Shares of Nearmap soared 15 per cent to $2.36 following an after-market revenue upgrade on Tuesday. But they were halted in the morning session when the company sought a suspension from trading pending the disclosure of legal proceedings. The Australian Financial Reviews Street Talk column linked the legal dispute to Eagleview of the US.
Nearmap was also scheduled to appear at the Macquarie Australia Conference after Wednesdays closing bell; its session was cancelled.
Elsewhere, technology stocks were broadly lower in sympathy with their Wall Street peers. Buy now pay later juggernaut Afterpay fell 3.5 per cent to $106.96.
In a major session for banking news, ANZ declined 3.2 per cent to $27.90, Westpac was flat at $25.96, while Commonwealth Bank rose 2.5 per cent to $92.72, and National Australia Bank edged up 0.4 per cent to $27.37.
The corporate regulator is suing Westpac for insider trading, unconscionable conduct and breaching its financial services licensee obligation in relation to interest rate trades conducted as part of the banks role in the 2016 Ausgrid privatisation. Westpac informed the market it takes the allegations seriously and is considering its position.
ANZ Banking Group declared an interim dividend of 70¢, more than doubling the interim dividend it paid last year. Analysts had expected a dividend of 63¢ a share. ANZ reported a cash profit of $2.9 billion for the half.
QBE Insurance Group gained 4 per cent to $10.25. In his AGM address, chairman Michael Wilkins recognised the disappointing statutory loss the company reported in 2020 but said the insurer expects to resume dividend payments in 2021.
Despite the challenging landscape, the strength and resilience of our business is evident in the groups underlying financial performance, Mr Wilkins said.
Healius shares were unchanged at $4.08: its non-COVID-19 revenue climbed 5 per cent from the prior comparative period in the third quarter, and above first-half levels, with a positive test mix supporting higher average fees.
Plenti Groups warehouse funding facility for renewable energy and personal lending purposes has been increased to $200 million from $100 million with the support of a big four bank lender and other domestic investors. Plenti rose 5 per cent to $1.18.
Incitec Pivots subsidiary, Incitec Fertilisers, has entered into a 20-year off-take agreement with Perdaman Chemicals and Fertilisers. It added 1.5 per cent to $2.69.
Medibank Private upgraded its growth outlook at the Macquarie Australia Conference; the company is hoping to achieve total policyholder growth of 3.5 per cent to 4 per cent for the year ending June 30. It had previously forecast growth in excess of 3 per cent. Medibank rose 1.3 per cent to $3.08.
Manganese, copper and cobalt explorer Black Canyon made a strong start to trading on the ASX, rising sharply on its debut. The companys shares closed at 30¢ after Black Canyon raised $5 million through its initial public offering, issuing 25 million new shares at 20¢.

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