A string of new ASX-companies have today joined the long list of businesses opting to withdraw or suspend earnings guidance due to the uncertain economic outlook with Covid-19.
QBE Insurance (ASX: QBE) and Bank of Queensland (ASX: BOQ) were the two largest groups to pull out today, while others included Tyro Payments (ASX: TYR), Evans Dixon (ASX ED1), ARB Corporation (ASX: ARB), AngloGold Ashanti (ASX: AGG), APN Property Group (ASX: APD) and Atomos (ASX: AMS).
Both QBE and BOQ both highlighted strong capital positions to see them through this time.
"These are extraordinarily difficult times for all of our stakeholders: our customers, our broker partners, our staff, our shareholders and the community at large," says QBE Group CEO Pat Regan.
"Despite the obvious and extreme disruption to normal business practices, our priority is to maintain the health and wellbeing of our staff and continue to support our customers in this time of need."
Similarly to the big four and as part of relief measures announced by the Australian Banking Association, BOQ highlighted the following initiatives to support its customers:
- Deferred repayment periods of up to six months on business loans up to $10m;
The option to choose between deferred mortgage repayments or Interest Only repayments
for an initial period of three months; and
- Fast track hardship assistance for impacted customers.
"We have a strong balance sheet with solid capital and funding, and robust risk management," says BOQ managing director & CEO George Frazis.
"We will support our customers in any way we can, especially at a time when some are feeling at their most vulnerable. We are here for our customers and will work with them through the challenges ahead."
Evans Dixon, which has been struggling with an underperforming US fund, noted it had seen a significant increase in trading activity by clients over the past two months, generating strong brokerage revenues.
"However, revenue in Wealth Advice will likely be impacted in coming months on the back of a significant reduction in the market value of funds under advice," the company said.
"In Funds Management, revenue from managing equities portfolios will likely be impacted as a result of market weakness."
Tyro Payments' decision came despite recording transaction growth through the first few months of this year.
"We are in the midst of a rapidly evolving situation and a prime focus is continuing to provide such assistance we possibly can to support those of our merchants experiencing hardship and keeping our team together in what are extraordinary times," says Tyro managing director and CEO Robbie Cooke.
"I am pleased to be able to say we continue to operate on a business as usual basis, providing the level of service, availability and support our merchants have come to expect from our team and we have in fact have increased our customer support teams in place 24 hours a day to assist our merchants.
"We had been on track to deliver our Prospectus forecast, however the unfortunate reality of the measures being implemented to contain COVID-19 have compressed our transaction growth rates and, with the current uncertainty both as to the duration of the pandemic and the extent to which it will continue to impact our merchants, we can no longer be assured of achieving our forecast."
Updated at 3:45pm AEDT on 30 March 2020.
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