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The Aussie sharemarket started the week on the back foot and was down as much as 1.6 per cent, before finishing 1.2 per cent or 85 points lower, to 7121. This comes after a rather weak lead
from Wall St on Friday, where major indices closed lower for a fifth straight week. Locally, the Energy, Consumer Staples and Health Care sectors stood out.

In company news today, shares of Westpac Banking Corporation (WBC) climbed 3.2 per cent. This followed an earnings update by the bank, with its cash profit, despite falling to $3.1 billion over the six months to March 31, beat analyst estimates by 6.9 per cent. WBC also raised its dividend slightly to
61c and has cut costs.

Shares of fund manager Magellan Financial Group (MFG) fell by 8.4 per cent after announcing the sale of its equity stake in fast food chain Guzman y Gomez (GYG) for a cash consideration of $140 million. The sale represents a 36.3 per cent premium to MFG’s entry price in January 2021. MFG says that the sale is consistent with its strategy to focus on its core funds management business.

Suncorp (SUN) has announced that it has grown its home lending portfolio by $803 million in the March quarter. In April, SUN has seen its “portfolio momentum continue”, and has recorded “over $550 million of growth”. SUN has also grown its business lending portfolio by $91 million during the March quarter and by over $130 million in April.

TPG Telecom (TPG) will be selling its mobile tower and rooftop infrastructure to OMERS Infrastructure Management for $950 million. TPG says that the $890 million in net cash proceeds it expects to receive from the sale will be used to repay existing bank debt. The tower represents 21 per cent of TPG’s total mobile network footprint. Shares of TPG climbed 2.3 per cent.

AUB Group (AUB) has entered into a trading halt after agreeing to acquire Tysers, a leading Lloyd’s wholesale broker, for AUD$880 million. The acquisition will be funded by a combined AUD$350 million equity raise, an AUD$176 million share placement and a $675 million debt facility.

Stocks that traded ex-dividend today ANZ (ANZ). Stocks that will be trading ex-dividend tomorrow include United Overseas Australia (UOS). National Australia Bank (NAB) will trade exdividend on Wednesday.

5.6bn shares were traded, worth $8.1bn. 257 stocks finished higher, 1,335 ended lower, while 308 closed unchanged.

In the US, data on consumer inflation expectations is issued.

Originally published by Divik Nigam – (Author) CommSec