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ASX 200 (XJO) rises 1%, Afterpay (APT) share price jumps

The ASX 200 (ASX: XJO) is up around 1% at lunch, supported largely by the large miners and big ASX banks.

Rio Tinto (ASX: RIO) shares lead the way

The Rio Tinto share price is up 3.2% after announcing it is planning for the wind-down of operations and the eventual closure of NZAS after the conclusion of its strategic review. The review concluded that it wasn’t viable because of high energy costs and a challenging short to medium term outlook for the aluminium industry.

In 2019 Rio Tinto made an underlying loss of NZ$46 million on the smelter. The energy costs are among some of the highest in the world. It couldn’t secure a power contract that would enable competitive and profitable operations despite extensive discussions with a wide range of interested parties.

The smelter employs around 1,000 people directly and creates a further 1,600 indirect jobs in Southland.

RPMGlobal (ASX: RUL) announces a Canadian acquisition

RPMGlobal is going to acquire mine scheduling optimisation company Revolution Mining Software.

This Canadian company has been developing and selling its software called ‘Schedule Optimisation Tool’ (SOT) for six years. The software is used for scheduling optimisation for tier one miners around the globe. RPM has also acquired the software called Attain and SurfaceSOT.

All of Revolution Mining Software’s employees and management will move across into the RPM business.

The acquisition will be funded by RPM’s existing cash reserves and comprises an upfront payment and two-year earn-out. The acquisition is expected to close on 31 July 2020.

The RPMGlobal share price is up more than 3%.

Treasury Wine Estate’s (ASX: TWE) disappointing FY20

In FY20, Treasury Wine Estates expects EBITS (click here to learn what EBIT means) to be between $530 million to $540 million. This reflects the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic which has had a “significant impact” on TWE’s trading across the world.

FY20 EBITS has declined against the prior year by approximately 21%. Regional performances varied. Asian EBITS was down 14%, Americas EBITS was down 37%, ANZ EBITS dropped 16% and EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) EBITS fell 18%.

The net debt to EBITDAS ratio is expected to be 2.2x at 30 June 2020. The company had cash on hand of $448 million and undrawn debt of $920 million, meaning it has good liquidity. Cash conversion for FY20 is expected to be higher than 80%.

It seems Treasury Wine Estates is still going to pay a dividend – it’s targeting a payout ratio of between 55% to 70% of net profit after tax.

Afterpay (ASX: APT) shares jump

The Afterpay share price has jumped more than 10% today following on from its capital raising earlier this week. Afterpay shares are now above $73.

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