ASX 200 (ASX:XJO) midday update: Medibank and NIB rise, Bega sinks

Here’s what is happening on the ASX 200 on Thursday…

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At lunch on Thursday, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) is on course to record another small gain. The benchmark index is currently up 0.25% to 7,382.8 points.

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

Health insurance premium increases

Medibank Private Ltd (ASX: MPL) and NIB Holdings Limited (ASX: NHF) shares are trading higher after announcing their health insurance premium increases for 2022. Both health insurers have received approval from the Federal Minister for Health to increase their health insurance premiums by an average of 3.1% and 2.66%, respectively. This is the lowest increase in two decades. However, both companies intend to defer their increases for a few months from 1 April.

Centuria Capital’s acquisitions

The Centuria Capital Group (ASX: CNI) share price is charging higher today after announcing a series of acquisitions. According to the release, the company has acquired more than $466 million of Australia and New Zealand based healthcare properties within the past two months. This includes a geographically dispersed New Zealand portfolio of 38 aged care assets for NZ$291million (A$276million).

Rio Tinto shares remain a buy

The Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) share price is trading slightly lower today. This is despite Citi responding positively to its acquisition of the Rincon Lithium project in Argentina for US$825 million. In response, the broker has retained its buy rating and $115.00 price target on the mining giant’s shares. It believes this “confirms RIO’s ambition to be a serious player in lithium/battery materials.”

Best and worst ASX 200 performers

The best performer on the ASX 200 on Thursday has been the Evolution Mining Ltd (ASX: EVN) share price with a 3.5% gain. A number of gold miners are pushing higher today after the gold price rose overnight. The worst performer has been the Bega Cheese Ltd (ASX: BGA) share price with a 10% decline. Its shares are falling following the release of underwhelming FY 2022 guidance.

Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended NIB Holdings 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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