ASX 200 (ASX:XJO) midday update: Netwealth’s merger proposal, IAG sinks

Here’s what is happening on the ASX 200 on Melbourne Cup Day…

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At lunch on Tuesday, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) is on course to give back most of yesterday’s gains. The benchmark index is currently down 0.4% to 7,343.1 points.

Here’s what is happening on the ASX 200 today:

Netwealth wants to merge with Praemium

The Netwealth Group Ltd (ASX: NWL) share price is trading lower today after making a non-binding indicative proposal to merge with smaller rival Praemium Ltd (ASX: PPS). According to the release, the company has offered one Netwealth share for every 11.96 Praemium shares plus a cash consideration of $50 million. However, the Praemium Board has rejected the offer, believing it undervalues the investment platform provider.

IAG shares sink

The Insurance Australia Group Ltd (ASX: IAG) share price is sinking after it provided an update on net natural perils claim costs for FY 2022. This follows severe storm and hail activity experienced over the course of October. The insurance giant has increased its expectation for FY 2022 net natural perils claim costs to $1,045 million. This compares to the previous assumption of $765 million. As a result, it has downgraded its insurance margin guidance range from 13.5% – 15.5% to 10% – 12%.

Westpac shares continue to slide

The Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) share price is falling again on Tuesday after brokers responded poorly to its full year results. One of those brokers was Goldman Sachs, which downgraded the bank’s shares to a neutral rating with a $25.60 price target. This was due largely to its weaker net interest margin trajectory. Elsewhere, Morgan Stanley downgraded Westpac’s shares to an equal-weight rating with a $24.80 price target.

Best and worst ASX 200 performers

The best performer on the ASX 200 on Tuesday has been the Goodman Group (ASX: GMG) share price with a 6% gain. This morning the global integrated property company upgraded its earnings guidance following a strong first quarter. The worst performer has been the IAG share price with a 6.5% decline after its update.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro owns shares of Westpac Banking Corporation. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of and has recommended Netwealth and Praemium Limited. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Insurance Australia Group Limited and Netwealth. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Praemium 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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