ASB Securities Morning Brief for Saturday, 28 May 2016
Saturday, 28 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

Key to Council: 'There will be no debate'. Key says next week's National Policy Statement on urban land use will direct Auckland Council to release land if it fails to meet targets; says developers will take Council to court and win; says Council may have to sell assets to fund infrastruce... Read more

It’s been described as a no surprises, boring Budget, but what might Budget 2016 mean for interest rates?... Read more

Retail NZ is concerned that the tobacco tax hike announced in yesterday’s budget may make tobacco more attractive to thieves and put retail workers at risk. “Retail crime is increasing, and it is becoming increasingly more violent,” Retail NZ General Manager Public Affairs Greg Harford said today... Read more

Federated Farmers is commending the Government on a new $100 million Freshwater Improvement Fund to aid communities investment in solutions for water quality in New Zealand’s rivers, lakes and groundwater supplies, announced in yesterday’s budget... Read more

Funding intended to boost New Zealand’s supply of warm, dry rental properties is not all it’s cracked up to be, according to two very different sources. There has been months of public concern about the cold, damp housing conditions many lower-income New Zealanders live in. At the same time, there has been growing pressure for the introduction of minimum standards for rental properties... Read more

New Zealand's $40 billion apartment sector looks to be in for a shakeup after a government minister hinted at big changes. Nick Smith, Minister for Building and Housing, this week received a new heavyweight report seeking tougher rules and he indicated support for reform... 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

Auckland's housing situation is as bad as Christchurch, Minister of Economic Development and Associate Finance Minister Steven Joyce says. "My thoughts on this is that it's actually remarkably similar to the Christchurch situation post-earthquake," he told Liam Dann in the Budget special of The Economy Hub... Read more

A new code of conduct for authorised financial advisers has been submitted to the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) for approval and is likely to come into force by the end of the year.... Read more

New Zealand’s new world of financial regulation has come as a shock to many, but the Financial Markets Authority boss says it is building an improved investment environment. FMA chief executive Rob Everett said some firms were left reeling when the previously unregulated environment changed and they suddenly had to engage with active regulation – even if there wasn’t necessarily a problem.... Read more

The price of a tonne of New Zealand carbon in the emissions trading scheme has pushed through $15, creating theoretically breakeven conditions for forestry planting based on carbon farming. Climate Change Minister Paula Bennett confirmed a widely expected cancelling of subsidies to major emitters over the next three years in the Budget yesterday... Read more

New Zealand wool prices slipped at yesterday's North Island auction compared to the higher values achieved at last week's South Island selection, with lamb wool leading the fall... Read more

Fewer farms are changing hands, with dairy farm sales taking the biggest hit. For the three months ending April, 407 farms were sold - 78 fewer than the same period last year, the latest figures Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) figures show. This takes the yearly farm sales figure to 1730 for the 12 months ending April - 3.8 per cent down year-on-year, including 22 per cent less dairy farm sales... Read more

Silver Fern shareholders to vote again on Shanghai Maling deal in July... 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. ... Read more

Trilogy International, which yesterday said it bought a stake in a Chilean rosehip producer, more than doubled annual profit as sales of its skincare and home fragrance products soared and it benefited from the acquisition of cosmetics and fragrance distributor CS Company. Net profit climbed to $9.4 million, or 15c a share, in the 12 months ended March 31 from $4.5 million, or 7c, a year earlier, the Auckland-based company said in a statement. Revenue jumped 127% to $83.1 million, in line with Trilogy's March guidance. The shares last traded at $4.23 and have jumped 46% so far this year, outperforming the 8.3% gain on the S&P/NZX All Index over the same period... Read more

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, the medical device maker, beat its forecast for annual profit, boosting revenue and margins, and said it expected to post new records in the coming year. Net profit jumped 27 percent to a record $143.4 million in the year ended March 31, ahead of its forecast range of $135 million to $140 million, the Auckland-based company said in a statement. Revenue increased 21 percent to $815.5 million, also an all-time high and ahead of a forecast $800 million. Its shares last traded at $10.20 and have advanced 15 percent this year. The stock is rated a 'buy' according to the average recommendation of seven analysts compiled by Reuters... Read more

Wellington brewery Panhead Custom Ales sold to Lion Group... 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

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... 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. They filed their 120-page application to the Commerce Commission today, which outlines the most likely business structure of NZME acquiring Fairfax and the latter holding a minority stake in the newly merged business as well as cash... Read more

A merger between Fairfax Media's New Zealand operations and APN News &Media's NZME unit would have 11.7 percent of New Zealand's digital advertising market, which is dominated by Google and Facebook, their application to the Commerce Commission shows... Read more

Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson has told Bloomberg there has been considerable interest from airlines in the Virgin Australia stake being sold by Air New Zealand. Asked if Virgin Group, which owns 10% of the Australian airline through Virgin Islands company Corvina Holdings, was interested in buying the Air NZ stake, Sir Richard said there were discussions going on... Read more

Air New Zealand trials world-leading robotic technology. Air New Zealand is working with Christchurch-based robotics company Invert Robotics to trial wall climbing, camera mounted robots to carry out remote inspections on its aircraft. The technology, originally designed for use in the dairy industry, uses remote-controlled inspection equipment to detect damage inside milk tanks beaming back high resolution footage in real time... Read more

Airways Corp, the government-owned entity in charge of air traffic control, will give airlines a break with cheaper prices, while hiking them for smaller operators. From July, the Wellington-based state-owned enterprise will cut its air traffic management fees for airlines by 4.7 percent over the three years of its pricing period, with the bulk of the reduction coming in the first year... Read more

Fashion label Federation's resurrection a cautionary tale for importers. Business survivor Jenny Joblin is fighting to rebuild her Federation Fashion brand.... 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... Read more

Milford Asset Management's Mark Warminger wants more details of the Financial Markets Authority's "confusing" case against him for alleged market manipulation. "What is the case he needs to meet?" Warminger's lawyer Mike Heron, QC, asked during yesterday's hearing in the High Court at Auckland... Read more

Senior Reserve Bank officials accuse former colleague of having a 'victim filter'... Read more

Consumer NZ warns of scam targeting tradies and their clients. An elaborate scam is catching out people expecting an invoice from their builder. Hackers are getting access to builders’ email accounts and altering bank account numbers on invoices before they reach the builder’s client. The client, expecting the invoice, pays the bill and may only realise they have been defrauded when the builder chases up payment... Read more

Opinion - Coral Phillips: Tax consequences of falling dairy livestock values.... Read more

Opinion - Grant Robertson: Budget defined by what is missing... Read more

Opinion - Tim Fairbrother: Your financial journey - Estate planning. Making good financial decisions now will determine how well you can provide for yourself and your family in the future. It is therefore vital that you have a good handle on your financial situation and seek help that is tailored specifically to the needs of you and your family... Read more

Opinion - Brian Fallow: Spending caught in a squeeze. The population is up, the Govt wants debt to go down. Net result: not a lot left to play with... Read more

New Zealand Herald Editorial: Population growth is powering NZ economy... 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

Fitch has warned Australia's major banks are facing increased risks and bad debts, with one of the credit rating agency's analysts declining to call them "safe and solid". In a world of carefully crafted, cautious messages, Fitch ratings director Andrea Jaehne cut to the chase when asked why Australia's banking system was so safe and solid. "I wouldn't call it safe and solid," she responded... Read more

Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens held off giving politicians both barrels in his Trans-Tasman Business Circle remarks on Tuesday. But it shouldn't be overlooked that he still delivered two sharp slaps: one at the lack of a plan for getting the budget deficit under control, the other at the real estate spruiker antics of the prime minister and his treasurer... Read more

Australia ‘haunted by bureaucratic ghosts’ of Rudd and Gillard, red tape costing $176bn.... Read more

Housing affordability was today declared in crisis with the Australian dream at risk of being lost. The warning came as Liberals and Labor pledged to leverage measures to lower prices from the states, possibly by tying land supply deregulation to federal investment... Read more

Claims that Labor’s changes to negative gearing and capital gains tax would “smash” housing prices have been rejected in a new report. Modelling from a Labor-aligned think tank, the McKell Institute, found house prices wouldn’t grow as strongly over 10 years but would not crash. Last year the institute released a report Switching Gears that recommended the removal of negative gearing for existing housing... 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 number of people aged over 100 in NSW will increase more than tenfold within 40 years, according to new state government projections. The public health sector will also make up the largest share of government expenses, the NSW intergenerational report has revealed. The projections highlight the challenge NSW faces as it deals with an ageing population,... Read more

Mining billionaire Andrew Forrest is beefing up his investment in meat processing in an attempt to capture more value from WA’s international reputation as a source of clean and green food. Mr Forrest unveiled a $25 million upgrade of Harvey Beef yesterday that will boost the workforce to more than 500 and add a premium to meat exports through high-tech packaging... Read more

Greenland Minerals and Energy Ltd is currently preparing details of a capital raising. The ASX has granted a voluntary suspension following a trading halt to allow the company to finalise... Read more

Hope within a workforce is essential in turning around an ailing business, according to Nickel West boss Eddy Haegel. After a tough couple of years, in which BHP Billiton failed to sell the business and flagged its likely closure by the end of the decade, Nickel West is off the critical list, and this week Haegel outlined a plan to keep the once-dominant miner at the heart of WA’s nickel industry for decades to come... Read more

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

Pioneer Resources Ltd will be participating in the Federal Government’s Exploration Development Incentive (EDI) Scheme for the 2014-2015 tax year. The EDI legislation was passed by Parliament on 3 March 2015 and is effective from 1 July 2014 to run for three years based on an annual application... Read more

BlueScope Steel rebounding on cost cutting, but workforce resentment rising... 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... Read more

Sino Iron project about to hit production peak... 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. The company’s share price has increased more than 30% during the last one month.... Read more

Admedus Ltd has appointed Mathew Ratty as a non-executive director of the board, bringing experience from domestic and international capital markets. Ratty is the co-founder of MC Management Group Pty Ltd - a long only venture capital firm operating in both the debt and equity space domestically and internationally... Read more

Far north Qld wind farm to create 150 jobs. A wind farm to be built in far north Queensland will generate enough renewable energy to power a regional city. Ergon Energy and proponents Ratch Australia and Port Bajool on Friday signed a power purchase agreement to build the 170 megawatt Mount Emerald Wind Farm, near Cairns... Read more

International buyer POCO could snap up failed Masters sites to take on Good Guys, Harvey Norman. A South African “big box” store could be poised to snap up the failed Masters sites in a bid to crack into the Australian retail market in a big way. Masters has racked up losses of more than $700 million since 2011, with owner Woolworths this year announcing its intentions to “either sell or wind up” the failing hardware chain... Read more

BPS Technology Ltd has expanded the reach of its Bartercard operations in North America with the sale of three new franchises in Tennessee, California and Georgia. Bartercard is a B2B digital currency tool that allows business owners to barter or trade their goods and services between one another without the use of cash... Read more

He took Kmart from rock bottom to rock star and now Wesfarmers' department store boss Guy Russo is picking a fight with the globe's biggest apparel players with his revival plan for Target. High-volume fashion and basics at low prices is the mantra and Mr Russo is confident he has the experience to make it work, even if his blueprint puts him in the boxing ring with fast-fashion juggernauts H&M and Uniqlo... Read more

A profit downgrade has not stopped Flight Centre's property expansion plans, with its largest store globally slated to open in Sydney next year. The hyperstore at 478-480 George Street is on the site of the former Mick Simmons sport store and next to the Sydney Hilton... Read more

Telstra Health has won a $178.3 million federal government contract to maintain and implement a system for managing the cancer screening results of more than 11 million patients. The measure was announced in the 2015 federal budget, with a request for tender published in August. The project was given $148.8 million in the 2014-2015 budget and was later handed an extra $29.9 billion in the 2015-16 budget... Read more

Seven West Media announced this morning that it is in advanced negotiations with News Corporation to purchase The Sunday Times newspaper and Perth Now website. The potential agreement will be subject to regulatory approval from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission... 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

With six new facilities already under construction, Brisbane Airport Corporation has cleared another development for takeoff. It will deliver a new 2280sq m office/warehouse after securing a design and construct precommitment from leading courier company Direct Couriers... Read more

Telstra blames network outage on DNS bungle, modem firmware bug. Confirms 370,000 users affected at peak.... Read more

Telstra faces allegations of misconduct over its $2.1 billion sale of most it is majority stake in Autohome in an action brought in the Cayman Islands by the minority shareholders of the Chinese car classifieds business. Telstra, which announced $1.5 billion was to be returned to shareholders with the forecast proceeds of the sale, is now set to lock horns in a Cayman Islands court action with minority shareholders, including Autohome chief executive James Qin, who has led a management consortium looking to buy the telco's stake... Read more

Telstra has sacked its chief technology officer following reports he faked some of his resume and plagiarised a presentation. The Australian reported Telstra had sacked Vish Nandlall after he was found to have falsified some of his career history... Read more

A local farming co-operative will be a big winner from increased competition when Aldi and Costco take on the established supermarket giants in WA. The WA Meat Marketing Co-operative, which employs about 350 staff at its Katanning abattoir, will process lamb for Aldi and Costco... Read more

The other side of the milk crisis... Read more

The Reserve Bank has announced regulations aimed at preventing merchants from gouging customers on credit card fees. From September 1, surcharges passed on to consumers will have to reflect the actual cost to the merchant... Read more

WA’s auditor-general Colin Murphy has sent the state government a timely reminder of just how much ground it has to make up in terms of digital service delivery, just days after the state unveiled its first whole-of-government IT strategy, WA “lags behind best practice” when it comes to electronic services, Murphy's review of online transactions in government has found pdf... Read more

Clive Palmer is unfazed by his dramatic slide on the BRW 200 Rich list, saying it's more important to be loved and have a warm bed than be wealthy. Mr Palmer was No.112 on this year's list with a wealth of $570 million after being ranked 30th in 2015... Read more

The battle between tax officials and Allen Caratti has flared with legal action against the wealthy landowner demanding $11.7 million in unpaid tax and penalties. In a writ of summons lodged with the Supreme Court, the Deputy Commissioner of Taxation claims Mr Caratti failed to pay $5 million in income tax for the financial years 2009 to 2011... Read more

The battle to stop McDonald’s from opening in Sydney’s Glebe may have been lost but residents are still fighting on regardless. Residents turned up outside the Glebe Point Rd pop-up store on Friday morning, hours before the opening of Fries With That, to rail against the fast food giant... Read more

Opinion - Malcolm Maiden: The key to making money in the markets: buy, hold ... and wait.... Read more

International Headlines

U.S. Market Report: Wall Street rose on Friday and capped off its strongest week since March after U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said an interest-rate hike would likely be appropriate "in the coming months."... Read more

North/South Americas Market Report: North and South American markets finished mixed as of the most recent closing prices. The IPC gained 0.72% and the S&P 500 rose 0.43%. The Bovespa lost 0.87%... Read more

European Market Report: European markets finished higher today 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

Gold futures slide to lowest close in 3 months... Read more

Still anemic: U.S. growth picks up to only 0.8%... Read more

Yellen says Fed rate hike likely appropriate in coming months... Read more

Vestas Wind Systems A/S is revising its forecasts after a U.S. decision on tax credits for renewable energy companies bolstered its position in the world’s largest economy. “Right now we, as well as our clients, are very active and looking into the new conditions,” Chief Executive Officer Anders Runevad said in an interview in western Denmark on Thursday... Read more

Things are so bad in the oil industry that one drilling services company is planning its second bankruptcy filing in nine months. Hercules Offshore filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last August as the crash in oil prices began to send financial stress rippling through the oil and gas world.... Read more

Monsanto boss Hugh Grant could land more than $70 million if the world's largest seed company is taken over by German chemicals giant Bayer AG. The U.S. firm said it was open to engaging in further negotiations with Bayer after turning down its $62 billion bid as "incomplete and financially inadequate" this week... Read more

Microsoft and Facebook have agreed to jointly build a subsea cable across the Atlantic Ocean to meet growing demand for high-speed cloud and online services. The construction of the new "MAREA" cable will begin in August this year and it is expected to be completed in October 2017, the companies said in a statement... Read more

Google won a jury verdict that kills Oracle Corp.’s claim to a $9 billion slice of the search giant’s Android phone business and may give comfort to programmers who write applications that run across different platforms without a license... Read more

Apparently no one likes to be a number. Even those who trade in them. Following a growing trend among big companies, Goldman Sachs announced Thursday that it was ditching its 9-point rating system for performance evaluations in favor of "qualitative" feedback that is "timely" and "constructive."... Read more

Sumner Redstone made clear on Friday that he is considering ousting Viacom's chief executive and the company's board of directors in the fierce power struggle between Redstone's family and company executives over control of the media empire. A judge set an early June hearing on the possible removal of CEO Philippe Dauman from the trust that will control the media company when Redstone dies or is deemed incapacitated... 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

World leaders are warning about the damage a British exit from the European Union could do to the global economy. The possibility of Britain choosing to leave the world's biggest single market is a "serious risk to growth," leaders of G7 nations said Friday... Read more

Brexit and Remain Camps Are Misleading Voters, Lawmakers Say... Read more

HM Revenue & Customs has lost its bid to recover up to £50m in stamp duty from the sale of the Chelsea Barracks in 2007. Three Court of Appeal judges decided that the tax office had pursued the wrong party for the tax. The purchaser, a firm owned by the Qatar Investment Authority, had used a type of Islamic finance that meant a bank actually owned the property. HMRC said it was "disappointed" by the ruling... Read more

A former Barclays Plc trader on trial for rigging Libor was admonished by the judge for an outburst that interrupted a co-defendant being questioned by a prosecutor. Ryan Reich shouted "no, no, no, no," from his seat on Friday after the prosecutor asked fellow ex-Barclays trader Alex Pabon on the stand if the Libor rate affected swaps valuations... Read more

When's the best time to advertise electric cars? The middle of a gas shortage. Strikes have brought parts of France's oil industry to a standstill this week. Gas stations are running dry, lines are building at the pumps and people are hoarding fuel. The only people smiling? Electric car owners.... Read more

Telefonica SA is leaning toward holding on to its British O2 unit rather than seek another buyer after a plan to sell the U.K. wireless carrier was blocked by European Union regulators, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter. While Telefonica’s priority is to reduce leverage, the company is better off with O2 in its portfolio than without it, said the person, who asked not to be identified discussing internal company deliberations... Read more

Spanish retail sales rose to a three-month high in April, pointing to renewed momentum going into the second quarter as the nation prepares to hold a repeat election in June. Monthly sales on a seasonally-adjusted basis ticked up 0.6 percent, marking the fastest pace since January, the Madrid-based National Statistics Institute said Friday... Read more

Putin’s Approval Rating Is Down—to 80%... Read more

China's Zoomlion Heavy Industry Science and Technology Co Ltd has abandoned its $3.4 billion bid for U.S. crane maker Terex Corp, clearing the way for a smaller deal between Terex and Finland's Konecranes . The decision comes after six months of merger talks between Terex and Zoomlion and marks the latest setback to corporate China's ambitions to acquire U.S. assets... Read more

How Malaysia’s 1MDB probe was flawed. Investigations ordered by Malaysia’s leader into graft allegations at a state-development fund have been undermined by political pressure and a lack of transparency, according to documents and interviews with people involved... Read more

Automakers recall 12 million U.S. vehicles over Takata air bags... Read more

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is getting closer to a potential announcement on delaying an increase in the sales tax after his warning at a Group of Seven leaders meeting that the global economy faces significant risk of another crisis... Read more

State Bank of India, the country’s largest lender, jumped the most in more than two months after reporting a bad-loan watch list that’s smaller than its closest rivals. Shares of the lender surged 6.4 percent to 195.90 rupees in Mumbai trading, paring this year’s losses to 13 percent. About 313 billion rupees ($4.7 billion) of State Bank’s loans are under stress and two-thirds of it could sour, Arundhati Bhattacharya, chairman of the bank said in a briefing in Kolkata on Friday, after it posted the biggest profit drop since 2011. That compares with ICICI Bank Ltd.’s 440 billion rupees... Read more

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