ASX 200 climbs, Westpac in the clear, Nine reveals a WIN-ning deal

The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX:XJO) went up by 0.8% today. Nine Entertainment Co Holdings Ltd (ASX:NEC) revealed a new contract.

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The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) ended the day up 0.8% to 6,767 points.

Here are some of the highlights from the ASX today:

Nine Entertainment Co Holdings Ltd (ASX: NEC)

The Nine share price fell 1% after announcing that the ASX 200 media business has signed a deal with WIN Corporation for a new regional television affiliation agreement.

This minimum 7-year agreement will result in WIN broadcasting Nine’s metropolitan free to air television content from various 9 channels into markets including Tasmania, regional Western Australia, Victoria, Queensland and Southern New South Wales. Nine said this will provide seamless access to Nine’s television content across all of metropolitan and regional Australia.

Under the new agreement, which commences on 1 July 2021, WIN will pay an affiliation fee of around 50% of its regional advertising revenue to Nine and provide airtime to Nine to allow promotion of Nine’s assets across WIN’s television and radio network. As part of the arrangements between Nine and WIN, WIN will also provide a sales representation service for Nine in Northern NSW and Darwin for a period of time.

Nine CEO High Marks said:

While our relationship with Southern Cross Media Group Ltd (ASX: SXL) has been strong over the last five years, the opportunities presented by the WIN Network to both extend the reach of Nine’s premium content into more regional markets under one agreement, and to work co-operatively with them on a national and local news operation, means that this is the right time for us to return to WIN. The terms of this new affiliation agreement should be positive to Nine’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) from FY22 through the broader reach of Nine’s channels and by enabling incremental efficiencies across both sales and news.

Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC)

Today, big four ASX 200 bank Westpac noted that the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has today announced that it has closed its investigation into matters related to the AUSTRAC proceedings. This follows the conclusion of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s (ASIC) AUSTRAC-related investigation in December 2020.

The $1 billion operational risk capital add-on, which reflects the bank’s heightened operational risk profile, will remain in place until Westpac completes its remediation under the court enforceable undertaking (CEU).

APRA deputy chair John Lonsdale said:

Although the investigation has not found evidence of breaches of the banking act or the Banking Executive Accountability Regime (BEAR), APRA remains determined to ensure Westpac rectifies its risk governance weaknesses effectively and sustainably.

Under the enforceable undertaking, Westpac has clearly defined executive and board accountabilities for the implementation of its integrated risk governance remediation plan. APRA will be holding Westpac to account for the delivery of the required improvements.

The Westpac share price ended the day lower by 0.3%. 

Speedcast International Limited (ASX: SDA)

Speedcast announced today that it has completed the restructuring and it’s going to emerge under new ownership, which sets into motion the winding up of Speedcast International Limited.

The new parent company will be called Speedcast Holdings III. The Speedcast business will continue to serve customers under Centerbridge Partners’ new ownership.

Speedcast International Limited has no remaining material assets or liabilities having transferred its assets in exchange for the cancellation of its secured debt. Speedcast said that was done at a significant shortfall to the secured lenders. It will shortly initiate a voluntary liquidation process.

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