QUEENSLAND’S FUTURE ‘BRIGHT’ AFTER DELOITTE NAMES TOP 5

Written on the 21 July 2011

QUEENSLAND’S FUTURE ‘BRIGHT’ AFTER DELOITTE NAMES TOP 5

INDEX growth of 2 per cent and the addition of 34 new floats were highlighted in Brisbane when Deloitte named its Top 5 Queensland companies.

The top five listed companies are Suncorp Group Limited, QR National Limited, New Hope Corporation Limited, Macarthur Coal Limited and Campbell Brothers Limited.

The Queensland Index Gala Edition 2011 is an annual review of Queensland’s stocks and indices that showcases the performance by market capitalisation of the state’s listed companies over the past year.

There were 34 new additions to the index during FY11 of which three were a result of large initial public offerings from Queensland Rail National limited (QRN), Aston Resources Limited (Aston) and Echo Entertainment Group Limited (Echo).

QRN ended its first month on the index with a market capitalisation of $6.8 billion which rose by 20.7 per cent to $8.2 billion by year end. Aston ended its first month on the index with a market cap of $1.2 billion, rising 46 per cent to $1.8 billion by year end. Echo listed in the final month of FY11 with a market cap of $2.8 billion.

Deloitte managing partner for Queensland Tim Biggs says the general view that there hasn’t been much activity in terms of floats is incorrect, with 34 new additions to the index during the year.

“The three new additions I want to flag are the three companies with large initial public offerings – QR National Limited is the first, which despite early predictions, has gone up 20.7 per cent to $8.2 billion by year end,” he says.

“Aston Resources Limited is the second company, and the third one that snuck onto the Index without a lot of comment was Echo Entertainment Group, which demerged from Tabcorp.

“Campbell Brother’s growth has resulted from its investment in its laboratory business, which analyses the output from mining exploration companies basically. In effect, most of Campbell Brothers’ growth is due to the booming resources industry.

“Suncorp retains its position at the top, as it has for almost the entire time we’ve been doing this index – it was briefly knocked off a few years ago by Lihir Resources, but it quickly went back to number one when Lihir Gold got taken over by Newcrest and left the index, while QR National went straight in at number two.

“As the mining sector continues to grow, unprecedented pressures will be placed on the State’s job market, with record-low unemployment underpinning the positive movement of the wider economy.”

Biggs highlights that outside of the mining boom however; some companies are struggling.

“In what has been described as ‘patch work’, many other sectors of the Queensland economy are suffering from low levels of business and consumer confidence due in large part to the strength of the Australian dollar, which has pressured Queensland’s tourist industry,” he says.

Biggs says the Index is a ‘positive story’ and that the future is bright for Queensland.

“During FY11, the Queensland Index increased by 2 per cent, which isn’t a bad effort considering the many occurrences in the economy recently while the ASX All Ordinaries increased by 7.7 per cent over the same period,” he says.

“This is the first time that the Queensland Index has grown less than the ASX Index, so we’re looking forward to it returning to the highest growth index in the country.”

Deloitte Access Economics made a debut contribution to the index this year with an outlook for Queensland following the devastating natural disasters that affected the State in early 2011.

Partner at Deloitte Access Economics Chris Richardson, says Queensland’s growth spurt will start with its huge repair task which will offset the interest rates and high Australian dollar’s negative impact on the tourist industry.

“But the true driver of growth in Queensland in the next couple of years will be its biggest-ever surge of project work centered on the rich mineral arc from Gladstone to Townsville,” he says.


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