SME confidence eases; $1.27 billion bid for Goodman Fielder; Sharemarket adopts wait-and-see approach: Midday Roundup

NAB’s Quarterly SME Business Survey released today records an easing in SME business confidence for the first time in over a year. 

This is consistent with the persistently soft conditions and trends seen by larger firms.

Nevertheless, the survey found business activity has improved with conditions rising to their highest since mid-2010 – although still sub-trend.

SMEs still outperform larger firms in a number of industries, particularly in professional services and construction.

The survey found forward indicators are better, and suggest demand is returning close to trend, although firms are still cautious on the demand outlook.

Goodman Fielder receives $1.27 billion takeover offer

Australian wholesale food supplier Goodman Fielder has received an “opportunistic” $1.27 billion takeover offer.

The offer came over the weekend from Singapore-based agribusiness Wilmar International, which holds 10.1% of Goodman Fielder, and investment management company First Pacific Company. 

The deal proposes the acquisition of all shares on issue at a price of 65¢ per share, while Goodman Fielder shares are currently trading at 55c a share.

“The Board believes that the current proposal materially undervalues Goodman Fielder and is opportunistic,” Goodman Fielder said in a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange. 

Sharemarket adopts wait and see approach in early trade

The Australian sharemarket has had a relatively flat start to the trading week.

The S&P/ASX 200 was up 6.7 points to 5537.7, an increase of 0.12% while the all ordinaries improved 3.7 points to 5519.2, a 0.07% increase. 

Niall King, sales trader at CMC Markets, said softer sentiment leads, mainly tech-related, from across the Pacific meant caution has presided as the market awaits corporate reports this week from ANZ & Macquarie among others.

“So far, the major miners have dragged while the banks have crept into the green as Newcrest takes the notable performer badge, benefiting from the Ukraine induced gold price spike,” he said in a statement.

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