher.
Credit Suisse upgrades forecasts by 1-2% for FY19-21 to reflect the better activity trends in the March quarter. Upgrades are driven by stronger than expected derivatives activity. Meanwhile, corporate actions were down -40% with only $7bn in equity being raised.
And yet again the ASX delivered a better-than-expected interim performance, but Citi analysts still cannot get past its valuation. Estimates have been lifted by 2%-3% and take some comfort from guidance towards further lower costs.