The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) fell 0.3% today to 7,393 points.
Here are some of the highlights of the ASX:
National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB)
The NAB share price increased by 0.6% today after the bank announced a share buyback.
NAB said it’s going to buy up to $2.5 billion of its shares on-market to progress managing its common equity tier 1 (CET1) towards its target range of 10.75% to 11.25%. It expects to commence its buyback in the second half of August 2021.
The major bank said that it continues to operate well above APRA’s unquestionably strong benchmark of 10.50%, with a reported CET1 capital ratio of 12.37% at level 2.
NAB said that the $2.5 billion buyback will reduce the CET1 capital ratio by around 60 basis points. After the sale of MLC Wealth to IOOF Holdings Limited (ASX: IFL) as well as previously announced items, NAB’s pro forma March 2021 level 2 CET1 ratio is 12.15%, including the intended share buybacks.
The ASX 200 bank said that it will continue to assess various options to return capital to shareholders, consistent with managing capital towards the target CET1 range.
NAB CEO Ross McEwan said:
Through the pandemic, NAB has continued to build its financial strength while providing significant support to our customers and colleagues.
Our target CET1 range reflects a balance between retaining a strong balance sheet through the cycle, supporting growth and recognising the importance of capital discipline to improve shareholder returns. We consider the on-market buyback to be the most appropriate mechanism to achieve our previously stated bias towards reducing share count, which will help drive sustainable ROE benefits.
Pacific Current Group Ltd (ASX: PAC)
The Pacific share price fell around 2.5% today after the asset manager announced its quarterly funds under management (FUM) update.
Pacific said that total FUM controlled by boutique asset managers within its portfolio increased by 15.4% to $142.3 billion at 30 June 2021.
In native currencies, US dollar-orientated fund managers saw FUM increased by 14.1%.
The business said that it saw strong inflows at GQG, ROC and Victory Park. It said that Carlisle has restructured its open-end fund, moving significant FUM to a closed-end fund. Pacific said that market returns helped contribute to higher overall FUM.
Pacific Current CEO Paul Greenwood said:
Once again GQG delivered exceptional growth. We are also pleased by the large new allocations received by Roc and Victory Park. Despite the new commitments, Victory Park’s FUM was flat because some of its accounts reached the end of their life. Over the last few months we have seen signs of broader FUM growth across our portfolio, which bodes well for FUM growth in FY22 and beyond.
Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT) and others sink
There were several businesses that were hit today in the ASX 200.
One of the biggest declines was the Afterpay share price which fell more than 5%. The Redbubble Ltd (ASX: RBL) share price fell more than 11%, the Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG) share price declined 5% and the Clinuvel Pharmaceuticals Limited (ASX: CUV) share price dropped 6%.