The S&P/ASX All Ordinaries Accumulation Index closed up 0.2% for the week. On Wednesday, the Westpac-Melbourne Institute index of consumer sentiment jumped to a four year high, rising 3.6% in December. On Thursday, data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported Australia’s population continues to grow at a fast pace. The population grew at an annual growth rate of 1.6% with the population estimated to be 24.6 million. 

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Au revoir Westfield 

On Tuesday, Westfield Corporation (ASX: WFD) announced French company Unibail-Rodamco SE had entered into an agreement to acquire Westfield in a $32 billion takeover. In what would be Australia’s biggest takeover on record, the deal will create a $95 billion global retail giant with shopping centres spanning major cities across 13 countries. Shares in WFD closed up 10.1% for the week. We own Westfield as a research-driven investment in WAM Leaders and Century Australia.

Smartgroup accelerates  

On Thursday, salary packaging and novated lease provider Smartgroup Corporation Ltd (ASX: SIQ) announced it had acquired 100% of the shares in fleet management provider, Fleet West for $8.0 million in cash and $1.0 million in shares. Smartgroup also announced a trading update for the period ending 31 December 2017 and expects calendar year 2017 net profit after tax and amortisation of $64.0 million, a 45% increase on the prior year which was above analysts’ expectations. Shares in Smartgroup closed up 4.6% for the week. We own Smartgroup as a research-driven investment in WAM Capital, WAM Leaders, WAM Research and Century Australia.


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