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ASX 200 lunch time report

At lunch the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) is on course for a positive end to the week. It is up 0.25% at the time of writing thanks largely to gains in the financial and resources sectors.

Here’s what has been happening on the ASX 200 on Friday:

Wesfarmers’ shareholders approve Coles demerger.

The Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES) share price is down a further 1.5% at lunch on Friday after the conglomerate revealed that its shareholders have approved the Coles demerger. The company will now seek orders from the Supreme Court of Western Australia for approval of the scheme, after which, Coles shares are expected to begin trading on the ASX 200 on Wednesday of next week.

National Australia Bank releases annual review.

National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB) released its annual review this morning and revealed a few interesting pieces of information. This includes the bank paying $7.4 million in compensation to customers after a payment system outage in May, a $2 million cut to its CEO’s salary, and a further 4,000 job cuts over the next two years.

ACCC approves Santos’ Quadrant Energy acquisition.

This morning Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) advised that the proposed acquisition of Quadrant Energy for US$2.15 billion has been given the green light by the ACCC. In light of this, Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG) has lifted its earnings growth guidance for FY 2019 from 10% to 15%. Macquarie owns a 21.8% stake in Quadrant Energy and expects to receive the proceeds of the transaction during the current financial year.

Best and worst performers.

The best performer on the ASX 200 at lunch is the Costa Group Holdings Ltd (ASX: CGC) share price which is up over 11%. Investors have reacted positively to news that the horticulture company plans to acquire citrus fruit and grape grower Nangiloc Colignan Farm. The worst performer on the index so far today has been the CYBG PLC (ASX: CYB) share price which is down 7.5%. The UK bank appears to have come under pressure after the British pound crashed lower overnight. In addition to this, its full-year results are due next week.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended COSTA GRP FPO and Wesfarmers Limited. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of National Australia Bank Limited. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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