ASX 200 rises, Afterpay sinks, Macquarie Telecom soars

The ASX 200 rose, though the Afterpay sank heavily.

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The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) rose by around 0.3% today to 7,355 points.

Here are some of the highlights from the ASX:

Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT), Zip Co Ltd (ASX: Z1P) and Sezzle Inc (ASX: SZL)

The buy now, pay later industry was heavily down today.

Afterpay and Zip were the worst two performers in the ASX 200, falling by around 9.6% and 11.4% respectively.

The Sezzle share price also dropped by approximately 10.3% today as well.

There was no official news out of the big buy now, pay later operators. However, there was news reported from overseas.

Bloomberg is reporting that Apple and Goldman Sachs are planning to launch a buy now, pay later service that may challenge Affirm, Afterpay and others

Bloomberg said that the service is internally known within Apple as Apple Pay Later. Consumers will be able to use Apple Pay for any purchase in instalments over a certain amount of time.

Goldman Sachs will be the lender of the money that funds the instalment plans. The two companies have been partners on the Apple Card credit card for the last couple of years. But, according to Bloomberg, consumers won’t need an Apple Card for the BNPL purchases.

The ASX 200 BNPL operators of Zip and Afterpay both have substantial growth hopes in the US.

Macquarie Telecom Group Ltd. (ASX: MAQ)

The Macquarie Telecom share price went up more than 15% today after announcing an update about a new data centre and a cybersecurity centre.

It announced that Macquarie Data Centres has today lodged a ‘State Significant Development Application’ to build a new data centre at the Macquarie Park Data Centre Campus.

The new data centre will be called “IC3 Super West” and will be the largest data centre on the campus, adding 32MW of IT load to bring the total campus load to 50MW over time.

Macquarie Data Centres is aiming to complete construction of the first phase of the new data centre in the second half of the 2023 calendar year. It is designed to meet the needs of the corporate, government and wholesale markets and will enhance the state’s cybersecurity infrastructure and capabilities.

The Macquarie Telecom CEO David Tudehope said:

This global scale data centre campus will attract new investment into Australia from multinationals looking to expand in the Asia Pacific region. The Macquarie Park Data Centre Campus will also be the home to our new Sovereign Cyber Security Centre of Excellence which is being launched today with the support of Investment NSW.

That new cybersecurity centre is going to be a mix of “leading edge” physical and virtual infrastructure designed to monitor and manage cybersecurity events. The infrastructure and personnel will be housed in IC3 Super West.

Mr Tudehope said:

NSW’s digital economic is rapidly growing, and this project will create world class infrastructure and valuable long-term jobs in the digital and cyber security sector.

It also confirmed that its FY21 earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) would be in between $72 million to $75 million.

Humm Group Ltd (ASX: HUM)

Humm announced that it has entered into a joint venture agreement with Red Bird Ventures, a subsidiary of Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) New Zealand, to bring the buy now, pay later product bundll to the New Zealand consumer finance market.

The arrangement will see Red Bird have the option to take an equity stake in bundll New Zealand.

This is the first partnership that is under Humm’s strategic global agreement with Mastercard and will see bundll available to all New Zealanders and preferential benefits offered to Westpac New Zealand customers.

The Humm share price dropped 4%, though this was less of a decline than other ASX BNPL operators like Afterpay and Zip.

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Motley Fool contributor Tristan Harrison has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of and has recommended AFTERPAY T FPO and ZIPCOLTD FPO. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended AFTERPAY T FPO. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Humm Group Limited. 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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