With more than one million cases globally, including British PM Boris Johnson who is now in intensive care, COVID 19 remains the global story of the day. So, here are the insights we have collected over the past 24 hours to share with you.

International news

  • With ride-sharing companies severely impacted by coronavirus as people bunker down at home, Uber has started listing regular job openings at other companies such as Amazon and McDonald’s, to help drivers who have been impacted by the drop in demand. Uber said its more than 240,000 drivers who held commercial licenses would be paired with logistic companies.  Read more in the Financial Times. (Subscriber access)

Australian company news 

  • The debate over superannuation continues in the media
    • AMP’s chief Francesco De Ferrari has warned against central bank intervention for cash starved super funds, saying it adds too much risk and is not in members’ interests. Read The AFR here. (Subscriber access)
    • Hostplus has introduced highly controversial rules to freeze withdrawals from its fund, with a new clause that will allow the large industry fund to “suspend or restrict applications, switches, redemption and withdrawal requests”.  Read The AFR article here. (Subscriber access)
  • Liquidity could be a concern for other investment funds, too
    • Investment firm Mayfair Platinum has suspended redemption to investors due to liquidity issues, prompting ASIC to seek an injunction to restrain the company from promoting and issuing products while suspending redemptions. ASIC has taken Federal Court action alleging Mayfair’s advertising was “misleading or deceptive”. Read more in The AFR. (Subscriber access)
  • Contract coronavirus on the job and you could receive workers compensation?
    • An internal memo from BHP says workers may be able to receive workers compensation if they contract the virus while performing “essential” services. The claim would depend on the circumstance, but it is believed the same legal vulnerability could be faced by any company whose employees contract the virus in the course of their work, if regarded as “essential”. Read the full AFR article here. (Subscriber access)
  • Staying sane while working from home
    • For those struggling to keep your teams sane working from home, experts offer some tips to manage staff from a distance. Read the top ten rules here. (Subscriber access)

Australian markets 

  • No slow down for start-ups 
    • Figures from the Australian Investment Council (AIC) indicate investment in start-ups during March is almost as high as figures for the same period last year, with $420 million invested by local VCs in the first quarter of 2019, and $414million invested up until 25 March 2020. However, the AIC is predicting a drop-off in the second quarter. Read The AFR article here. (Subscriber access)
  • New capital raising rules impacting retail shareholders
    • Shareholder activist Stephen Mayne is criticising the ASX’s new capital raising rules, after a spate of super-size placement and discounted non-renounceable entitlement offers hit the market. According to Mayne, this resulted in “massive dilution for retail shareholders, a deluge of cash for investment banks and easy paper profits for the largely undisclosed institutional shareholder pocketing placement shares”. Read his column in the Eureka Report here. (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