“In a sector with few standout operators, G8 has the opportunity to use its scale to create a compelling value proposition for parents and children,” he said. “Making childcare more accessible is good for the country, but it is incumbent on operators to use the funding responsibly.”
Labor has also outlined an additional $2.5 billion in aged care funding that helped to propel locally listed providers in the first trading session since the election.
Shares in Estia Health, which operates 68 aged care facilities across four states and serves more than 8000 residents, jumped 3.8 per cent on Monday to $2.20. The company has a market value above $550 million.
Swift Networks Group, a technology company that provides entertainment and communications tools to aged care homes, jumped 5.6 per cent on Monday to 1.9¢. The company is a market minnow, capitalised at just $10 million.
Notably, Labor’s victory did not trigger sharp moves in companies and industries vulnerable to stricter carbon emissions policy. In fact, the materials sector, which is dominated by miners dependent on fossil fuels, was the best performer among the 11 sharemarket sectors. The energy sector placed third.
Labor has committed to a 43 per cent cut in carbon emissions below 2005 levels by 2030, a policy Mr Albanese has indicated would not change regardless of the need to work with crossbench MPs to hold power.
On Monday, the Labor leader was sworn in as prime minister despite not yet officially forming government as the final votes in closely contested seats are counted.
The muted market response is partly the result of polling in the lead up to Saturday’s vote signalling a win for Labor, and also the accelerating adoption of net zero emissions targets among businesses in the past few years, said Steve Johnson, chief investment officer for Forager Funds.
“The bookmakers had pretty short odds on this outcome for quite some time now so people have been pricing in this as the most likely outcome,” said Mr Johnson.
“The biggest change is probably climate related and it’s generally uncertain as to what that will look like. The impact on business is a long way down the track, so the immediate outlook is not dramatically different.”
The potential need to negotiate with crossbench MPs to legislate opens the possibility the Greens party may attempt to bolster Labor’s carbon emissions goals, creating uncertainty for businesses.
“Labor climate policies were more specific in targeting decarbonisation goals in tighter time frames versus the Coalition,” said Chris Nicol, head of Australian strategy for Morgan Stanley.
“Now that Labor is in government, the broad intent will need greater policy in order to placate and satiate a larger independent and Green vote. We would look for policy that drives faster adoption rates from both consumer and business in the first instance,” he said.
The gains for education and aged care companies were the standout in an otherwise muted market response to the election, which marked just the fourth time since the second world war that Labor has shifted from opposition to government.
The S&P/ASX 200 benchmark of blue chips gained less than 0.1 per cent. The Australian dollar jumped 1.1 per cent to US71.14¢.
Market analysts indicated the challenges facing the economy both locally and at the global level remain elevated as central banks raise interest rates to combat above-target inflation.
“We doubt the election result will change the outlook for monetary policy,” analysts from Citi said on Monday, highlighting the role of the Fair Work Commission in deciding an increase to the minimum wage.
“The FWC decision on minimum wages will be made independently of government. Wages growth elsewhere is a function of tight labour demand rather than re-arming of unions, as only 14 per cent of employees are trade union members.”
Shane Oliver, chief economist for AMP Capital, said in post-war history the sharemarket has performed better under Coalition governments, although the reformist period under Prime Ministers Bob Hawke and Paul Keating delivered the strongest returns of any post-war government.
“Labor’s macro policies not being significantly different from the Coalition’s and its victory not being a surprise suggests that the market reaction to the new government will be minor,” Dr Oliver said.