ASB Securities Morning Brief for Monday, 30 May 2016
Monday, 30 May 2016

New Zealand Headlines

New Zealand Market Report: New Zealand shares rose as better-than-expected full-year earnings from Fisher & Paykel Healthcare added to upbeat sentiment for the local market. Mainfreight, which reported yesterday, and Vital Healthcare Property Trust were among leading gainers. The S&P/NZX 50 Index gained 44.66 points, or 0.6 percent, to 6,992.54, a record-high close. Within the index, 33 shares rose, 10 fell and seven were unchanged. Turnover was $145 million... Read more

The New Zealand dollar gained from a two-month low as a poll showed there's still a chance Britain will vote to exit the European Union next month, creating market uncertainty that may discourage the Federal Reserve from hiking interest rates in June. The kiwi rose to 67.44 US cents as at 5pm in Wellington, from 67.16 cents at late yesterday. The local currency rose to 45.97 British pence from 45.64 pence late yesterday... Read more

The end of mortgage rates under 4% as Kiwibank axes its 3.99% special. Kiwibank has raised its "special" two year fixed mortgage rate from 3.99% to 4.15%, ending the availability of carded, or advertised, mortgage rates below 4% from the major banks, for the time being at least. Kiwibank's standard two year fixed rate remains at 4.75%... Read more

Dunedin-based charity organisation Pact Group has backed out as the sole bidder to buy and manage 348 state houses in Invercargill, putting the government's planned tender on hold and delivering a political blow to its social housing devolution project... Read more

Chinese after authentic Kiwi experience. Getting away from busloads of their fellow citizens is top of wish list for high value and independent tourists.... Read more

Banks change tune when talking dairy debt. Farmers who have dealt with the same friendly face from the bank for years are finding a pair of suit-clad strangers at the farmgate as banks switch tactics in tough times. Federated Farmers Waikato provincial president Chris Lewis said the organisation has noticed a change in the way the Australian-owned banks are dealing with farmers as more find themselves facing tough conversations over growing dairy debt... Read more

Funding good start in tackling Wilding Pine but biosecurity incursion response needs more Federated Farmers welcomes funding for the control of Wilding Pines but warns that more money is needed for biosecurity incursion response measures.... Read more

‘’ app targets better farm health and safety without the hassle With the launch of a new app specifically tailored for New Zealand’s farms, professional services firm Crowe Horwath is making it easier and more convenient to institute sound health and safety practices in rural workplaces... Read more

Comvita wants to increase its stake in SeaDragon with a $3 million convertible loan, which the fish oil refiner will use to fund its exit from Omega-2 oil in favour of the more profitable Omega-3 market. Te Puke-based Comvita already holds a 13 percent stake in SeaDragon and has options that could lift that holding to between 25 percent and 31 percent. SeaDragon shareholders will vote on whether to approve the convertible loan at their annual meeting in August, effectively lifting the honey healthcare products maker's interest to between 31 percent and 37 percent, Comvita said in a statement. Comvita shares were unchanged at $12.80, while SeaDragon shares fell 7.1 percent, or 0.1 of a cent, to 1.3 cents.... Read more

All Blacks great Richie​ McCaw has taken a 10 per cent stake in a Canterbury quarry company to get more hands-on business experience. SOL Quarries has a 15-year permit to dig millions of tonnes of shingle from a new quarry in Yaldhurst near Christchurch airport that is about the size of 25 rugby fields... Read more

Utilico Investments has continued to sell shares in infrastructure investment firm Infratil, and now owns just 2.5 percent of the company. UK-listed Utilico, which is managed by Infratil director Duncan Saville's ICM Investment Management, sold 6 million shares for $19.9 million, leaving it with just 14 million Infratil shares, a note to the stock exchange said. Utilico was one of the firm's biggest shareholders with a 20 percent stake before it started selling in 2010... Read more

Abano Healthcare Group's sale of its 50% stake in Bay International has been declared unconditional after the NZX granted a waiver that meant the deal doesn't need to go to a shareholder vote. The healthcare investor has agreed to sell the stake in Bay International to interests associated with Peter Hutson for $32 million, almost three times book value. It will generate a surplus of about $20 million once Abano's $A1.8 million share of Bay Audio Australia's deferred tax asset was recognised, it said this week... Read more

Setting wild yeast free to create crazy new beer flavours will be the focus for Wellington brewery Garage Project, which has expanded into a warehouse in the heart of the city. The small brewery in the suburb of Te Aro has become well known for its unique, often quirky, take on traditional beer styles, which has won it plenty of awards... Read more

Wynyard Group, whose chairman resigned this week for health reasons, says it has nothing to disclose after the stock market supervisor queried a 21 percent slump in the share price over the past fortnight. The Auckland-based intelligence software developer said it is complying with continuous disclosure obligations after NZX asked if there was any reason the share price had fallen to 63 cents from 80 cents on May 12. The shares have gained 4.6 percent to 68 cents today... Read more

Countdown has recently signed up as the first big retailer in New Zealand to use RangeMe, a new online platform that makes it easier for suppliers to get their products discovered. RangeMe works by allowing suppliers of any size to upload new products on the platform, which then notifies Countdown buyers about products that match our buying criteria... Read more

Parnell's new, hip shopping and dining precinct will open its tenancies only to those offering free-range, Fair Trade, sustainable and organic products. It's the cost of doing business at the "Rise" in Parnell, the project housed in New Zealand's first 6-Green-Star-rated eco building, Geyser. The eco-conscious food and shopping hub is complete with a worm farm and a machine that will park your car for you... Read more

Kathmandu says allegations it has been slashing clothes, tents and sleeping bags and chucking them in dumpsters are not what they seem. The outdoor clothing and equipment retailer has put sustainability at the heart of its business. So eyebrows were raised when staff at the retailer's Takapuna store in Auckland were observed destroying stock before throwing it in dumpsters... Read more

An Invercargill cab company hopes to take on ride-sharing service Uber with its low cost chauffeurs. EziCab owner Ken Hopgood said the difference between its cab service and other taxi services in Invercargill is its customers will know what they are paying before they hop in the cab... Read more

Kiwi firms succeeding on the world stage are being urged to enter this year's New Zealand International Business Awards. 2016 marks the 50th year of the prestigious awards, run by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE). Entries for the awards open today and close on July 8... Read more

Vodafone says customers may be getting poor performance from its high-speed internet service in Christchurch. The company said some customers might experience "degraded" web browsing because of an issue that it said began at 6pm on Saturday... Read more

More quarrying deaths like one in South Canterbury could come from dismissive attitudes to workplace safety, a union representative says. On Tuesday, a judge ordered Transport Waimate to pay $100,000 to the partner of Scott Baldwin, who died in March 2015 after becoming trapped in machinery at the company's limeworks in Gordons Valley... Read more

The Commerce Commission will begin accepting submissions on the controversial proposed merger between NZME and Fairfax Media early next month. Last month the media companies revealed they were in “exclusive talks” to merge their New Zealand operations... Read more

Hito Farewells Longstanding CEO. New Zealand Hair and Beauty Industry Training Organisation (HITO) Chair Dr Flora Gilkison today announced the resignation of longstanding CEO Erica Cumming... Read more

New Zealand shirt and suit chain Nicholas Jermyn is in the hands of voluntary administrators, who have already shut two stores. The 10-year-old New Zealand retailer, which specialises in business attire and accessories, went into voluntary administration last week... Read more

NZX was not trying to entice Clear's vendors into selling it the business with false promises about the agri-portal, Wellington's High Court has heard. The stock market operator is suing Dominic Pym, Grant Thomas, and their companiesRalec Commodities and Ralec Interactive for providing “wildly inaccurate” forecasts prior to NZX buying the Australian grain trading platform in 2009. Ralec's counterclaim says NZX and former chief Mark Weldon under-funded the business, meaning it couldn't meet earn-out targets... Read more

More than a quarter of Stonewood Homes' Christchurch staff, including the general manager, have been laid off by the company's new owners. The 15 staff were told at a meeting at 2pm on Friday that their contracts were being terminated – a fortnight before the 90-day trial period ended. It is understood the building firm's general manager, Alistair Pearson, is among those looking for a new job... Read more

Opinion - Bernard Hickey: Crisis lurches ever closer as Budget fails struggling Auckland.... Read more

Opinion - Geoff Simmons: Budget 2016: fingers in the dike... Read more

Opinion - Fran O'Sullivan: Battle of the surpluses looms. Roll out the popcorn for the forthcoming political clash between Bill English and John Key over how the looming Budget surpluses get spent. Treasury's $6.7 billion Budget surplus forecast for 2019 looks heroic to some banking economists.... Read more

Australian Headlines

Australian Market Report: The Australian sharemarket has posted its seventh straight weekly gain, with the benchmark edging through the 5400-point resistance level on Friday as banks provided the backbone to broadbased gains. At the 4.15pm (AEST) official market close, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index was up 17.8 points, or 0.33 per cent, to 5405.9, while the broader All Ordinaries index had also climbed 17.8 points, or 0.33 per cent, to 5469.7.... Read more

The Australian dollar is higher as traders practice caution ahead of a speech by the head of the US central bank. At 1200 AEST on Friday, the currency was trading at 72.28 US cents, up from 71.95 cents on Thursday.... Read more

The Australian sharemarket is expected to continue its upward trend heading into a big week of economic data and a positive outlook for global stocks. CommSec chief economist Craig James is tipping the local market to open higher on Monday following across-the-board gains in US and European markets, reasonable rises in base metal prices and a late rally of two per cent in the iron ore price... Read more

Finance week ahead: GDP growth likely to slip to 2.6 per cent... Read more

The top forecaster for Australian bonds, the world’s best-performing debt this month after Greece, sees further gains as the central bank cuts interest rates. “We have, of all the developed countries, perhaps the clearest view that the official interest rate can come down,” said Stephen Roberts, an economist at Melbourne-based advisory firm Laminar Group Pty, who was the most accurate in forecasting the nation’s benchmark yield last year. “The bond market has plenty of potential to perform well.”... Read more

The Greens have announced a $53 billion clean energy plan for Queensland which it says will create tens of thousands of jobs. Leader Richard Di Natale unveiled the plan while in Brisbane on Sunday to launch the party's Queensland federal election campaign... Read more

Most medium-sized businesses either have no formal plan or are planning only for the short term, a survey has found. Of 252 chief financial officers polled, 80 per cent said innovation was a priority for their business... Read more

In good news for insolvency firms but not much else, insolvencies are rising and the number of retailers appointing external administrators is also up. Electronics chain Dick Smith, home furnishings company Laura Ashley Australia and clothing retailer Man To Man are among retailers to have gone under recently... Read more

Colin Barnett has consigned regional tourism operators to “second best” by pivoting the State’s tourism marketing from a statewide focus to “brand Perth”, according to Opposition Leader Mark McGowan... Read more

The fintech boom is shifting into the superannuation sector, with a new mobile app set to try to encourage younger couples with relatively small levels of retirement savings to shift into self-managed super funds. Superfund Partners and Elston have partnered to launch the app, called Superstash.... Read more

The head of the country’s biggest mortgage broker has questioned the State Government’s support for the broader WA business community, suggesting there is little “love” shown for non-mining companies. Speaking on the first anniversary of Australian Finance Group’s stock market listing, co-founder and managing director Brett McKeon says there is insufficient recognition and encouragement from the Government for home-grown businesses outside mining... Read more

Renowned geologist Gerard Tripp has declared the Kalgoorlie gold district ripe for new discoveries, amid this year’s price rally. The former Newcrest Mining, Barrick Gold, Placer Dome and Centaur Mining geologist turned private consultant discussed deposit styles, geological controls and key concepts for exploration in front of 130 geologists in Kalgoorlie-Boulder on Thursday night... Read more

Bass Metals Ltd’s share price has increased after completing due diligence to acquire the Graphmada Large Flake Graphite Mine in eastern Madagascar from Stratmin Global Resources. Unlike 99% of its peers, the acquisition would provide Bass Metals with control of an operating graphite mine that is generating cash flow and has a sustainable offtake agreement in place with a US based partner... Read more

Alcoa has taken the surprise step of launching legal action in the US against Alumina to stop attempts by its Australian partner to derail a historic break-up of the aluminium giant. The action comes amid threats by Melbourne-based Alumina as recently as this week to try to "interfere with the (Alcoa) seperation" to cast "a cloud over the seperation ... and disrupting" the operations of the two partners' Alcoa World and Alumina Chemicals (AWAC) venture, according to court documents filed in the US state of Delaware on Friday night... Read more

Australian goldminer, Kingsgate Consolidated Ltd's Thai offshoot, facing closure over its Thai mine, is threatened by a multi-million dollar compensation lawsuit by local residents. Kingsgate's offshoot, Akara Resources' mine in Chatree 280km north of Bangkok, faces closure by December after a Thai Cabinet decision on May 10 not to extend the mine's operating licence beyond December... Read more

Valmec Ltd is continuing to build a healthy order book by securing additional contracts through its oil, gas and Infrastructure divisions totalling $11.8 million. The contracts, which are based in Western Australia and in New South Wales, extend across a number of industries, including oil and gas maintenance services, construction and government infrastructure... Read more

The Gorgon partners have received environmental sign-off for a fourth processing line to the $US54 billion ($74.7 billion) venture on Barrow Island as project operator Chevron tries to resume LNG production from the foundation development... Read more

TV2U International Ltd’s shares have surged after receiving commitments of $1.94 million through a share placement to institutional, professional and sophisticated investors. TV2U will issue 64.8 million new shares at $0.03 each and up to 32.4 million options at a nominal issue price, as part of the placement.... Read more

Seven West Media's plan to buy Perth's Sunday Times newspaper and Perth Now website from News Corp has sparked concerns about media diversity. Kerry Stoke's Seven West and Rupert Murdoch's News Australia are also negotiating a news sharing arrangement that will see The West Australian newspaper, owned by Seven West, co-operate with News' daily papers and websites in other capital cities... Read more

Cellmid Ltd achieved record sales of A$558,165 for its hair growth products in Japan during April. This strong growth will position Cellmid well to deliver on their FY2016 revenue target of $4 million... Read more

Transport for NSW has been forced to close down the online booking platform for its Trainlink service after attackers infiltrated the system and caputured some customer data. While Transport for NSW confirmed it was investigating the breach, it did not provide any further detail, including when the attack occurred and how many customers were affected... Read more

Developers are charging up to $135 a head for a private tour of publicly funded Elizabeth Quay, featuring Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority staff as tour guides. Opposition Leader Mark McGowan yesterday called on the event to be scrapped, saying private interests should not levy fees to tour public works and the MRA should concentrate on reviving stalled CBD land deals... Read more

Telstra has sacked its chief technology officer Vish Nandlall with the senior executive leaving the telco under a cloud. Mr Nandlall left the telco this week and his exit is understood to have transpired under less than favourable circumstances... Read more

The new president of the Australian Medical Association has stepped straight into the political fray, siding with Labor's stance to end the six-year freeze on Medicare rebates. "GPs are at breaking point. They can't take too many more cuts," West Australian obstetrician and gynaecologist Michael Gannon said on Sunday... Read more

The former head of an independent panel dealing with the 7-Eleven wage scandal has expressed his doubts about a new in-house payback process. The company has vowed to put the interests of underpaid franchisee staff first following criticism earlier this month for its decision to axe an independent panel assessing worker claims and, instead, adopting an in-house process... Read more

Paper pushing tends to be workers’ most hated work chore — but it is also costing the nation’s employers about $4000 a year for each worker they force to do it. Whether it is filling out a time sheet, submitting expense reimbursement forms or doing a stocktake, workers are spending on average three hours a week or a combined $56 billion worth of time each year on boring and unnecessarily labour-intensive administrative tasks, instead of their real work... Read more

Telstra has announced it will be providing a $25 credit to thousands of its internet customers who were offline for an extended period of time due to its most recent network outage. On Friday, Telstra executives finally spoke out about the mass ADSL and NBN internet outage that began on May 19 with Telstra's chief operations officer Kate McKenzie publicly apologising to affected customers... Read more

Opinion - Adele Ferguson: Super sector tussle looms over life insurance as funds go it alone. When one of the country's biggest super funds decided to set up its own life insurance company instead of outsourcing it to one of the private insurers, it turned the spotlight on the rest of the sector. Millions of Australians have life insurance through their industry super funds. HESTA has a contract with CommInsure, Sunsuper has a contract with AIA and until now QSuper had a contract with TAL to insure its non-government employee members... Read more

Opinion - Ross Gittins: 'Growth and jobs': the numbers that debunk a company tax cut. Malcolm Turnbull and the many economists supporting his plan for a 10-year phased cut in the rate of company tax have failed to make the case that this expensive measure would deliver a significant increase in "growth and jobs"... Read more

International Headlines

U.S. Market Report: U.S. stocks close higher for best weekly gains in months... Read more

North/South Americas Market Report: North and South American markets finished mixed as of the most recent closing prices. The S&P 500 gained 0.43% and the IPC rose 0.18%. The Bovespa lost 0.87%... Read more

European Market Report: European markets finished higher on Friday with shares in Germany leading the region. The DAX is up 0.13% while London's FTSE 100 is up 0.08% and France's CAC 40 is up 0.05%... Read more

Asian Market Report: Asian markets finished mixed as of the most recent closing prices. The Hang Seng gained 0.88% and the Nikkei 225 rose 0.37%. The Shanghai Composite lost 0.05%... Read more

Hedge funds and other money managers raised their bullish bets on U.S. crude oil for a second week in a row to the highest in nearly a year as oil prices headed toward $50 a barrel, trade data showed on Friday... Read more

The U.S. economy expanded at a slightly faster pace in the first quarter than previously estimated, reflecting less damage from trade and inventories. Gross domestic product rose at a 0.8 percent annualized rate in the three months ended in March, the smallest gain in a year, Commerce Department figures showed Friday. That compares with the 0.5 percent advance the government reported last month... Read more

The strike by Verizon Communications Inc workers will probably trim U.S. non-farm payroll growth in May by at least 35,000 jobs, a Labor Department report showed on Friday. The department's monthly strike report showed 35,100 Verizon employees were idle during the survey period for the May payrolls count. Striking workers who do not receive a paycheck during the period are considered unemployed... Read more

Drone sales in the U.S. more than doubled in the past year... Read more

Hedge fund Tourbillon Capital Partners LP is urging organic food company SunOpta Inc. to sell itself to a bigger rival, according to a letter sent to the company on Friday. The Canadian company's share price jumped 26 percent after the $4 billion hedge fund asked it to hire an investment bank to look at all ways to increase shareholder value, according to the letter which was in a public filing... Read more

Nearly half of Nordstrom Inc. stores stopped selling the line of Michael Kors handbags branded MICHAEL during the month of May, according to a Tuesday note from Wedbush. The bank said it spoke with 112 handbag managers in the U.S. and Canada for its latest report. Another five stores said they are planning to discontinue sales of the designer bags in the next few weeks, the note said. It comes a week before Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. KORS, -0.07% reports its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings... Read more

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc, the world's largest maker of scientific instruments, said on Friday it would buy FEI Co for about $4.2 billion to gain access to the company's electron microscopy technology that helps study proteins. The $107.50 per share offer represents a premium of 13.7 percent to FEI's Thursday close of $94.58. FEI shares rose 14.2 percent to $108.04 at midday... Read more

Shares of Brown-Forman, which makes Jack Daniel's and other liquors, are seen as pricey as the world's top bourbon seller faces slowing growth in an increasingly crowded field, Barron's said in its latest online edition. Brown-Forman's stock had delivered annual gain of 12.5 percent in the past decade including dividend, outpacing the Standard & Poor's 500 index .SPX by 5 percent points, the financial weekly paper said... Read more

Venezuela’s warring political factions have restarted efforts to end a bitter political standoff as the country’s economy continues to spiral into deep recession. Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez said Saturday on Twitter that government officials and opposition politicians had held their first meetings toward opening a dialogue in the polarized nation... Read more

Deutsche Lufthansa AG will suspend flights to Venezuela next month “until further notice” as it struggles with the country’s currency controls and economic downturn. The German airline operator will halt its three weekly flights between Frankfurt and Caracas, company spokesman Andreas Bartels said by telephone on Sunday... Read more

A beginner's guide to Brexit. A British exit from the European Union would plunge the two parties into a messy divorce and force them build a new relationship after a marriage of more than 40 years... Read more

The rifts in Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative Party worsened as two leading Brexit campaigners accused him of breaking his promises on immigration and speculation mounts about a leadership challenge after the June 23 U.K. referendum on European Union membership. Former London Mayor Boris Johnson and Justice Secretary Michael Gove said Cameron, who is leading the drive for Britain to remain in the EU, should accept that his Conservative Party’s election pledge to cut annual immigration to tens of thousands has failed. The migrant flow last year increased to more than 330,000... Read more

Nine out of 10 of Britain's top economists working in London's City financial district, small business and academia believe the economy will be harmed if Britain leaves the European Union, a poll shows. The poll, which the Observer newspaper said was the biggest of its kind drawing responses from more than 600 economists, is a boost for Prime Minister David Cameron, who is leading the campaign for Britain to stay in the 28-member bloc at a referendum on June 23 despite opposition from some in his party... Read more

Former prime minister Tony Blair has said leaving the EU would create "an enormous economic problem" following any Brexit vote on 23 June. And an online survey of economists for The Observer showed 88% of those who responded believed that EU withdrawal would be damaging for the UK economy. There was a 17% response rate to the survey, from 639 economists... Read more

The pound is gathering supporters. One month ago, the U.K. currency was seen ending June at $1.42, according to the median of analyst estimates in a Bloomberg survey. That forecast has now risen to $1.45, the highest in almost four months, even as the crucial June 23 vote that will decide the fate of Britain’s membership in the European Union draws closer... Read more

BT’s pension deficit has rocketed 50pc to more than £10bn in 18 months, putting the telecom giant’s sacred dividend payments at risk, just as it attempts to protect its costly sports content rights. Following a health check of Britain’s biggest private-sector retirement plan, analysts at investment bank Macquarie estimate that the pension black hole has shot up to £10.6bn, from £7bn at its last official review in 2014... Read more

Boeing Co. is poised to win a 2 billion pound ($2.9 billion) deal with the U.K. Ministry of Defence for new Apache attack helicopters, according to the Telegraph, which didn’t cite the source of its information. The Chicago-based aircraft maker may secure the 50-helicopter contract, which includes servicing, the newspaper said. Italian aerospace manufacturer Leonardo-Finmeccanica SpA had been in the running for the deal to have the helicopters produced at its facilities in Yeovil, England, it said... Read more

Britain's competition watchdog said it was launching an inquiry into supermarket chain J Sainsbury Plc's 1.4 billion pound ($2 billion) takeover of Home Retail Plc. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said on Friday that it was investigating whether the deal could hurt competition in the UK... Read more

RBS Said to Cut 450 Service Jobs as It Narrows Focus in U.K.... Read more

Tata would need to give guarantees it is in the UK steel industry for the long run if it scraps its planned sale of plants, Stephen Kinnock has said. The Indian-based firm announced it was selling its loss-making UK business in March, putting thousands of jobs at risk, including 4,100 at Port Talbot. There are two known bids, while the UK government could take a 25% stake in any rescue and may allow changes to Tata's pension scheme to help the sale... Read more

French unions seeking to overturn an unpopular labor law are set to intensify their protests as the government shows no sign of giving in after a week of strikes and blockades caused gas stations in many regions of the country to run dry. By the end of this week, the national railroad, the Paris metro, ports and air traffic controllers will all be on strike, though the degree to which the actions will be followed is unclear... Read more

Analysis of data seized by investigators in last week's raid of Google's Paris headquarters could possibly take years, French financial prosecutor Eliane Houlette said on Sunday. Dozens of French police raided Google's offices on Tuesday, escalating an investigation over suspected tax evasion... Read more

Russian corporations launch giant startup investment programs. Kaspersky Lab and Gazprom-Media Holdings are among those setting up venture funds for early-stage startups in Russia and CIS countries.... Read more

Saudi Arabia’s planned privatisations, including a share sale in the world’s biggest oil company, represent the biggest investment banking opportunity in emerging markets, according to Citigroup Inc. Implementation of the kingdom’s plans to restructure the economy -- known as Vision 2030 -- "could translate into a fantastic wallet for the investment banks," Omar Iqtidar, Citigroup’s head of investment banking in the Middle East, said in an interview in Dubai... Read more

Dubai stocks gained a fifth day amid declining trading across Gulf Arab equity markets, with some investors taking a long weekend and the start of Ramadan about a week away. The DFM General Index rose 0.3 percent, capping the longest winning streak since September. About 140 million shares were traded on the emirate’s main measure, less than half of the six-month average... Read more

The risk of a default chain reaction is looming over the $3.6 trillion market for wealth management products in China. WMPs, which traditionally funneled money from Chinese individuals into assets from corporate bonds to stocks and derivatives, are now increasingly investing in each other. Such holdings may have swelled to as much as 2.6 trillion yuan ($396 billion) last year, based on estimates from Autonomous Research this month... Read more

Wanda Opens First China Theme Park as It Takes Aim at Disney... Read more

North Korea-linked 'Lazarus' hackers hit a fourth bank in Philippines... Read more

Japan's Abe to delay sales tax hike until 2019: government source... Read more

Japan’s consumer prices dropped for a second month as central bank Governor Haruhiko Kuroda struggles to spur inflation with record asset purchases and negative interest rates. Consumer prices excluding fresh food fell 0.3 percent in April from a year earlier, after dropping by the same amount in March, according to a statistics bureau report on Friday. Economists in a Bloomberg survey forecast a decline of 0.4 percent... Read more

What Narendra Modi Said When Asked About RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan. Indian prime minister calls Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan's reappointment an administrative subject... Read more

Coal India Ltd., the world’s biggest producer of the fuel, missed analysts’ estimates for fourth-quarter profit as oversupply of the fuel and lower international prices trimmed earnings. Net income for the three months ended March 31 rose to 42.5 billion rupees ($634 million) from 42.4 billion rupees a year earlier, the state-run monopoly said in a stock exchange filing Sunday. The profit lagged a mean estimate of 45.5 billion rupees from 22 analysts compiled by Bloomberg. Coal deliveries during the period rose 7.8 percent to 145.2 million metric tons... Read more

Opinion - William Keegan: Whoever wins, the EU vote has been a disastrous diversion. The economic challenges facing Britain will not go away, whether we stay or leave after 23 June... Read more

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