In case you missed it: This month in money news

Regional areas see huge property growth

A shortage of supply has been created in regional areas of Australia, as Australian’s flee from the Covid Capitals. Regional areas have seen the biggest property growth in the country, with some markets jumping by over 30% including Alpine (33.7%), Ballina (34.4%), Benally (32%), Broome (33.6%) and Lismore (34.1%).  Capital cities, on the other hand, have increased by an average of 9.6% with Sydney setting the pace at 14.1%, followed by Hobart 13.6% and Brisbane 12.1%. Apartments and inner city suburbs haven’t enjoyed the same rebound after lockdowns and prices for these dwellings remain subdued.

 

Scams are on the rise

Scams targeting Australians through their mobile phones are on the rise at the moment. Text messages are being used to lure people into clicking a link with the promise of hearing a new voicemail. Clicking this link then allows scammers to install phishing software on your phone, which in turn downloads your bank account information and passwords. These messages are usually fraught with spelling and grammar mistakes, so are easy to spot. We’ve also had reports of clients receiving pre-recorded voice calls informing people that their bank account or TFN has been involved in illegal activity and will be closed if the client doesn’t get in contact or send money. If you receive one of these calls, hang up and block the phone number. If you think you may have fallen victim to one of these or any other scams, contact your bank immediately and have to chat to them about your security settings.

 

Discounts, perks & freebies on offer for fully vaccinated Australian’s

Restaurants, airlines and travel companies are among those offering discounts, vouchers and freebies for Australian’s who have had both of their Covid jabs. Things like free glasses of wine with dinner at some hospitality venues, free business class flights and big discounts from Qantas and Virgin Airlines, and bonus rewards points for members of private health companies like AIA and Medibank are all up for grabs. There are lots of companies and small business jumping on board, so keep an eye out when Melbourne re-opens and reap the rewards!

 

BHP & Woodside petroleum merger

On the 17th of this month, BHP and Woodside Petroleum announced the following:

·      That BHP’s oil and gas business would be merged with the existing Woodside Petroleum.

·      Woodside will issue new shares to be distributedto BHP shareholders.

·      The expanded Woodside would be owned 52% by existing Woodside shareholders, and 48% by existing BHP shareholders.

There’s a little more to do before this transaction goes ahead, including shareholder and government approval.

Benefit for BHP

This allows BHP to move toward a lower carbon footprint by cutting carbon emissions.  Major investors have been pushing BHP to get out of fossil fuels because of ‘global warming’.  BlackRock, a goliath US investment fund, has been outspoken about this issue, and in particular with regard to its investment in BHP.  The removal of oil and gas from BHP’s portfolio is a big plus for BlackRock’s commitment to invest in environmentally acceptable companies.

Benefit for Woodside

This doubles Woodside’s exposure to oil and gas.  For some, this isn’t a benefit.  However, having a huge and diverse portfolio of oil and gas assets will likely give Woodside the financial strength it needs to navigate through a world focused on reducing the effects of fossil fuels.

Our take

Not good for BHP. They lose major assets that provide cash flow to the business. It is, however, good for BHP shareholders as they’ll receive new shares in Woodside Petroleum.  Woodside’s current shareprice of around $20 is very low when you consider the current yield of 10.42% (gross yield), PE ratio of around 13x, and potential of increasing oil prices as the world recovers from Covid lockdowns.

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Stephenie Bamford

Loves food. Social Media expert. Loves the beach.