SYDNEY, AAP – A financial crime watchdog’s investigations into four companies have rattled investors on the Australian share market.
AUSTRAC has widened its investigation of Crown Resorts, and is examining whether NAB and casino operators SkyCity and Star Entertainment met anti-money laundering obligations.
The stocks of the four companies traded lower, as did the ASX indices at 1200 AEST on Monday.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was lower by 7.5 points, or 0.10 per cent, to 7287.9.
The All Ordinaries was down by 3.9 points, or 0.05 per cent, to 7539.4.
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Melbourne’s coronavirus lockdown may also have taken a turn for the worse after state leaders revealed 11 new infections.
The infections are linked to an earlier outbreak of the Delta variant that began in the suburb of West Melbourne.
The city’s two-week lockdown is due to end on Friday.
Overseas, there has been little response on futures markets to the G7’s agreement on a minimum global corporate tax rate of at least 15 per cent.
The pact is aimed at getting US tech giants to pay more tax.
The Nasdaq and S&P 500 futures have been little changed.
US markets provided a good lead on Friday after weak jobs data eased investors’ concerns of inflation.
On the ASX on Monday, financial shares were the worst performers and lost more than one per cent.
NAB lost 2.65 per cent to $26.78 after revealing “potentially serious” problems in meeting anti-money laundering commitments.
The bank said it has been working with AUSTRAC since 2017 to improve its controls.
ANZ was lower by 1.16 per cent to $28.86, while the Commonwealth and Westpac lost less than one per cent.
AUSTRAC’s investigation into Crown Resorts has spread to the Perth casino.
The watchdog has found potentially serious failings in preventing money laundering at the venue.
Royal commissions into Crown’s operations in Victoria and Western Australia continue.
Shares were lower by 1.61 per cent to $12.48.
As mentioned, AUSTRAC raised similar issues with Adelaide casino operator SkyCity (down 4.41 per cent to $3.25) and Sydney casino operator Star (lower by 2.89 per cent to $3.85).
Elsewhere on the market, the big miners bounced back from big losses on Friday.
BHP rose 1.41 per cent to $49.44. Fortescue climbed 1.34 per cent to $23.28. Rio Tinto gained 1.84 per cent to $126.92.
Information technology shares were best and were higher by more than two per cent.
Electronics design software vendor Altium jumped 33.4 per cent to $36.30.
Altium’s board rejected a takeover offer from US software group Autodesk of $38.50 per share.
The Australian dollar was buying 77.33 US cents at 1200 AEST, higher from 76.61 US cents at Friday’s close.