Tag Archives: invest

Texas Blackout Raises Australian Banks To $ 215 Million | Instant News


Freeze it plunging millions of Texans into darkness rippling through energy markets in unpredictable ways, yielding financial gains for Australian banks and severe suffering for other companies caught in the disruption.

Extreme weather froze wind turbines and oil and gas wells, shut down oil refineries and pushed power plants out of operation, sending shocks through energy markets. Wholesale electricity prices skyrocketed, as did spot prices for natural gas in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Arkansas.

The turbulence brings profit to commodity traders at Macquarie Group Ltd. Australia, whose ability to deliver gas and electricity across the country allows it to take advantage of soaring demand and prices in states like Texas.

The bank raised its guidance on Monday for revenue this year through March to reflect windfall winds. It said that the net profit after tax would be 5% to 10% higher than for fiscal year 2020. That equates to an increase of up to 273.1 million Australian dollars or the equivalent of approximately $ 215 million. In an earlier guide, issued Feb.9, Macquarie said it expects profits to drop slightly in 2020.

“Extreme winter weather conditions in North America have significantly increased short-term client demand for Macquarie’s ability to maintain critical physical supplies across the commodity complex, and in particular in relation to gas and electricity,” the bank said.

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Credit Suisse Booked Losses Despite Encouraging Investment Bank | Instant News


Credit Suisse Group AG said a strong start to the first quarter boosted its growth ambitions this year large legal fees and impairment pushing it to a fourth quarter loss.

The Swiss bank reported a loss of 353 million Swiss francs Thursday, the equivalent of $ 393 million, for the fourth quarter. Analysts estimated the loss to be around 566 million Swiss francs.

Even in a difficult year, Credit Suisse fared better than many European rivals as its loans in Switzerland and the global wealthy were caught in the pandemic. Together with Wall Street competitors, his investment bank booked additional fees from clients trading in the volatile market last year and from companies that raised capital or needed deal advice.

On Thursday, it said the investment banking arm experienced a more than fivefold jump in pretax profit to $ 318 million in the fourth quarter, with the largest revenue contribution coming from helping companies increase their equity and bond financing.

Fourth quarter profit before tax also rose in Credit Suisse Asia-Pacific division, by 18% to 237 million Swiss francs, while revenue and profit before tax fell at Swiss banks and international wealth management units.

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Futures Rise After Capitol Riot Inquiry Commission Is Announced | Instant News


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Australia’s Largest Casino Company Lose Big On License Findings | Instant News


Australia’s biggest gambling company, Crown Resorts, is facing a crisis of its own consequences after damning reports that it is not feasible to open its newest casino.

Crown has opened the doors to the sleek and sparkling 75-story Crown Sydney skyscraper, which is now the tallest building in Sydney. Hotels and restaurants are open to customers. But the gambling floor will likely remain closed for a while.

It’s because of former judge Patricia Bergin released its findings that the company is “unfit” to hold a gambling license. Casino license applicants with Crown’s “stark reality of facilitating money laundering, exposing staff to the risk of detention in foreign jurisdictions and pursuing commercial relationships with individuals with connections to the Triads and organized crime groups will not be certain of a positive outcome,” Bergin wrote.

Bergin’s report could be disastrous for Crown. If Crown is deemed unfit to hold a gambling license in Sydney and around New South Wales, it is hard to imagine how well reputed it is in Melbourne and Perth, where it already operates a casino. And politicians are starting to ask those questions.

“If they are, as has been found, unfit to hold a license in Sydney, of course they are just as unfit to hold a license in any other jurisdiction,” said Andrew Wilkie, a lawmaker campaigning against gambling, according to a report. from Reuters.

However, the stock has not been battered. Crown shares plunged 8.9% at the open on Wednesday but quickly recovered most of it, ending up with a 3.4% loss. Shares have generally held up since last summer despite public hearings during Bergin’s investigation that raised serious questions about Crown’s management practices.

This price movement shows investors do not expect Bergin’s findings to color the whole company. Crown may move on to overhaul its executive ranks. Its largest shareholder, James Packer, is likely to step up his efforts to sell his 35.9% stake, possibly to a Las Vegas company.

Crown on Tuesday had requested a halt to trading in its shares until Thursday or when Bergin’s report came out. However since the report was released on Tuesday afternoon, trading resumed here on Wednesday. A total of 5.3 million shares changed hands. Sales may increase on Thursday.

The crown comes from the kingdom of James Packer’s father, Kerry Packer, who lived a big life literally and in the public imagination. Kerry himself is a great gambler, on the table and in corporate terms. According to the story, a Texas oil tycoon once bragged that he had a fortune of US $ 60 million while trying to get Kerry to play him at poker. Kerry should have pulled out a coin and said, “I’ll throw you for that!” Malcom Turnbull, who later became Australia’s prime minister, said Kerry Packer threatened to kill him when they clashed over a business dispute.

Kerry’s son, James, now heads the Crown kingdom. With a net worth of $ 3.6 billion, he is the ninth richest person in Australia, based on Forbes. But he has stepped back from executive control and may now even want to leave the company. Lieutenant Packer on the Crown board, Guy Jalland and Michael Johnston, resigned Wednesday, leaving Packer without a representative on top.

Crown shares fell 50% as the pandemic hit, with casinos losing foreign gamblers and competing with local lockdowns. But Crown had largely recovered by mid-2020. The stock was one-third of the high price set in August 2018, but does not represent the drawbacks you might expect from a casino operator who has been told it is unsuitable for running a casino.

New South Wales gambling regulators will meet later this month to discuss Bergin’s report and decide whether Crown accepts a Sydney license. It seems that the previous conclusion that the license will be rejected.

Crown has not been successful in its efforts to expand overseas, although it has started a successful joint venture in Macau. The consequences of this partnership in the former Portuguese territory are still being felt.

Crown has tried several times to enter the Las Vegas casino market, recently buying a piece of land in 2014 that is expected to transform into the 1,100-room Alon Las Vegas casino. But never got a shovel on the ground and sold the plot in 2018 to Wynn Resorts (WYNN).

Crown ran into trouble in mainland China in 2016, where 16 of its employees were jailed for finding whales, or top players, to come and play at the company’s casinos. It is illegal to invite people to gamble in China, where only Macau is allowed to operate casinos. Partly because of problems in China, Crown decided to focus on its operations in Australia.

James Packer and Lawrence Ho, who are heirs to a gambling fortune, formed a joint venture in 2004 to operate a casino in Macau, with two offspring as co-chairs. But despite helping build three highly profitable casino resorts in Macau, Crown sold out its US $ 1.2 billion stake in 2017.

It was Packer’s close relationship with Ho that led to a reference to Crown’s business dealings with entities associated with the Chinese triad gangster. Lawrence Ho’s father, Stanley Ho, held a gambling monopoly in Macau for 40 years, where underground links to the gambling industry exist and are widespread. The area’s image has improved since the monopoly broke in 2002 and the Las Vegas operator entered. But even the Vegas company has faced accusations that triads operated their junket operations and high-risk private spaces in the back rooms.

US gambling regulators have ruled that Stanley Ho and his daughter Pansy Ho have links to Chinese organized crime. That forces the MGM Mirage (MGM), which has a joint venture with Pansy Ho in Macau, to submit its license in New Jersey.

Packer agreed in May 2019 to sell his 19.9% ​​stake in Crown Resorts to Lawrence Ho for US $ 1.76 billion. That would bring Packer’s former Macau partners to the limit of permitted ownership in Australia before minority shareholders had to bid for the entire company. Lawrence Ho said publicly that he would be interested in enlarging his interest.

However, Australian gambling regulators have balked at Lawrence Ho’s involvement, sparking a review by the New South Wales gambling regulator that has recently concluded. They noted that Stanley’s father, who later died, owned shares in his son’s company through a company that was prohibited from doing business in Australia.

In February 2020, Lawrence Ho postponed the purchase of Crown shares, which will be carried out in two stages. The second sale of 9.99% ownership discontinued, and Melco sold the original 9.99% block to Blackstone Group (BX) with a 37.3% discount from the price paid. Ho said he wanted to focus on the Macau market because of the financial problems stemming from the coronavirus.

James Packer, who stepped down as executive chairman of Crown’s board in 2019, citing mental health reasons, still wants to sell his holdings. Previous discussions with Wynn over his entire 36% stake were canceled when it became public knowledge.

The company now looks set to continue without Packer’s involvement, and potentially without his ownership if he sells most of the stock. It may have been his dismissal that ultimately resulted in revisiting licensing issues for casinos in Sydney and determining the company’s future.

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Australia Will Build The Largest Battery In The World | Instant News


What if Australia could display the largest grid-scale battery in the world in two years from now? CEP Energy company decided to take the bet, and announced, on February 5, its plans to build batteries with capacities of up to 1.2 GW. With this announcement, Australia reached a milestone in its metamorphosis towards a clean energy economy.

With a $ 2.4 billion costThis 1.2 GW mega-battery will challenge the dominance of Moss Landing’s storage facility, located in California, which is currently the largest in the world. Not only does it have 4 times the storage capacity of Moss Landing, the CEP battery is intended to be a major component of a 2 GW battery set installed across the country. Solar PV is likely to make up the bulk of the power supplied to it.

The CEP Energy renewable energy fund is fast becoming a key player in the Australian energy sector. Advertising low-carbon electricity, CEP Energy plans to use an extensive network infrastructure, of which storage facilities will be the main hub.

In parallel, the company intends to go further developing a Virtual Power Plant (VPP) which specializes in: it is a cloud-based system that collects various power plants across the country and connects them to batteries. Many of them are already in Australia, but CEP is trying to give them an industrial dimension. The fund is recent signed an agreement with construction company Pelligra giving him access to 10 million square meters of roof to install solar panels. The combination of solar power generation with the use of new batteries will enable CEP to sell its renewable energy directly to industrial consumers.

“CEP’s grid-scale battery network is part of our dual path strategy to generate and store clean, reliable and cost-effective electricity for Australian businesses, and provide excess power to the national grid to amplify advances in renewable generation”, company CEO Peter Wright commented in a statement, quoted by PV-Magazine.

From a coal center to a renewable energy center

This gigantic project will be realized in New South Wales – a region historically famous for its coal mining activities. However, a large number of wind and solar power projects are rapidly turning the province into a hub for renewable energy. New South Wales (NSW) is also a strategic area for renewable energy use, as several coal-fired power plants await closure in the coming decades, raising doubts on the stability of electricity supply for manufacturing industries located in the area.

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The CEP announcement is in line with New South Wales’ broader commitment to increasing renewable power generation capacity, at a time when the share of renewable energy in the electricity mix is ​​already approaching 16%.

It also provides an alternative solution for storage to hydroelectric power, currently the leading energy storage technology, with an investment of $ 50 million according to the NSW. Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap.

New South Wales vs. federal government

While the new battery project brings multiple benefits to the state – such as combining its decarbonization strategy with local job development – it appears to deviate from the federal government’s stance. In fact, Prime Minister Scott Morrison is more likely to prioritize gas to replace Liddell’s coal-fired power plant by 2023.

This difference finds an explanation in the political sphere: CEP Energy CEO Morris Iemma is a former Labor politician, and is 40 years old.th Prime Minister of New-South Wales. Iemma is known for pursuing a more progressive clean energy agenda, while the Morrison Liberal Party has advocated for a more conservative “natural gas recovery”.

The battery boom in the global market?

Lowering the cost of the battery is a major incentive that drives investment attractiveness in energy storage. A The Bloomberg NEF report predicted that lithium-ion battery prices will hit a record low of $ 100 / MWh by 2024, driven by the development of electric vehicles.

Although China has long dominated the entire storage technology value chain, current Australian trends suggest it may be time for a change. Indeed, the new CEP project is just one in a series of new storage projects that have started in Australia over the past few years, such as the Tesla battery which made headlines in 2017. And it is perhaps no coincidence that one of the members of the CEP board of directors – Jan Muller – is a former Tesla executives.

CEP is far from being the only major energy storage developer. French battery giant Neoen also embarks on a battery adventure in South Wales: in August 2020, it announced its intention to build new batteries with a capacity of up to 1.8 GW.

This boom in battery investment is a critical element in managing the intermittency of solar power, which makes up the bulk of Australia’s energy mix.

Despite the popularity of renewables and recent developments in energy storage, natural gas power generation will be urgently needed in the future to ensure grid stability in Australia.

By Tatiana Serova for Oilprice.com

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