ASB Securities Morning Brief for Thursday, 25 August 2016
Thursday, 25 August 2016

New Zealand Headlines

New Zealand Market Report: New Zealand shares fell, led by A2 Milk and Meridian Energy as hopped-up investors who have driven the benchmark index to record highs weren't satisfied with results that broadly met expectations. The S&P/NZX 50 Index fell 57.03 points, or 0.8 percent, from a record high to 7410.30. Within the index, 32 stocks fell, 13 rose and six were unchanged. Turnover was $212 million... Read more

The New Zealand dollar fell as traders speculated Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen may echo recent hawkish statements by other Fed officials, giving impetus to the greenback. The kiwi traded at 72.79 US cents as at 5pm in Wellington, from 73.16 cents late yesterday. The trade-weighted index fell to 77.16 from 77.38, still above the RBNZ's projection for the TWI to average 76 this quarter... Read more

New Zealand's merchandise trade deficit narrowed in July from the same month last year as imports such as crude oil fell faster than exports such as milk powder and meat. The trade deficit was $433 million last month, from a surplus of $110 million in June and from a deficit of $730 million in July 2015, Statistics New Zealand said. The annual trade gap narrowed to $3.03 billion from $3.3 billion in the 12 months to June 30. A monthly deficit of $350 million and an annual gap of $2.98 billion was expected, based on a Reuters survey... Read more

Expect OCR cut in November - economists. Reserve Bank Governor Graeme Wheeler defended the Bank’s stance on interest rates and inflation targeting in a speech to the Otago Chamber of Commerce. In the speech, he said Reserve Bank decisions involved continually balancing a range of risks, uncertainties, and trade-offs... Read more

The New Zealand Institute of Economic Research - a group better known for its views on inflation targeting and GDP growth - says New Zealand should move "sooner rather than later" to legalise marijuana which would generate a net gain of $300 million to the government accounts. Drawing on Treasury research which found that legalising could reap $150 million in new government revenue and reduce spending on drug enforcement by around $180 million, NZIER Principal Economist Peter Wilson concludes that legalisation, combined with heavy taxation, regulation and education would be a better way of reducing social harm from the drug... Read more

Data provided to Reserve Bank 'not good enough'. Insurers have been told they must do better with the data they report to the Reserve Bank - or risk getting a public warning or fine. The Reserve Bank is responsible for monitoring the sector under the Insurance (Prudential Supervision Act). Insurers have to fill out regular information returns and a quarterly insurer survey... Read more

New Zealand's rapidly rising house prices are cranking up the economic risks for the financial institutions operating in the country, S&P Global Ratings said in a report. S&P said that if a sharp correction in property prices were to occur, the impact on financial institutions would be amplified by New Zealand's external weaknesses -- its persistent current account deficits and high levels of external debt... Read more

Watch out with regional bargains. Buying property outside of Auckland is an attractive option for those priced out of the city’s market, but investors should think carefully before snapping up regional bargains... Read more

Changes to the Kiwisaver scheme have triggered a boom in section sales around Christchurch as buyers jump at the chance to land higher-priced properties. Income cap limits on the Kiwisaver HomeStart grant rose on August 1, meaning potential homebuyers could earn more and still qualify for financial assistance... Read more

Concerns have been raised over the impact of new property investor lending regulations adopted by banks on Palmerston North landlords. Landlord Shane Storey said the rules would restrict new lending to many, if not most, landlords, making it more difficult carry out major repairs and maintenance, or comply with new requirements to improve rental conditions... Read more

Call for KiwiSaver to follow Super Fund on ethical investing. New Zealand's newest KiwiSaver provider is calling on the rest of the industry to adopt standard responsible investing protocols. KiwiSaver investments have been in the spotlight over recent days after a political outcry over revelations that some default funds are invested in companies making bombs and land mines... Read more

NZX whole milk futures smash US$3000/tonne level, point to a milk price upgrade ahead... Read more

A2 Milk, which markets milk based on the supposed health benefits of the A2 milk protein, met its June guidance with a return to full-year profit and a 127% jump in revenue that was driven by infant formula sales in Australia and China... Read more

Valuations, resales drive Metlifecare record profit. The business of getting old is proving highly profitable. High turnover of Metlifecare units and the booming Auckland and Bay of Plenty property markets boosted the profits of one of New Zealand's biggest retirement businesses.... Read more

Infratil still aspires to generating total shareholder returns of 20 percent a year as it broadens the focus of its investment portfolio into sectors it wouldn't have entered 10 years ago. The Wellington-based infrastructure investor has branched into new sectors with recent acquisitions including Canberra Data Centres, RetireAustralia and Australian National University student accommodation as it looks to redeploy capital and generate above-average returns. Infratil shares slipped 0.2 percent to $3.36, and have increased 2.8 percent so far this year.... Read more

Genesis Energy, New Zealand's largest electricity retailer, posted a 2.7% decline in annual operating earnings as a combination of lower electricity, gas and oil prices combined with ongoing retail market competition to reduce revenues slightly more than operating costs... Read more

Vector, the electricity and telecommunications infrastructure company, posted a 4.7 percent gain in adjusted full-year earnings on growth in Auckland and the expansion of its smart meter fleet, while signalling earnings growth may stall in 2017. Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation was $473 million in the 12 months ended June 30, from $451.9 million a year earlier, the Auckland-based company said in a statement. It forecast earnings on that basis to be between $460 million and $475 million in 2017... Read more

Wellington-based power company Meridian Energy's net profit for the year to June 30, dropped by a quarter to $185 million from a year ago. Meridian is 51 per cent state owned and generates about a third of New Zealand's electricity, mostly from South Island hydroelectricity schemes... Read more

New Zealand Oil & Gas will resume dividend payments after clamping down on costs in response to the slump in global energy prices, which led to a writedown in the value of its shareholding in Cue Energy Resources to produce a wider annual loss. The Wellington-based company declared a fully imputed final dividend of 4 cents per share, payable on October 25 to shareholders on the register on October 11, it said in a statement. NZOG didn't pay dividends in the 2015 financial year when it wasn't generating imputation credits. The shares rose 4.1% to 51c, having increased 15% this year.... Read more

The first company to attempt to gain a resource consent to mine ironsands from the ocean floor in New Zealand's Exclusive Economic Zone has lodged a new application containing fresh scientific and other evidence it hopes will persuade regulators after their initial application was turned down in 2014. A Decision-Making Committee (DMC) appointed by the EPA declined TransTasman Resources's application to suction-dredge 50 million tonnes of ironsand a year from a 65.8 square kilometre area of ocean floor between 22 and 36 kilometres offshore in the southern Taranaki Bight, saying the science was too uncertain about the impacts of the project... Read more

Wynyard announces huge loss but still a going concern say directors. The directors of crime fighting software company Wynyard Group NZX: WYN say they believe the company can remain a going concern after reporting a half year loss of $36.3 million. On August 11 the company said it had obtained a stand-by credit facility of up to $10 million from its shareholder Skipton Building Society.... Read more

Metro Performance Glass, which has more than half the country's glass processing market, expects to see a "marked improvement" in the coming year as it reaps the benefit of New Zealand's building boom and looks further afield with its recent Australian acquisition... Read more

The performance of intelligence software developer Wynyard Group has been described as "dreadful" by analysts, after it more than doubled its first-half loss and halved its full-year guidance. The net loss widened to $36.3 million in the six months ended June 30, from $17.6 million a year earlier... Read more

Vigil Monitoring, the digital healthcare company founded by Ray Avery and Alan Brannigan, is changing its name to Jupl as it expands into Australia. The company’s cloud-based technology platform, backed by Spark and Bupa, records health and activity level details about patients who are living independently by connecting wirelessly to devices such as smartphones or smartwatches. Details are uploaded and notifications sent to healthcare providers, saving labour costs and providing better monitoring... Read more

Steadfast announces FY16 underlying NPATA growth of 45% and provides underlying NPATA guidance of $85m to $90m for FY17... Read more

TeamTalk sank back into the red in the 2016 financial year as it wrote down the value of fixed assets and accelerated depreciation on some items as the telecommunications network company tries to get itself on a stronger footing in a tough trading environment... Read more

Auckland Airport has confirmed an NBR report of July 11 that Tianjin Airlines of China will start services to New Zealand from December. In a statement, Auckland Airport says Tianjin will operate year round between Tianjin, Chongqing and Auckland three times a week using an A330 aircraft... Read more

Fisher Funds’ senior portfolio manager Murray Brown is to retire.... Read more

Cloud accounting software provider MYOB has appointed Ingrid Cronin-Knight to lead up its fast-growing New Zealand SME division.... Read more

Sir Ngatata Love laments misplaced trust in Shaan Stevens, says name misused on documents... Read more

A company that pulled the wool over the eyes of duvet buyers by selling "alpaca" products that were actually made of sheep fibre has been hit with a fine of more than $71,000. Rotorua business Budge and owner Sun Dong Kim were convicted and handed the fine in the Auckland District Court this week after pleading guilty to four charges of misrepresenting their product... Read more

Liquidators of a Christchurch ponzi scheme have recovered $2.8 million from the company and have entered into a settlement with the company’s director, Jimmie McNicoll. Arena Capital, trading as BlackfortFX, was shut down by the Financial Markets Authority in May last year, putting it in receivership and liquidation... Read more

Lenders Adelphi Finance Ltd and Shaw Personal Finance Ltd have refunded customers or reduced customer account balances by over $1.4 million and $100,000 respectively after the Commission warned they were likely to have breached consumer credit laws... Read more

Tourist attraction fight goes to court. A former couple are fighting over a $10 million property north of Auckland after their relationship fell apart.... Read more

Another Air New Zealand staff member involved in embarrassing social media posts is understood to have left the airline. One of those involved left the airline some time ago and one of two suspended after the posts were made public this week is believed to no longer work for the company... Read more

Opinion - Siah Hwee Ang: World trade is down despite more free trade agreements... Read more

Opinion - Keith Woodford: The arguments for and against palm kernel... Read more

Opinion - Fran O'Sullivan: Fonterra raring to shake supply shackles. Growing competition in NZ dairy market means time is right to adopt growth focus... Read more

Australian Headlines

Australian Market Report: The share market has edged higher as gains by the banks and resources giants offset falls by Wesfarmers and Telstra amid a raft of earnings reports. The benchmark S&P ASX/200 index rose 0.14 per cent following modest gains on Wall Street.... Read more

Fears of weak recovery after earnings season slump. Earnings season isn’t going so well, despite already modest expectations for growth... Read more

Public sector projects are likely to be main type of construction contributing to economic growth in coming years. The amount of building work done in Australia fell 3.7 per cent in the June quarter, dragging annual growth down 10.6 per cent.... Read more

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has proposed a compromise deal as part of negotiations with the Government over its contentious superannuation changes. The Turnbull Government wants to introduce a $500,000 lifetime cap on after-tax superannuation contributions — the extra money people can put into their super from their wages after paying income tax — backdated to 2007... Read more

Construction work done in the June quarter by 3.7 per cent, to be down 10.6 per cent on a year ago. Engineering work fell by 9 per cent in the June quarter – biggest quarterly fall in 15½ years. Engineering construction is down by 24.9 per cent on a year ago – biggest annual fall on record. Residential work rose by 0.8 per cent in the June quarter to record highs, while commercial building lifted by 2.1 per cent... Read more

Shares in Boral have fallen more than four per cent after the building materials maker posted a steady annual profit and forecast a slight improvement in earnings in the year ahead. Boral made a net profit of $256 million in the year to June 30, almost the same as in the previous year. Excluding one-off items related to its gypsum joint venture with USG, profit rose eight per cent to $268 million... Read more

Buxton Resources Ltd has entered into a joint venture agreement with Independence Group NL in respect of its nickel tenements located in the Fraser Range of Western Australia. Under the terms of the agreement, Buxton has granted Independence Group the exclusive right to acquire a 90% interest in the tenements by immediately paying $1.5 million in cash... Read more

GR Engineering Services has tapped into the gold-led mining recovery with a 50 per cent increase in net profit to $19.4 million. The company earned record revenue for the year of $255 million, up 18 per cent. GR Engineering attributed the performance to strong levels of contracting activity in WA for engineering, procurement and construction. GR Engineering's shares were down 5.5 cents, or 3.6 per cent, to $1.45 at 9.35am.... Read more

Coventry Resources Ltd is heading to market with a capital raising, and the ASX has granted the company a trading halt to prepare.... Read more

Cooper Energy will not complete the sale of its 55% interest in the TangaiSukananti KSO to ACL International and Lamara Energy... Read more

Sheffield Resources has jumped on its recent share price run by announcing plans to raise up to $17.1 million. The company, which is developing the Thunderbird mineral sands project near Derby, said it would use the funds would help in its push towards production. Sheffield hopes Thunderbird, what it says is a zircon-rich deposit and one of the world’s biggest and highest-grade mineral sands assets, will be in production by 2019... Read more

Evolution Mining Ltd has been granted a trading halt by the ASX (1 + 2 business days) pending the outcome of the institutional component of an accelerated renounceable entitlement offer... Read more

Gas pipeline major APA Group has outlined plans to invest up to $1.5 billion for expansion of existing assets in Australia and to look for acquisitions in the US market, to keep up its growth momentum. The company's ambitions were set out in response to speculation about the lack of growth opportunities, given the conflict with the corporate regulator over its dominant presence in the Australian gas pipeline market... Read more

Dampier Gold Ltd is preparing to outline details concerning the sale by the company of the Plutonic Dome Gold Project to Vango Mining Limited. The ASX has granted Dampier a trading halt to prepare.... Read more

Oil Basins Ltd has entered into an agreement with Ochre Group Holdings Ltd for the sale of its royalty-earning subsidiary for $400,000. The wholly owned subsidiary owns the right to earn 2% over-riding royalty interests from three permits - Vic/P47, Derby Block EP 487 and Cyrano R3/ R1... Read more

Elk Petroleum Ltd has been granted a trading halt by the ASX this morning, pending details of a capital raising program... Read more

Local contractor Brierty has gone into a trading halt pending the finalisation of an impairment on its plant and equipment and an update on its forecasted financial result... Read more

Oro Verde Ltd has been granted a trading halt by the ASX this morning, pending details of a capital raising... Read more

Apartment developer Finbar is tipping better profit growth over “an extended timeframe” after handing down an expected slump in full-year earnings. The $8 million net profit for 2015-16, down from $25.9 million previously, was in line with an earnings warning by the company five weeks ago... Read more

Retail business operator Joyce’s shares have risen 8 per cent after reporting a $2.3 million annual profit. The Bedshed Franchising owner’s net profit was down 48 per cent from the previous year, which was bolstered by a one-off $5.1 million gain from an investment property sale... Read more

Wesfarmers has imposed a rare dividend cut on shareholders after heavy write-downs on its Target department store chain and its coal division sent annual profit diving to $407 million from $2.35 billion. The group said today its final dividend had been reduced by 16c to 95c a share fully franked, making $1.86 for the year, against $2 previously.... Read more

Vodafone will spend the next year looking in earnest at its options in the fixed-line market as the national broadband network rollout ramps up, the telco revealed today. Vodafone is currently a mobile-only network provider. But its Australian chief Inaki Berroeta today revealed that as NBN Co works towards its target of 5.4 million connected premises in a years' time, the telco would consider how it could play a role as an NBN service provider... Read more

Vodafone will undertake lab trials of 5G technologies on its network towards the end of the year, just months after completing the bulk of its 4G rollout. The mobile telco is following closely on the heels of rival Telstra to begin its testing of 5G technologies ahead of planned 5G deployments in 2020... Read more

Qantas will pay a dividend to its long-suffering shareholders for the first time in seven years after the airline's full-year profit rose by 85 per cent to $1.03 billion, underpinned by a major operational overhaul and low oil prices. Chief executive Alan Joyce said the airline was now "a more agile business" and had a platform to invest for the future as a result of the transformation program that has cut thousands of jobs, revised the airline's fleet and unlocked $1.66 billion in cost and revenue benefits since early 2014. Qantas shares gained five cents to $3.45.... Read more

Rision Ltd has been granted a trading halt by the ASX, with its shares placed in pre-open... Read more

Shares in cleaning and catering business Spotless have jumped despite a 14 per cent fall in annual profit to $122.2 million... Read more

A2 Milk shares have dropped sharply after the company flagged the possible short-term impact of changing regulation in China. A2, which is listed on the Australian and New Zealand share markets, said growth domestically and in China lifted annual revenue to $NZ353 million from $NZ155 million, but managing director Geoffrey Babidge sounded a note of caution amid a generally positive outlook... Read more

Murray Goulburn to cut 200 jobs... Read more

Dairy processor Bega Cheese says it's too early to say definitively if global dairy commodity prices are improving. Low dairy commodity prices resulting from global oversupply have resulted in dairy processors reining in the price that they pay dairy farmers for their milk. Shares in Bega closed 13 cents higher at $6.39 on Wednesday.... Read more

Masters stores will close the doors by mid-December, after owner Woolworths decided to pull the plug on its home improvement experiment in a $1.5b three-part deal. In a deal announced today, Woolworths said in a statement that it had agreed on three contracts to “facilitate its exit from home improvement” with a $1.5 billion three-way deal... Read more

A consortium of private Australian investors is buying Woolworths’ loss-making Masters chain with the aim of converting its 61 stores in multi-tenant retail centres when the hardware business closes in December. The Home Investment Corporation (HIC) late today confirmed media reports by announcing an agreement to buy the stores and Masters’ 21 development sites for an undisclosed sum... Read more

Woolworths looks set to announce the sale of its Home Timber & Hardware business to Mitre 10 owner Metcash. With the competition watchdog having cleared a bid for the chain from Metcash, Woolworths and Metcash said on Wednesday they are preparing to make an announcement related to the sale of Home Timber & Hardware... Read more

The arrival of German supermarket Aldi in South Australia and Western Australia is hurting discount retailer The Reject Shop. Managing director Ross Sudano said it was a difficult retail environment in the second half of the 2015/16 financial year, due to the lengthy federal election campaign and Aldi's expansion into two more states... Read more

Coles to cut product range by 15 per cent... Read more Ltd has appointed the experienced Greg Bader as its new chief executive officer... Read more

ANZ Bank's digital chief is the new head of World Vision Australia... Read more

Carbon Energy Ltd appoints Kerry Parker managing director... Read more

New Talisman Gold Mines Ltd has made two board appointments, effective immediately. Charbel Nader is now an independent director and deputy chairman, with Tony Haworth an independent director... Read more

Australian companies linked to bribe scandals in Sri Lanka and Congo. Two Australian companies are embroiled in bribery scandals that reach into the offices of the presidents of Sri Lanka and the Republic of Congo, as the firms sought to secure multi-million dollar contracts... Read more

Banks, regulator dig in for $250m rate-rigging trials. On Monday, when a cavalcade of top-end lawyers representing three major banks and ASIC marched into the Federal Court, the first thought of many observers was: what on earth will be the final cost of this extravaganza? The hearing of a couple of procedural matters in court 6K lasted only 52 minutes — a bit less than the standard lunch hour. But there wouldn’t have been any change from $200,000.... Read more

Navy submarine and shipbuilder ASC will cut 175 jobs by the end of October from its Osborne construction facility in Adelaide.... Read more

Opinion - Elizabeth Knight: Wesfarmers profit: the three things that really matter. There are a lot of moving parts that make up the performance of monster conglomerate Wesfarmers but there are only a few that really make a difference... Read more

Opinion - Elizabeth Knight; Is this as good as it gets for Qantas, given it just reported its biggest profit in history? The answer is almost certainly no. But make no mistake - Qantas is certainly in a sweet spot... Read more

International Headlines

U.S. Market Report: Wall Street retreated on Wednesday, pulled lower by declines in the materials and healthcare sectors as investors continued to assess the possibility of an interest rate hike in the coming months. The market is awaiting Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's speech in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, on Friday for insight on the direction of monetary policy... Read more

North/South Americas Market Report: North and South American markets are mixed. The IPC is higher by 0.50%, while the S&P 500 is leading the Bovespa lower. They are down 0.36% and 0.13% respectively... Read more

European Market Report: European markets finished mixed as of the most recent closing prices. The CAC 40 gained 0.32% and the DAX rose 0.28%. The FTSE 100 lost 0.48%... Read more

Asian Market Report: Asian markets finished mixed as of the most recent closing prices. The Nikkei 225 gained 0.61%, while the Hang Seng led the Shanghai Composite lower. They fell 0.77% and 0.12% respectively... Read more

The amount of goods traded globally fell sharply in the second quarter after a flat performance in the first few months of 2016, highlighting a major challenge for leaders around the world grappling with soft growth. The volume of merchandise traded globally dropped by 0.8% from April to June following no change in the first quarter, according to the CPB World Trade Monitor produced by the Netherlands... Read more

The US Treasury Department has warned the European Commission (EC) about taking action against Apple over tax avoidance allegations. The US regulator said action by Brussels would make it into a "supra-national tax authority" overriding the tax codes of its member states... Read more

U.S. home resales fell more than expected in July after four straight months of strong gains, as a lack of inventory limited choice for buyers, but further price rises suggested the housing market remained on solid ground. The slump in sales reported by the National Association of Realtors on Wednesday is likely to be temporary, given that a tightening labor market is steadily pushing up wages and mortgage rates are near historically low levels... Read more

Bed Bath & Beyond appoints external auditor to review Welspun India's products... Read more

Tesla Motors has unveiled a new battery pack for the performance versions of its Model S and X cars that will extend the range and mean faster acceleration. Elon Musk, chief executive of the electric car maker, hailed the upgraded battery as a "profound milestone".... Read more

Ford Motor Co (F.N) said on Wednesday it was recalling about 91,000 vehicles worldwide to replace faulty fuel-pump parts that could potentially cause a car to stall without warning. Ford said it would replace fuel-pump control modules in about 88,151 vehicles, including certain of its 2013-15 model year Ford Taurus sedans, Ford Flex crossover utility vehicles, Lincoln MKS sedans, Lincoln MKT SUVs and Ford Police Interceptor sedans.... Read more

Google is to penalise websites that feature intrusive pop-up adverts. It is updating the algorithms used to rank its search results so that offending pages are more likely to get lower placings. The change is due to come into effect on 10 January... Read more

Express Inc lost more than a quarter of its market value on Wednesday as its lower-than-expected results belied a recent uptick in apparel sales that has helped most retailers. Express, which had outperformed many of its peers in a weak apparel market last year, also slashed same-store sales and profit forecasts for the year. "Earnings were below our guidance, reflecting challenging store traffic," Chief Executive David Kornberg said on a conference call... Read more

AstraZeneca has agreed to sell its antibiotics division to Pfizer, the US drugs company that failed in its bid to buy the group in a takeover battle two years ago. In a deal that could be worth more than $1.5bn (£1.1bn), the British pharmaceutical group said it would sell its late-stage small molecule antibiotics business in most markets outside the US to Pfizer... Read more

Trade turmoil: $1.3 trillion at stake in Brexit breakup. Get ready for some major divorce drama. Britain is preparing to split from the European Union, a separation that will affect U.K. trade around the world. As it stands, the U.K. exports and imports goods and services worth just over £1 trillion ($1.3 trillion) a year. So there's clearly a lot at stake... Read more

The gap between Scotland’s public spending and tax revenues has widened, with the crash in global oil prices leading to a deficit of nearly £15bn. The latest official data shows that Scotland’s structural deficit was more than twice that of the UK last year, after its share of North Sea oil tax revenues collapsed, falling from £1.8bn in the previous year to £60m... Read more

A group of big banks led by UBS is planning its own version of digital cash, using blockchain, the technology underpinning Bitcoin. The Swiss bank said on Wednesday it has teamed up with Deutsche Bank (DB), Spanish Santander bank, investment giant BNY Mellon, and market operator ICAP to launch what they call the "Utility Settlement Coin."... Read more

Why Portugal could be Europe’s next economic disaster. First it was Brexit, then it was the Italian banking sector, and now it’s Portugal’s surprisingly slow growth that’s threatening the stability of Europe’s financial system this summer... Read more

Rolls-Royce wins $1.5 billion engine order with China Eastern Airlines... Read more

Cabin crew at Lufthansa are expected to vote in favor of a wide-ranging pay deal with the German carrier, bringing a long-running dispute to a close, according to a labor boss. "Due to the massive response of members in the past few weeks I expect agreement," Nicoley Baublies, chief negotiator of cabin crew union UFO, told Reuters on Wednesday... Read more

Nine Nigerian banks have been suspended from foreign currency trading for not paying money owed to the government, a central bank source has told the BBC. The banks are said to be withholding a total of $2.1bn (£1.6bn) belonging to the state-owned oil company.... Read more

Some of the Middle East's vast oil riches are being plowed into Manhattan's most iconic skyscraper. The sovereign wealth fund of Qatar made a $622 million investment on Tuesday in the Empire State Realty Trust (ESRT), which owns and operates the Empire State Building. The purchase gives the Qatar Investment Authority a nearly 10% stake in the building... Read more

South Africa finance minister won't submit to police. South Africa's finance minister has said he will not appear before the police despite a request to do so. Pravin Gordhan says allegations against him related to his time as head of South Africa's tax agency are wholly unfounded.... Read more

Indian Company Earnings are at Last Showing Some Signs of Recovery. India’s biggest companies have been stuck in a rut for the last two years... Read more

India is investigating a massive data leak from French shipbuilder DCNS that affects a major submarine contract for its navy, defence officials say. The leak of more than 22,000 pages exposes secrets about the combat capabilities of Scorpene-class vessels... Read more

Opinion - Ben Wright: Companies must sort their pension black holes before paying out senseless dividends... Read more

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