Stocks of the Hour: Westpac, Appen, MinRex, New Hope

Westpac (ASX:WBC) has inked a $225 million deal with Mercer to divest its personal and corporate superannuation funds under its wealth brand, BT and also sell Advance Asset Management. The transaction does not include the superannuation held on BT Panorama and Asgard platforms. Separation and transaction costs of approximately $80 million after-tax are expected to be expensed in 2H22 and treated as a notable item. Shares are trading 1.1 per cent higher at $24.14.

Appen (ASX:APX) has received a takeover bid from Telus International. The $9.50 per share offer compared to the closing price of $6.40 on Wednesday represents a huge 48 per cent premium. Shares are trading 28.4 per cent higher at $8.22.

Meanwhile, MinRex (ASX:MRR) has received the approvals to fast-track drilling over ther key lithium assets in the eastern Pilbara battery metals hotspot. The Department of Mines, Industry and Safety, Resource have given the green light for the company to drill over 5 project areas. Shares are trading 11.5 per cent high at 6 cents.

And New Hope (ASX:NHC) posted a 19.4 per cent fall in NSW production and 63.2 per cent tumble in Queensland due to bad weather and labour shortages, sending the stock 9.3 per cent lower at $3.72.