ASB Securities Morning Brief for Thursday, 18 August 2016
Thursday, 18 August 2016

New Zealand Headlines

New Zealand Market Report: New Zealand shares rose on Fletcher Building's positive annual earnings and outlook while NZX dropped after posting first-half results that included costs of its legal battle with Ralec. The S&P/NZX 50 Index gained 44.34 points, or 0.6%, to 7355.01. Within the index, 27 stocks rose, 13 fell and 11 were unchanged. Turnover was $175.3 million... Read more

The New Zealand dollar climbed after dairy prices rose more than expected at the latest GlobalDairyTrade auction, clawing back losses after a Federal Reserve official raised the prospect of an early US rate hike. The kiwi rose to 72.70USc at 8am from 72.26USc yesterday. The trade-weighted index advanced to 76.72 from 76.07 yesterday... Read more

New Zealand's unemployment rate fell more than expected in the second quarter as Statistics New Zealand adopted a new way of measuring the labour market to bring the country in line with international practices, and while a growing economy continued to support jobs growth. The kiwi dollar jumped above 73USc after the release. The jobless rate declined to a seasonally adjusted 5.1% or 131,000 people, in the June quarter from a revised 5.2% rate in March, the government department said in a statement. Economists polled by Reuters predicted a rate of 5.3%, though the new methodology means comparisons with earlier periods aren't easy to make. The participation rate of 69.7% was up from 68.8% in March... Read more

New Zealand producer input prices rose at more than four times the pace of output prices in the second quarter, reflecting stronger prices for crude oil. Prices received by producers rose 0.2 percent in the quarter for an annual gain of 0.5 percent, while prices paid by producers rose 0.9 percent in the quarter for an annual gain of 0.3 percent,... Read more

More needed to meet Unitary Plan goals. Applause and relief has greeted news of the Unitary Plan’s adoption, but commentators are questioning whether it will be possible to meet the Plan’s allotted capacity. Under Auckland’s new Unitary Plan, there is now capacity for more than 400,000 new dwellings to be built to meet the demands of the city’s growth over the next 30 years... Read more

Rental yields have fallen to a record low nationwide and there’s unlikely to be a turnaround anytime soon, according to a new analysis. Economic forecaster Infometrics’s latest rental market update shows that rental inflation nationwide edged up from 4.0% to 4.6% per annum during the June quarter.... Read more

BusinessNZ says a new Bill coming up for vote in Parliament is confused. The Contractor Bill could be passed into law next week, as a result of a vote switch by MP Peter Dunne... Read more

Contractors could cost more under proposed new minimum wage rules, business groups say. The Labour Party-led Minimum Wage (Contractor Remuneration) Amendment Bill, also called the Contractor Bill, is about to have its third reading in Parliament and could be passed into law as early as next week. The bill will make the Minimum Wage Act apply to contractors for services that currently pay below the minimum wage... Read more

HSBC has come out with what it bills as the "lowest ever" home loan rate, but it's not available to everyone.... Read more

The average annual fee paid by KiwiSaver members has barely moved in the past two years but there is a stark difference between the lowest and highest charging funds. Research by Canstar - a financial rating company - found the average annual fee total for $11,500 in a balanced KiwiSaver fund rose just $4 between 2014 and 2016 to $154... Read more

The fees KiwiSavers are paying have increased in the past year. Research from Canstar shows a balanced fund investor with $11,500 in their account would be paying $154 in fees in 2016 compared to $150 in 2014. Canstar's Jose George said fees and performance were the two main drivers of returns for KiwiSavers... Read more

The number of New Zealanders with an active KiwiSaver account continues to grow, with approximately 2.64 million active/provisional members at June this year, entrusting Funds with tens of billions of dollars in investment savings... Read more

'Client's best interests' doesn't have to mean cheapest. Having only a limited product set to offer clients should not stop advisers putting their clients first, the Financial Markets Authority says.... Read more

More fund managers may follow Forsyth Barr’s lead and drop performance fees, as the Financial Markets Conduct Act regulations kick in, it has been claimed... Read more

A sharp rise in global dairy prices at auction was "a stunning result" and bodes well for New Zealand farmers. AgriHQ analyst Susan Kilsby said she was more confident than last season that prices would be able to hold up as global milk supply was now retracting rather than growing... Read more

Whole milk powder price leaps 18.9%... Read more

Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited today announced that Mr John Waller ONZM will be retiring as an Independent Director on the Fonterra Board with effect from 31 August 2016... Read more

Pumpkin Patch has maintained its earnings guidance for the year ended July 31, and said it had seen a "pleasing second half performance", though it's still considering further restructuring and is looking for more "flexibility" from its lenders. Normalised earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation were between $2.8 and $3.4 million in the year, a range the retailer initially gave with its first-half results announcement in May and affirmed in June. The shares last traded at 7.5 cents, and have dropped 37.5 percent this year. ... Read more

Nuplex Industries, in the process of being taken over by Allnex Belguim SA, posted a 19% gain in annual profit as earnings lifted across all its key markets. Profit rose to $84.4 million, or 44.3c per share, in the 12 months ended June 30, from $70.8 million, or 35.6c , the year earlier, the Auckland-based company said in a statement. Sales revenue from continuing operations increased 2% to $1.38 billion. Nuplex shares last traded at $5.33, and have gained 12% this year.... Read more

Christchurch-based gas analysis equipment maker Syft Technologies says demand for its high-tech instruments is starting to outstrip production capacity as the firm's recovery from bankruptcy in 2012 gathers pace. Listed on the ShareMart platform and trading most recently at 4.5c a share, Syft directors gained approval at a heavily attended annual meeting for a plan to institute a minimum holding of 40,000 shares, followed by a plan to consolidate the current issued shares on a 20-to-1 ratio, with plans to upgrade the listing, probably to the Unlisted platform... Read more

Coromandel gold-mining prospector New Talisman Gold Mines has raised $1.77 million through the issue of new shares following a shortfall in its May rights issue. The company said in July that it had raised just $4.69 million in a fundraising that management had hoped would raise up to $12.26 million. Under the rules of the NZX and ASX, it had until the end of September to place some of that shortfall with investors. Shares of New Talisman were one of the biggest gainers on the NZX, rising 16.67 percent, or 0.1 cent, to 0.7 cents.... Read more

NZX's first-half profit dropped 80% as costs related to the Ralec litigation offset gains in operating revenue. Net profit fell to $3.58 million in the six months ended June 30 from $17.9 million a year earlier, which was bolstered by a one-off gain on an asset sale, the market operator said in a statement. Stripping out that gain and other one-off adjustments, underlying profit fell to $4 million from $6.2 million. The shares last traded at $1.04, having declined 2.8% so far this year.... Read more

Building and construction company Fletcher Building is forecasting a strong uplift in underlying earnings for 2017 in the range of $720 million to $760 million, mainly on the back of a boom in Auckland residential construction. That compares to the $682 million in earnings before interest and tax, the company reported today in its results for the year ended June 30, 2016, a rise of 4 percent in line with guidance. Fletcher shares have risen 5 percent today to $10.05.... Read more

Fletcher boss pay up 17pc to $4.72m... Read more

Kiwi Property Group, the country's biggest listed property investor, plans to build an $80 million office tower as part of a broader development of the Sylvia Park retail centre in Auckland. The Auckland-based company has signed insurer IAG New Zealand as an anchor tenant for the office space, with early work starting next month and construction tipped to finish in June 2018, it said in a statement. IAG agreed to a 12-year lease amounting to 29 percent of total office space, with the total building expected to deliver a net income yield of 6.7 percent. The shares were unchanged at $1.56, and have gained 16 percent so far this year.... Read more

Opus International Consultants, the listed engineering firm, sank into the red in the first half after writing down the value of its Australian and Canadian businesses, which have struggled with falling oil and gas prices. The Wellington-based company posted a net loss of $23.1 million, or 16c per share, in the six months ended June 30, from a profit of $15.9 million, or 11c, a year earlier, it said in a statement. That included a $22.6 million impairment charge on goodwill and a $1.4 million charge on the value of its Athabaskan Resource Co joint venture. The shares rose 2.6% to $1.19, having declined 6.6% so far this year.... Read more

Sky TV has made good on its promise to put its Fanpass service on Apple TV, which began life as an invitation-only service but is now open to all-comers who are willing to spend a modest sum to put an iPhone or iPad app. Fanpass lets you watch Sky Sports channels 1 through 4 on a day ($15), week ($20) or month ($53) pass, no Sky TV contract required... Read more

KiwiRail chief executive Peter Reidy says Auckland's transport network is at "crunch point" as the city's population grows, with demand from freight and passengers increasingly at odds. Speaking at a Trans-Tasman Business Circle lunch in Auckland, Mr Reidy said KiwiRail was working with council-owned Auckland Transport, which contracts train operators to run Auckland's commuter train services, and the New Zealand Transport Agency, responsible for an integrated transport system nationwide, to build more network resilience... Read more

Listed jewellery retailer Michael Hill International is paying out $30.3 million to the New Zealand Inland Revenue Department to settle a long-running tax battle over the transfer of the group’s intellectual property to Australia in late 2008. Under the agreement, Michael Hill will recognise the additional tax liability for the transfer and a corresponding tax expense for the period to June 30, 2015, without paying any penalties. It had already settled a case with Australia's tax office on the matter in 2014. The dual-listed shares last traded on the NZX at $1.50, having gained 52 percent so far this year.... Read more

Auckland woman, Eli Devoy, was sentenced to five years in prison in the Auckland District Court today for involvement in an extensive mortgage fraud scheme.... Read more

SFO 'pleased' by Devoy fraud sentence over $9.2m fraud... Read more

Four people found guilty of mortgage fraud have been sentenced for scamming seven banks using forged documents and aliases in a $9.2 million scheme involving 11 Auckland properties between July 2007 and December 2010. The scheme, or "series of scams", began to unravel in February 2010 when a Bank of New Zealand investigator advised police about some transactions using false documents, while Westpac Banking Corp had begun to investigate another property deal at about the same time. Kiwibank complained to the Serious Fraud Office in November 2011... Read more

Queenstown-based construction company March Construction must pay for leaving about 268,000 cubic metres of ground material on land it didn't own, having bought the material in an attempt to get a hold over well-known developer David Henderson who owed them money, Christchurch's High Court has ruled... Read more

Dairy worker visa fraudster pleads guilty to 284 charges... Read more

Opinion - Bruce Tichbon: Most of us love this property bubble. The inflationary housing bubble has been going on for nearly a century. It's a major problem which has always been fixable. But there is an issue. Most people love property price inflation... Read more

Opinion - Pattrick Smellie: Sky TV's sporting rights at the heart of a telco revolution... Read more

Australian Headlines

Australian Market Report: The share market has closed flat as big losses by QBE Insurance, CSL and Commonwealth Bank were offset by gains among big miners and some financial stocks. The benchmark S&P ASX/200 index ended the session three points higher at 5,535 points, clawing back earlier losses, amid some buying of defensive stocks, Bell Direct equities analyst Julia Lee said... Read more

Global ratings agency Moody's has affirmed Australia's Aaa credit rating and maintained its stable outlook.... Read more

Chinese buyers are increasingly beating locals to the punch at auctions — and it’s not just because they have more cash to throw around, according to one leading auctioneer. James Pratt, director of auctions for Raine & Horne and J Pratt Realty, says the skill set of Chinese buyers at auctions is “absolutely through the roof” compared with a few years ago.... Read more

The Reserve Bank governor has cautioned that Australia should be wary about selling off assets to overseas investors. Glenn Stevens has told The Australian and The Wall Street Journal in an interview that Australia should be careful about selling existing assets offshore because it does not create new capital for the country.... Read more

Wage growth at record low: The wage price index rose by 0.5 per cent June quarter after a similar rise in the March quarter. Annual wage growth held at a record (18-year) low of 2.1 per cent... Read more

Australians seem to be content to put job security over pay rises, with wage growth at record lows and likely to remain sluggish. The wage price index for total rates of pay excluding bonuses rose 0.5 per cent in the June quarter, the third straight increase of that size, according to seasonally adjusted figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics... Read more

Small medical centres and independent GPs are at greatest risk from the federal government's review of which doctor services will be covered by Medicare, the chief of one of Australia's largest medical providers says... Read more

When a ‘bonus saver’ account means going backwards. That’s the bizarre scenario faced by savers who signed up for one of more than a dozen accounts that promise extra interest — but the rate drops to 0.01 per cent if conditions such as withdrawal limits and minimum balances are not met... Read more

Swiss banking giant Credit Suisse has reiterated its bullish outlook for the precious metal, expecting it to continue its rise throughout the rest of the year... Read more

Draig Resources Ltd has some interesting news on the table, in the form of a project acquisition... Read more

Clive Palmer summonsed to appear before Federal Court over Queensland Nickel collapse... Read more

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

Lithium Australia NL assembles board for asset spin out. Lithium Australia NL has previously outlined that it will spin out its wholly-owned subsidiary graphite interests in Western Australia.... Read more

Kimberley Diamonds Ltd brings in partner for Spain copper-gold project... Read more

NSL Consolidated Ltd is making significant progress on a binding joint venture agreement for the establishment of a greenfield steel making plant in Andhra Pradesh, India. In October 2016, a high level Chinese delegation will visit the proposed steel and pellet plant locations, NSL’s operations and other critical Andhra Pradesh infrastructure opportunities... Read more

Evolution Mining says it could look at further boosting dividend payouts given its strong growth outlook for the next few years. Australia's second largest gold miner by output has doubled its final dividend to two cents a share, despite swinging to an annual loss of $24.4 million. That is down from a $100 million profit in 2014/15, and includes amortisations and one-off costs related to recently acquired mines. Evolution Mining shares dropped 17 cents, or 6.4 per cent, to $2.48.... Read more

Domino's share price has soared to a new high a day after the fast food retailer outlined an aggressive expansion plan and another record annual profit. The share price hit $80.10 at the close on Wednesday, the eight per cent lift taking the stock to almost double its $42.28 value a year ago.... Read more

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

Brookside Energy subsidiary BRK Oklahoma continues to build a position in the core of the STACK Meramec Play in Oklahoma. BRK Oklahoma has elected to participate in its first horizontal well within its core STACK Play non-operated working interest leasehold acreage in Blaine County, Oklahoma... Read more

Snack Brands Australia, the maker of some of Australia’s best known salty snacks, is following a long line of other favourite local brands into foreign ownership. The privately-owned business, whose products include Kettle and Thins chips, Cheezels and CCs, has agreed to a $600 million takeover by Filipino food and drinks giant Universal Robina Corporation... Read more

Stargroup Ltd will release circa 56.3 million shares from voluntary escrow at the end of August 2016. The shares represent vendor shares issued to the major shareholders of Stargroup Investments Limited, by the company... Read more

Retirement property operator Aveo's full-year profit has doubled as sales of retirement properties swell and developments continue to grow.... Read more

QBE will increase property insurance premiums and excesses after the rising cost of claims in its core Australian and New Zealand markets cost the head of those operations his job. Tim Plant has left QBE with immediate effect and will be replaced on an interim basis by chief financial officer Pat Regan, after the insurer called out a "disappointing and unacceptable" deterioration across lines including household, motor and commercial property. QBE shares dropped as much as 11.5 per cent when the market opened on Wednesday, and by the close of trade were down 93 cents, or 8.3 per cent, at $10.24.... Read more

Flexiroam has secured a preferred partnership agreement with the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), with the Flexiroam brand to be featured in all PATA platforms and promotional collaterals... Read more

Strong overseas business growth has helped boost Sonic Healthcare's full year profit, but the company admits earnings growth could slow in the current year. The pathology and diagnostics services provider posted a 30 per cent rise in profit to $451 million for 2015/16, while revenue was up 20 per cent to $5.05 billion. Sonic Healthcare shares gained $1.37, or 6.2 per cent, to $23.51. Chief executive Colin Goldschmidt said the company's "banner year" was underpinned by growth overseas, particularly in Europe and the US... Read more

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

A sharply lower profit from its Asian casinos and reduced business from high-rollers trying their luck in Perth have contributed to a 22 per cent fall in annual profit by James Packer’s Crown Resorts. Normalised earnings, which strips out variations in high rollers’ win rate, fell to $406.2 million for the year to June 30 from $518.8 million on a 5.3 per cent increase in revenue to $3.6 billion... Read more

James Packer's Crown Resorts still sees Macau casinos as a good investment despite its joint-venture operations there continuing to weigh on profits. Crown said on Wednesday its Australian casinos are trading solidly but that its two casinos in Macau - operated by Melco Crown Entertainment (MCE) - have suffered from the softer gaming demand affecting all casino operators in the Chinese territory... Read more

Invigor Group Ltd’s shares have risen as it enters into a revenue generating joint venture by providing free Wi-Fi at Manly Wharf, a major transport hub and entertainment venue at Sydney. Invigor has partnered with a private company to install Wi-Fi throughout the Manly Wharf to monetise the significant passenger flow through the site... Read more

Property developer Stockland is reaping the benefits of a surge in house and land sales driven by strong population growth, job growth and low interest rates. The group's residential business settled a company record 6,135 lots during 2015/16, pushing operating profit up nearly 39 per cent... Read more

Stockland not worried by failed retailers... Read more

Australia boasts a booming sector of small boutique distilleries producing their own spirits from start to finish. The recent success of new Australian-made spirits is expected to prompt an increasing number of producers to start manufacturing dark and white spirits and liqueurs, according to industry analysts IBISWorld.... Read more

An application by Specsavers to trademark the terms "should've" and "shouldve" to protect its advertising catchphrase has been approved. The high street optician's application to safeguard its slogan "Should've gone to Specsavers" has been deemed valid by the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) and third parties now have two months to raise any objections... Read more

Apple Pay: Banks ask for help from ACCC in fight over digital payments... Read more

Experienced company director Debbie Goodin has joined the Ten Network board in the last step of the broadcasters's top level overhaul.... Read more

The corporate regulator wants a WA property developer to surrender her passport pending an investigation into a failed $100 million Pilbara property development. The Federal Court in Perth made interim orders against Macro Group director Desiree Macpherson in the Federal Court today... Read more

Online food company EasyMeals has admitted contravening consumer law by presenting its meals as being suitable for all diabetics. The company sold the meals over nine months between 2014 and 2015 when diabetes is actually dependent on an individual’s condition, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said on Wednesday... Read more

Perth socialite Radhika Oswal says the ANZ bank “had a gun at my head” and threatened that she and her husband could be jailed for fraud and their children could become orphans. The Oswals — Radhika and her husband Pankaj — are suing ANZ and receivers PPB Advisory for $2.5 billion in damages over the sale of a 65 per cent stake in one of the world’s largest liquid ammonia production companies, Burrup Holdings, in 2012... Read more

Scammers posing as bosses or suppliers have stolen at least half a million dollars from West Australian companies in the last two years, sparking a warning from consumer protection authorities. There are two scams being employed, the Department of Consumer Protection says. The first scam involves hacking the email of a senior company executive, then using the account to send an email, requesting a subordinate transfer money to a bank account... Read more

International Headlines

U.S. Market Report: U.S. stocks were near flat in volatile trade Wednesday after minutes from the Federal Reserve's last policy meeting showed some voting members expect an interest rate hike will be needed soon but also general agreement that more data is needed first. Indexes briefly extended slight losses before recovering... Read more

North/South Americas Market Report: North and South American markets are mixed today. The Bovespa is up 0.29% while the S&P 500 gains 0.06%. The IPC is off 0.10%.... Read more

European Market Report: European markets finished broadly lower today with shares in Germany leading the region. The DAX is down 1.30% while France's CAC 40 is off 0.96% and London's FTSE 100 is lower by 0.50%... Read more

Asian Market Report: Asian markets finished mixed as of the most recent closing prices. The Nikkei 225 gained 0.90%, while the Hang Seng led the Shanghai Composite lower. They fell 0.48% and 0.02% respectively... Read more

Here’s Who’s Buying Up U.S. Oil. Seventeen countries now receive long-banned American crude exports.... Read more

Venezuela's deepening chaos could soon create tremors in the global oil markets. Already in an economic and humanitarian crisis, Venezuela's oil production -- the country's sole lifeline for revenue -- has hit a 13-year low. As the situation worsens, Venezuela's oil output could plunge even lower. A new report by Columbia University's Center on Global Energy Policy calls Venezuela a "growing supply risk for oil markets in 2017."... Read more

Fed Officials Split in July on Whether Rate Hike Needed Soon... Read more

Weekly applications for U.S. mortgages to buy homes slipped to a six-month low even as interest rates on fixed-rate home loans fell, according to data from an industry group released on Wednesday. The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage activity for home purchases, a leading indicator of housing sales, fell 4 percent in the week ended Aug. 12. It remained 10 percent higher than the comparable week a year earlier... Read more

An Expert in Valuation Says Uber Is Only Worth $28 Billion, Not $62.5 Billion... Read more

The iPhone 7 can't come soon enough for Apple -- and its investors. Apple already reported last month that sales of its iconic smartphones fell in its most recent quarter, which ended in June.... Read more

Apple ups China bet with first research and development center... Read more

Home improvement chain Lowe's Cos Inc reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit and cut its full-year earnings forecast, hurt by a shorter spring in the northern United States and fewer big-ticket purchases at its stores. Lowe's shares were down 6.8 percent in late morning trading on Wednesday. While Home Depot's sales got a big boost from big-ticket items such as appliances and roofing products, Lowe's reported average sales... Read more

Aetna Threatened to Quit Obamacare If Deal Blocked by U.S. Aetna Inc. warned U.S. officials more than a month ago that it would pull out of Obamacare’s government-run markets for health insurance if antitrust officials attempted to block its $37 billion merger with Humana Inc.... Read more

Target cuts fiscal-year profit forecast; shares drop... Read more

Barnes & Noble Inc. suffered its worst stock decline in more than eight months after ousting Chief Executive Officer Ron Boire, saying he wasn’t the right person to revamp a bookstore chain struggling to compete with Inc. Management duties will be handed over to 75-year-old founder Leonard Riggio and other executives while Barnes & Noble searches for a new CEO... Read more

U.S. seed company Monsanto has given German suitor Bayer AG limited access to its books after turning down a sweetened $64 billion takeover offer last month, two sources familiar with the situation told Reuters. The parties have not yet signed a non-disclosure agreement, which would allow Bayer to conduct due diligence, but Monsanto is giving the company a limited drip of information, the sources said... Read more

An ex-Wall Street investment banker was convicted on Wednesday of engaging in insider trading by tipping his father off to unannounced healthcare mergers, a victory for prosecutors after an appellate ruling made it harder to pursue such cases harder. Sean Stewart, who previously worked at Perella Weinberg Partners and JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N), was found guilty by a federal jury in Manhattan on all nine counts he faced, including securities fraud... Read more

Total UK unemployment dropped between April and June in the run-up to the Brexit vote, official figures indicate. The UK's jobless total fell by 52,000 to 1.64 million, and the unemployment rate remained at 4.9%, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said. The number of people on the claimant count in July, the first month since the UK's vote to leave the EU, was 763,600, down 8,600 from June... Read more

Deutsche Bank AG’s supervisory board should discuss scrapping bonuses for top executives for a second year after Germany’s largest bank put dividend payments on hold, consumer banking chief Christian Sewing said. “It’s clear that if we don’t pay our shareholders a dividend, then our own bonus needs to be up for debate as well,” Sewing, who sits on Deutsche Bank’s 10-member management board, told Bild-Zeitung. A spokeswoman for the Frankfurt-based bank said the comments were reported accurately... Read more

Uber has launched a legal battle against new rules requiring London taxi drivers to learn English. Drivers from non-English speaking countries will have to pass a language exam before securing a private hire permit in London starting October 1. But Uber, one of the biggest employers of private hire drivers in the city, is not happy with the new rules -- so much that it has now filed a lawsuit against the measure... Read more

Norway’s $890 billion sovereign wealth fund, the world’s biggest, took the step of independently cutting the value of its massive U.K. real estate portfolio by 5 percent after Britain voted to leave the European Union. “It’s an extraordinary measure,” Deputy Chief Executive Officer Trond Grande said at a press conference in Oslo as he presented second-quarter results... Read more

Russian court turns down appeal from Google in anti-monopoly case... Read more

Tencent Holdings Ltd.’s shopping spree on premium content from Game of Thrones to NBA broadcasts has again helped defy investors’ expectations and a slowing Chinese economy. Second-quarter sales and profit beat analysts’ estimates as the operator of the WeChat and QQ social network services splashed out on mobile games and content -- including anything from anime and comics to novels... Read more

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