ASB Securities Morning Brief for Wednesday, 24 August 2016
Wednesday, 24 August 2016

New Zealand Headlines

New Zealand Market Report: New Zealand shares were mixed as dividend payments weighed on investors' minds, with smaller payments from NZ Refining and Comvita dragging down those stocks and a bigger payment for Fliway Group stoking demand for the logistics company. The S&P/NZX index increased 5.17 points, or 0.1 percent, to 7,467.33. Within the index, 27 stocks gained, 19 fell and five were unchanged. Turnover was $155.4 million... Read more

The New Zealand dollar rose above 73 US cents after Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler signalled no change in the stance of monetary policy, disappointing some in the market that had expected a more dovish tone to today's speech. The kiwi rose to 73.16 US cents as at 5pm in Wellington and touched 73.25 cents immediately after the speech was released at 9am NZ time, from 72.16 cents late yesterday. The trade-weighted index rose to 77.38 from 76.64... Read more

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler has defended his approach to cutting interest rates, saying New Zealand's interest rate differential is too high to leave things as is but a more aggressive stance ran the risk of destabilising the financial system. In a speech written by Mr Wheeler and delivered by assistant governor John McDermott to the Otago Chamber of Commerce in Dunedin, he said the bank reaffirmed its view that there are 35 basis points of further cuts expected for the official cash rate and that the emerging economic data will determine whether more or less is needed... Read more

Reserve Bank defends interest rate stance. Lowering the OCR risks further fuelling house price growth but the Reserve Bank believes it has been a necessary trade-off to prevent a decline in inflation expectations.... Read more

Regions lead rental growth. It is Waikato landlords who are seeing the biggest rental price results as New Zealand’s rental market continues to move at a lacklustre pace, according to new Trade Me Property data... Read more

Some New Zealanders trying to transfer Australian superannuation funds back to this country are still facing difficulties. Trans-Tasman portability of superannuation funds has been possible since 2013. Funds can be transferred to KiwiSaver schemes. But Jeremy Hoskin, of Super-Advice, which helps with the process, said many people were still being left frustrated... Read more

Grosvenor dumps Vanguard over cluster bombs. Grosvenor Financial Services has moved quickly to the furore around index funds investing in cluster bomb manufacturers by replacing one of its index managers, although the move comes at a cost... Read more

The founder of new low cost KiwiSaver provider Simplicity has called on the industry to work together to jointly adopt the ethical investment policies of the NZ Superannuation Fund, in the wake of revelations that some major funds are invested in weapons and tobacco companies. Sam Stubbs, Managing Director of Simplicity KiwiSaver said the policies of the NZ Superannuation Fund, which have been successfully developed over many years, are global best practice... Read more

Labour calls for monetary policy to expand goals beyond inflation control... Read more

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has defended its guidelines covering the export of manuka honey after Rowse Honey, Britain's biggest honey company, said they had failed to prevent the UK from being flooded with fake product... Read more

Synlait Milk And the A2 Milk Company Reaffirm Arrangements... Read more

Kiwi Property Group plans to raise as much as $125 million in a bond offer it put off in June after the UK's unexpected vote to quit the European Union left financial markets in turmoil, while ANZ Bank New Zealand is mulling a $200 million local debt issue. Auckland-based Kiwi Property is selling $75 million of seven-year fixed rate senior secured bonds with oversubscriptions of up to $50 million, it said in a statement. The bonds will pay a minimum annual interest rate of 4 percent, and have an indicative margin of 1.65 percent to 1.85 percent. New Zealand's seven-year swap rate was recently at 2.24 percent.... Read more

New Zealand Refining posted an 82% slump in first-half profit and trimmed its interim dividend as a build-up in global oil stocks weighed on the Marsden Point refinery operator's margins. Net profit dropped to $11.4 million, or 3.71c per share, in the six months ended June 30 from $65.2 million, or 20.91 cents, a year earlier when cheap oil fattened the Whangarei-based company's margins... Read more

Auckland Council will receive a $54.3 million dividend from Ports of Auckland after the city's port operator announced a lift in full-year profit despite even as revenue fell with container volumes. The payout, up $12.6 million on the previous year, equates to $103 per Auckland household or 4.4 percent of the average annual residential rates bill and takes total dividends in the past five years to $212 million... Read more

Wellington's CentrePort said a strong lift in container traffic and property revaluations had driven its net profit $3.9 million higher to $17.9 million in the June year. Port revenue was up 10 per cent to $73 million and the port's container trade was up 23 per cent to 132,000 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units)... Read more

Comvita posts 15-month profit of $18.5m, lowers dividend ratio to pursue 'opportunities'... Read more

Serko has signed a deal with Nasdaq-listed Sabre Corp to use the online travel booking tool on the US company's platform, which the Kiwi firm says will boost annual sales by at least $1 million. The tie-up would mean users of Sabre's online platform would also be able to add Serko's services as an add-on, with an upgrade of the Sabre network slated for the third quarter of this year, and the Auckland-based anticipates revenue will get a boost from the second half of the 2017 financial year. The shares were unchanged at 60 cents, having dropped by a third so far this year.... Read more

Tourism Holdings, the campervan rental company, lifted annual profit 21% as revenue increased and the company continues to target net profit of $30 million by 2018. Net profit rose to $24.4 million, or 21.4c per share, in the 12 months ended June 30, from $20.1 million, or 17.9c, a year earlier, the Auckland-based company said in a statement. In April, Tourism Holdings said it would "meet and likely to some extent exceed" its earlier guidance for the year of $24 million. Revenue rose 18% to $279 million. The shares last traded at $3.04, and have risen 38.8% this year. The stock is rated buy by one analyst recommendation compiled by Reuters, with a median target price of $3.25... Read more

Queenstown Airport Corp, New Zealand's fourth busiest airport, posted a 7 percent decline in full-year profit after recognising a charge related to the loss of a tax dispute, while growth in passenger numbers drove up revenue. Profit fell to $7.8 million in the year ended June 30, from $8.3 million a year earlier, and included a non-cash provision of $2.6 million related to its adverse tax ruling. Underlying profit rose 27 percent to $10.5 million, matching a 27 percent gain in revenue to $31.5 million... Read more

Fliway Group declared a final dividend at the top end of its payout range, rewarding shareholders during a period when challenging conditions in international transport markets hurt revenue and left the transport and logistics group having to cut costs to lift earnings.,... Read more

Vocus Communications more than doubled annual revenue and earnings in New Zealand, bolstered by the addition of CallPlus when the trans-Tasman telecommunications group merged with M2 Group. The Sydney-based company's New Zealand operations generated earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of A$25.2 million in the year ended June 30 on revenue of A$145.5 million, it said in a statement. The ASX-listed shares last traded at A$8.34, and have climbed 12 percent so far this year.... Read more

ASX-listed Healthscope's New Zealand pathology business continued to outperform the rest of the Australian private hospital and health service's units as its successful bid to service the Wellington region drove earnings. The New Zealand unit lifted operating earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation to A$50.7 million in the year ended June 30, from A$41.6 million a year earlier, the Melbourne-based company said in a statement. The shares rose 3.1 percent to A$2.99, having gained 9 percent so far this year.... Read more

McConnell Dowell Constructors posted a 36 percent gain in full-year revenue after winning contracts including the expansion of Watercare's Mangere Wastewater Treatment Plant and the NZ Transport Agency's Russley Road project in Christchurch... Read more

Mercury, the electricity generator and distributor formerly known as Mighty River Power, has delivered a 2.3% lift in operating earnings and declared a special dividend, reflecting its limited capital needs and the sale of surplus land. On an earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation and financial instrument valuation movements basis, Mercury made $493 million in the year ended June 30, up 2.3% on the previous year... Read more

The NZ Law Foundation has launched the Information Law and Policy Project, a $2 million research fund that aims to support projects that develop law policy on IT, data, information and cyber security. Law Foundation executive director Lynda Hagen says, “Technology affects virtually every area of our daily lives, and the pace of change has lawmakers and bureaucrats struggling to keep up... Read more

Medical devices maker Fisher & Paykel Healthcare managing director Lewis Gradon says the company will "vigorously contest" what's expected to be a lengthy tit-for-tat intellectual property dispute with American rival ResMed. ResMed filed a patent infringement complaint last week in the Southern District of California as well as lawsuits in Germany and New Zealand, and to the US International Trade Commission against F&P Healthcare... Read more

A group of property owners in the upmarket Christchurch suburb of Fendalton received massive payments for their earthquake-damaged land after the September 2010 Christchurch earthquake. The EQC Fix group says the payouts are a bad look, with many other property owners unhappy with Earthquake Commission (EQC) land damage payout offers more than five years later... Read more

Vodafone fault affects email, broadband and TV service... Read more

The police have settled their case against William Yan and his associates, resulting in the businessman forfeiting property worth $42.85 million. The parties settled in the High Court at Auckland. It is the single largest forfeiture that has occurred in New Zealand and the first that relates to crimes alleged to have occurred in China, the police said in a statement... Read more

The Commerce Commission has filed charges against mobile trader Zee Shop, its first prosecution of a company that wasn't captured in the regulator's year-long investigation into so-called truck shops... Read more

Former union boss, Sir Wira Gardiner vouch for ailing Love in fraud trial... Read more

Sir Ngatata Love did not tell the Wellington Tenths Trust his partner was a consultant for a developer weeks before granting it a lease on prime Wellington real estate. In his second day in the witness box, the former Wellington Tenths Trust chairman faced cross examination from Crown prosecutor Grant Burston of his knowledge of a transaction with property developers Redwood in late 2006 and early 2007... Read more

Ngatata Love denied knowledge of various banking transactions linked to a Plimmerton property at the heart of the fraud case against the former chairman of the Wellington Tenths Trust, the High Court in Wellington heard today. Love is charged with obtaining a secret commission and obtaining significant sums by deception... Read more

Queenstown mayoral candidate Jim Boult​ is under the microscope of the liquidator of collapsed Stonewood Homes. But the results of the probe may not be available before the October 8 local body elections. Boult, who says he always acted in the best interests of the company, quit just weeks before it collapsed in February leaving creditors out of pocket to the tune of $17 million and home buyers uncertain of their situation... Read more

Opinion/Analysis - Kevin Shih: Why we're wrong to blame immigrants for our sputtering economies. Immigrants have become a major scapegoat in recent years for sputtering Western economies. From the U.K.’s jarring “Brexit” from the European Union to Donald Trump’s infamous wall and more recent proposal to apply “extreme vetting” to those wishing to enter the U.S., many politicians have found success by casting immigrants as a threat to the physical, social and economic welfare of natives... 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 Australian sharemarket shrugged off offshore weakness and rallied hard out of the blocks, but it failed to break out of its narrow two-week trading range. Offshore markets all closed slightly lower last night and the index futures were up just 0.2 per cent this morning, but the S&P/ASX 200 index jumped to a 1.1 per cent gain mid-session but dropped back to close up 35.2 points, or 0.7 per cent, at 5553.8.... Read more

The Australian dollar is trading higher against the US dollar as currency traders speculate that the US central bank may not lift interest rates until later next year. At 1704 AEST on Tuesday, the local unit was trading at 76.42 US cents, up from 75.97 cents on Monday.... Read more

The ANZ/Roy Morgan consumer confidence rating rose by 3.6 per cent to 121.8 in the week to August 21 – the highest reading since late 2013. Confidence is up 7.8 per cent over the year and well above the average of 112.4 since 2014. All five components of the index rose in the latest week. The measure of whether it was a good time to buy a major household item, lifted to the highest reading in 3½ years... Read more

The Australian Bankers' Association (ABA) says suggestions that complaints about the financial services industry have sky-rocketed in recent years are misleading. Labor said complaints about the finance sector had risen by 60 per cent between 2009 and 2015. Steven Munchenberg, the chief executive of the ABA, said the figures released by Labor were "very selective"... Read more

More than 100 approved self-managed superannuation fund auditors have had their registration cancelled with the corporate watchdog after failing to file accounts in another blow to Australia's 'selfie' economy... Read more

Independent costings suggest the Federal Government could end up losing money out of its proposed overhaul of superannuation changes if a key measure is watered down. The Government has proposed a $500,000 limit on after-tax contributions to superannuation, in a move it says will save $500 million over four years. The changes have upset a number of Coalition MPs, with some pushing for the $500,000 limit to be increased... Read more

Whales on increase in Great Australian Bight as BP oil drilling looms.... Read more

Shares in Ventnor Resources were higher after the company sold its Thaduna/Green Dragon copper project to its joint venture partner Sandfire Resources. Sandfire will pay Ventnor $2 million in shares, a further $1 million if it decides to mine the project and a 2 per cent net smelter royalty up to 90,000 tonnes of copper and an ongoing one per cent royalty on further production... Read more

XTEK Ltd has now completed the share placement raising $750,000 through the issue of circa 2.3 million shares at $0.332. Including funds from the recent share purchase plan, the company raised at total of $2 million... Read more

Oil and gas explorer FAR has potentially thrown a spanner in the works of a $US350 million Woodside deal to buy a stake in oil fields off Senegal from ConocoPhillips. FAR and ConocoPhillips are in a dispute in regard to the FAR’s right of pre-emption over the proposed sale of 35 per cent of the deepwater assets. The WA oil and gas producer’s shares closed down 12¢ to $29.20. FAR was down 0.2¢ to 7.8¢.... Read more

Greenland Minerals and Energy Ltd has been granted a trading halt today, with its shares placed in pre-open. GGG requested the halt pending an announcement in relation to the increase in the company’s share price and trading volume... Read more

Struggling engineering and mining services group Bradken will restructure its business to focus on mining consumables and special castings for the North American defence and energy markets.... Read more

The competition watchdog has warned the State Government it must toughen up oversight of prices charged at Port Hedland’s Utah Point facility if it wants to privatise the bulk export terminal. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said light-handed regulation risked a buyer ramping up prices at the expense of Pilbara mid-tier miners... Read more

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

Mining and civil contractor MACA says a halved annual profit is a good result given the tough civil contracting market. The company, whose mining contracting business is active in WA’s goldfields, today reported a 56 per cent fall in annual profit to $24.2 million on a 28 per cent drop in revenue to a better-than-expected $431.4 million... Read more

Several Western Australian companies are trying to cut workers' wages after the Fair Work Commission agreed to scrap workers' Enterprise Bargaining Agreements at the financially-troubled Griffin Coal mine, a major union says. The decision, which affected about 70 workers at the Collie mine, in South-West WA, meant wages could legally be slashed by around $50,000 by reverting to the Black Coal Award, after the company argued it was impossible to turn a profit... Read more

Shares in Monadelphous have been hammered after the engineering contractor reported a 26.8 per cent slide in profit to $67 million, citing continued margin pressure amidst a soft commodity price environment. Investors reacted savagely to the disappointing result, sending Monadelphous shares down $1.94, or 17.75 per cent, to $8.99 by the close.... Read more

Ratings agency Moody's has upgraded the credit rating of Andrew Forrest's Fortescue Metals' in the wake of its record dividend payout and rise in full year profit announced this week. Moody's upgraded Fortescue's corporate family rating to Ba2 from Ba3, giving it an improved rating of its ability to repay short term debt... Read more

Brookside Energy Ltd has been granted a trading halt by the ASX, pending details of a capital raising... Read more

Universal Coal Plc remains on schedule for the re-commissioning of the New Clydesdale Colliery in South Africa, with the first coal expected in September 2016. NCC is the company’s second operation and enhances Universal’s position as a multi-mine coal producer with an increased exposure to the improving export thermal coal market... Read more

Veterinary and pet shop chain Greencross will put more vet clinics inside its retail stores after the popular innovation helped beat sales expectations and lift profit more than 80 per cent. The company's net profit of $34.6 million for the year to June 30 is up from $22.1 million the previous year. Underlying profit rose 10 per cent to $42.1 million. Shares in Greencross were 10 cents, or 1.37 per cent, higher at $7.40 at 1554 AEST.... Read more

Fast-food chain Hungry Jack’s has turned to 100 per cent cage-free eggs on its brekkie burgers, 16 months earlier than planned. Hungry Jacks’s first pledged to phase out cage eggs at all of its Australian outlets by the end of 2017 with rivals McDonald’s and Subway making similar commitments... Read more

Healthscope says it is adding hospital beds and operating theatres to meet rising demand for healthcare in an ageing Australia as the hospitals group reported a 19 per cent jump in annual profit. Healthscope chief executive Robert Cook said the new financial year will "continue to be a year of significant capital investment" in its hospitals, with 762 additional beds and 43 operating theatres planned by 2019... Read more

The disappearance of Dick Smith highlighted the trends and challenges facing Scentre Group's Westfield shopping centres. Scentre, which operates Westfield-branded centres in Australia, managed to swiftly re-lease all 40 of its stores freed up by the collapse of the failed electronics retailer, which closed the last of its outlets in May. Scentre shares closed down one cent, or 0.2 per cent, at $5.06.... Read more

An increasing number of well-known brands choosing to sell on have helped the online retailer beat its full-year forecasts. The likes of Bonds, Breville and Lavazza helped, which floated on the Australian Securities Exchange in July, surpass its prospectus profit and revenue forecasts when it released its maiden full-year results on Tuesday... Read more

Supermarket giant Coles and Australia's retail lobby have lent their voice to the banking industry's fight against Apple Pay, arguing Apple is limiting consumer choice by locking down the NFC chip on iPhones so it can only be used by its own payments platform. In July, three of Australia's big four banks alongside Bendigo and Adelaide Bank went to the ACCC to ask for permission to form a cartel in order to strong-arm Apple into opening up access to its near-field communication chips... Read more

Seafarmers Group will raise $11 million for the development of project Sea Dragon (PSD) and to allow the company to take advantage of the increasing interest in PSD from offshore investors... Read more

Burkini bans in France have boosted sales and interest in the full-bodied Islamic swimsuit, particularly from non-Muslim women, the Australian credited with creating the design said Tuesday. The burkini has sparked huge controversy in France, with bans in 15 towns in the country's southeast amid high tensions following a string of deadly jihadist attacks... Read more

Vocus Communications is targeting the consumer market and has its sights on becoming Australia's "most loved telco" after its full-year profit more than trebled in the wake of mergers with M2 Group and Amcom. Net profit for the 12 months to June 30 rose to $64.1 million from $19.9 million in 2014/15 thanks to the fivefold surge in revenue that followed February's merger with M2 and the July 2015 tie-up with Amcom Telecommunications... Read more

Ainsworth Game Technology's annual profit has been hit by currency fluctuations and a drop in revenue from Australia but the poker machine supplier says its financial results for 2015/16 were solid. Ainsworth on Tuesday booked a 21 per cent fall in statutory net profit for the 12 months to June 30 to $55.7 million. Ainsworth shares were steady at $2.39.... Read more

ITL Ltd has been ranked the 16th most innovative company in Australia on The Australian Financial Review’s (AFR) 50 Most Innovative Companies of 2016 list. The AFR Most Innovative Companies list ranks the most innovative organisations in Australia, and is the only national, cross-industry list of its kind... Read more

Petratherm has appointed Andrew Haythorpe as managing director effective August 22, 2016, with Terry Kallis stepping down.... Read more

G8 Communications Ltd’s shares have risen after executing an agreement to provide its Lt1000 modem to the State of Nebraska, to be integrated into snow plows to provide 4g streaming video... Read more

Barnett denies conflict over son's land deal. Colin Barnett insists he has no conflicts of interest over his son’s land dealings. The Premier defended son Sam over a Mid West land transaction, but said he had no first-hand knowledge of the deal... Read more

Lazy millennial travellers are paying $183 million in international ATM fees every year, according to new research by Westpac. The bank’s 2016 Travel Finance Report found that while young Aussies spend $11.3 billion overseas every year, they aren’t properly preparing beforehand... Read more

Men in Australia are still paid on average about 20 per cent more than women, according to a workforce diversity specialist, with figures from the Australian Council of Trade Unions showing the gender pay gap has grown steadily over the last decade. In addition, men and women are paid differently despite performing the same role within Australia's top accounting firms, workforce diversity specialist Conrad Liveris told PM... Read more

International Headlines

U.S. Market Report: U.S. stock rose on Tuesday, with the Nasdaq hitting a record intraday high, led by technology companies and as robust housing market data strengthened the case for a firming economy. With the U.S. earnings season winding down, investors are also weighing up the prospect of an interest rate hike in the coming months... Read more

North/South Americas Market Report: North and South American markets are mixed today. The Bovespa is up 1.18% while the S&P 500 gains 0.27%. The IPC is off 0.93%... Read more

European Market Report: European markets finished higher today with shares in Germany leading the region. The DAX is up 0.94% while France's CAC 40 is up 0.72% and London's FTSE 100 is up 0.59%... Read more

Asian Market Report: Asian markets finished mixed as of the most recent closing prices. The Shanghai Composite gained 0.16%, while Japan's Nikkei 225 was off 0.61%. Shares in Hong Kong were unchanged with the Hang Seng at 22,998.93... Read more

Oil bounces as Iran signals support for OPEC freeze action. Oil prices rose more than 1 percent on Tuesday, reversing early losses, after Reuters reported Iran was sending positive signals that it may support joint OPEC action to prop up the market. Iran, the third-largest oil producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, has been boosting output since the lifting of Western sanctions in January... Read more

Gold futures tilted lower Tuesday, reversing course after earlier gains as the dollar turned flat and U.S. equities rose, dulling the investment appeal of the precious metal as traders await a monetary policy speech from Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen due later this week. Shifting expectations about the Federal Reserve’s interest-rate policy ahead of a closely watched retreat in Jackson Hole, Wyo., where Yellen will speak on Friday, have resulted in small gyrations in the greenback... Read more

The number of regional Federal Reserve banks calling on the central bank to raise the rate it charges commercial banks for emergency loans rose to eight in July, minutes from the Fed's discount rate meeting released on Tuesday showed. That compared to six in June, showing growing confidence among Fed policymakers in the U.S. economic outlook... Read more

U.S. new home sales race to near nine-year high... Read more

Tesla Motors Inc Chief Executive Elon Musk said on Tuesday that the company planned to make a product announcement later in the day, sending the company's share price higher. "Tesla product announcement at noon California time today," Musk tweeted. The Silicon Valley electric car manufacturer declined to offer details before the announcement, but its shares were up $4.78, or 2.1 percent, to $227.71 in afternoon trading. SolarCity Corp (SCTY.O) was also up on the news, rising 1.5 percent to $23.37.... Read more

Delta Offers Pilots 27% Raise as Contract Impasse Lingers... Read more

Next stop $100 billion? Bill Gates' net worth has crossed the $90 billion threshold, according to a real-time rankings from Bloomberg's Billionaire Index... Read more

The Ashley Madison dating site had "inadequate" security systems and used fake icons to make people think it was safe, reveals a report. The Toronto-based firm's security systems were investigated by privacy watchdogs in Canada and Australia. The attack on Ashley Madison in July 2015 took data on millions of users... Read more

More than a quarter of European companies plan to reduce the amount of business they do with U.K. banks after Britain exits the European Union, according to a survey by Greenwich Associates. Twenty-eight percent of companies on the continent are planning to move away from British banks, with 20 percent shifting business to global lenders, the financial services consulting firm said Tuesday, citing responses from 63 European and U.K. corporations... Read more

When it comes to getting paid, becoming a mother is a big drawback. The average wage gap between men and women may be shrinking slowly, but new research in the U.K. shows it widens significantly after the birth of a child.... Read more

Property buyers went through with sales in July irrespective of any uncertainty in the UK housing market following the Brexit vote, figures suggest. Yet the market is not moving at a pace seen a year ago, with 16,000 fewer homes sold in July compared with the same month in 2015. A total of 104,200 properties were sold in July, the first full month since the UK's vote to leave the EU... Read more

Across the sun-kissed vineyards of England's south coast, there's no sour grapes over Brexit. Britain's winemakers are instead finding their glasses half full thanks to a steep drop in the value of the pound, which has made their wares more affordable abroad.... Read more

Volkswagen has resolved a dispute with two external suppliers that had halted production at several plants in Germany, hitting the output of Golf and Passat models. The suppliers, one making seats and the other gearbox parts, had stopped delivering to VW in a contract row... Read more

The UK's manufacturing output eased back in the three months to August, according to the latest industrial trends survey from the CBI. Manufacturing grew at a slower rate than in the three months to July. But the sector was still expanding at a much much faster rate than in the spring, when there was hardly any growth at all... Read more

In a departure from the long-term trend that shaped a global Irish diaspora, immigration to Ireland is up, while emigration is down, according to the country’s Central Statistics Office.... Read more

Volkswagen is preparing to resume full production at its factories after resolving a serious dispute with suppliers. A shortage of parts had caused major disruption at six of the automaker's factories in Germany and forced Volkswagen to reduce hours for about 27,700 workers... Read more

The Russian government has announced that it will postpone the privatization of state share packages in the Rosneft and Bashneft oil companies. Russian analysts believe that this is because the price being asked is not acceptable to buyers... Read more

This country went from boom to economic nightmare in 5 years. In 2011, Mongolia's economy grew by 17% and attracted billions of dollars in foreign investment. Now, the country is facing a debt crisis and possible default. Mongolia's currency is in steep decline, plummeting 10% against the dollar over the past month. The central bank has tried to stop the bleeding by hiking interest rates by 4.5 percentage points to 15%, but its efforts have fallen short... Read more

Hyundai to export cars assembled in Russia to Georgia and Tunisia... Read more

Dark Clouds Loom for Oil as China Chases Blue Skies for G-20. China is throwing the world’s leaders a party, and oil bulls may be hit with the hangover. Authorities in the Asian nation have ordered hundreds of factories to curb activity ahead of the Group of 20 summit in Hangzhou in early September, in a bid to ensure blue skies when the red carpet is rolled out... Read more

Real estate and entertainment conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group Co expects to seal two billion-dollar film-related deals in the United States this year, chairman Wang Jianlin said on Tuesday, as China's richest man steps up his push into Hollywood. After completing the acquisition of two non-production film companies - each worth above $1 billion - Dalian Wanda's next target would be a so-called "Big Six" movie studio, Wang told Reuters in an exclusive interview... Read more

Japan is exploring the feasibility of forging the Olympic 2020 medals using precious metals salvaged from electronic waste. Members of Japan's Olympic organising committee tabled the idea to government officials and companies earlier this year, local media reports said... Read more

After India Picks a New RBI Chief, Twitter Users Pile Praise on Impostor. Thousands respond to a tweet from a month-old Twitter account which doesn't belong to Mr. Patel... Read more

Opinion - Trevor Neil: Warren Buffett’s investment style is drifting badly — and that’s why returns are suffering... Read more

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