We hope you found our first COVID-19 insights summary useful yesterday.

International news

  • Unprecedented global response to combat coronavirus epidemic
    • G7 countries have pledged that they will do “whatever is necessary” to stabilise a global economy shaken by the coronavirus epidemic with G7 leaders vowing to coordinate recovery plans. Investors have been unimpressed with US Federal Reserve measures and other global central banks to ensure a liquid financial system. Read the FT article here. (Subscriber Access)
  • Meanwhile, The New Yorker keeps things light (but insightful!) with their cartoons – see below.

Australian company news

Australian market news

  • Business groups move into solutions mode
    • CEOs and business groups are calling on the Federal Government to implement a range of measures including wage support, suspending super and even government bailouts to keep businesses afloat. Read more here in the AFR. (Subscriber access)
    • Tech execs, led by Canva CEO Melanie Perkins, are calling on Australian business leaders to slow the epidemic in an open letter encouraging businesses to commit to social distancing and make working from home mandatory where possible.
    • Executive Chairman of global athlete analytics leader Catapult Sports has launched a change.org petition asking the Federal Government to suspend changes to the R&D Tax Incentives to save tech jobs.
  • Going digital
    • Chief financial officers have nothing to fear if digital reporting of financial results is mandated, says the accounting academic pushing for the technology. Mandating digital reporting is a recommendation made by an ongoing parliamentary inquiry into audit quality and UTS accounting professor Peter Wells said “digital reporting would not hamper a CFO’s ability to tell his or her unique story, because it only applies to statutory financial results.” (Subscriber access)
    • Coca-Cola Amatil is in talks with ASIC over how to safely hold an AGM using digital alternatives – see here. (Subscriber access) Their market update yesterday flagged online access to the upcoming AGM for shareholders.
  • Insights from fund managers
    • Chief Executive of the Australian Foundation Investment Company, Mark Freeman, advises, “The good advice, if you’re in this as a long-term investors, is don’t look. Just don’t look.” in The Australian. (Subscriber access)  He also said that abandoning of dividends and other cost saving measures was a natural reaction to the coronavirus pandemic.
    • Australia’s new ‘safe harbour’ insolvency laws are set to be tested as nervous directors quietly enquire about the process. The laws are designed to allow directors of financially distressed business a new ‘safe harbour’ to turn around their businesses free of worry of being personally pursued for insolvent trading actions.” Read more here.  (Subscriber access)
    • Former Lehman Bros. debt adviser Cameron Rae told the AFR cutting interest rates will strain smaller lenders, make fund raising more difficult and decrease competition as some ADIs will be unviable. (Subscriber access)

Our daily briefing is not meant to be a summary of media coverage but rather, insights that may be helpful in understanding how organisations are communicating with stakeholders in a time of crisis – and what comes next. Sign up via email