ASX 200 rises, Macquarie up, Rural Funds launches capital raising

The ASX 200 rose today. Macquarie revealed it’s buying a division from AMP.

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The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) rose by around 0.2% today to 7,341 points.

Here are some of the highlights from the ASX:

Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG) and AMP Limited (ASX: AMP)

Macquarie announced today that Macquarie Asset Management is going to buy AMP Capital’s global equity and fixed income (GEFI) business, including fixed income, Australian listed equities, listed real estate and listed infrastructure, for a purchase price of up to $185 million.

The AMP GEFI business currently manages approximately $60 billion in assets under management (AUM) for AMP Australia as well as external institutional, retail and direct clients. As a result of the transaction, Macquarie Asset Management’s pro forma AUM will be approximately A$720 billion.

Ben Way, head of Macquarie Asset Management, said:

This transaction represents another opportunity, following our recent acquisition of Waddell & Reed, to add scale and expand our public investment capabilities. It cements Macquarie’s position as the leading investment manager in Australia by AUM, and provides new clients joining us from AMP Capital with access to Macquarie’s diversified investment offerings and global platform. Clients will be at the centre of our considerations as we work closely with AMP on a successful integration.

The Macquarie share price ended the day higher by 0.4% and the AMP share price went up around 0.5%.

Rural Funds Group (ASX: RFF)

ASX 200 agricultural real estate investment trust (REIT) Rural Funds saw its shares go into a trading halt today to announce a capital raising.

It’s doing a 1 for 8.4 accelerated pro rata non-renounceable entitlement offer to raise $100 million.

Rural Funds explained that throughout FY20 and FY21, it has acquired $104 million of land and water in Rockhampton, Bundaberg and Maryborough for the development of 5,000 hectares of macadamia orchards. Planting has commenced at Maryborough, with 500 hectares to be planted by November 2021. An additional 500 hectares will be planted by June 2022. The equity raising will provide the funding for these developments.

The money will also be used for acquisitions. It’s looking to acquire additional cattle properties which are likely to have similar productivity development potential as Rural Funds’ existing cattle properties.

Rural Funds also said $38.4 million will be used to buy water entitlements in the NSW Riverina, which are leased to a private farming company for a term of five years. Rural Funds said it believes demand for secure water in this region will increase over the long-term, as permanent plantings such as almond orchards continue.

The capital raising price is $2.47, a 5% discount to Rural Funds’ last closing price on 7 July 2021.

Rural Funds confirmed its forecast FY22 distribution of 11.73 cents per unit, being a 4% increase on FY21.

Pointsbet Holdings Ltd (ASX: PBH)

The Pointsbet share price fell around 1% today.

The ASX 200 corporate bookmaker announced that it has appointed NFL all-time great and future hall of famer Drew Brees as a global brand ambassador.

Pointsbet said that Brees, who is starting a broadcasting career with NBC Sports, will deepen the NBC Sports and Pointsbet relationship as the company continues to expand and realise the growing North American online sports betting opportunity.

Brees will both star in and help develop original content for Pointsbet, providing sports betting education and commentary, host events and steer marketing and promotional concepts, among other areas.

Mr Brees will be issued with 202,940 Pointsbet shares, released in equal proportions after one year, two years and three years from the issue date.

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Motley Fool contributor Tristan Harrison owns shares of RURALFUNDS STAPLED. The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of and has recommended Pointsbet Holdings Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Macquarie Group Limited and RURALFUNDS STAPLED. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Pointsbet Holdings Ltd. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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