ASB Securities Morning Brief for Tuesday, 17 May 2016
Tuesday, 17 May 2016

New Zealand Headlines

New Zealand Market Report: New Zealand shares fell, led by SkyCity Entertainment Group, which resumed trading after completing the institutional component of its capital raising. Xero extended its gains after reducing its cash burn and saying it won't need more capital to get to breakeven. The S&P/NZX50 Index fell 2.45 points, or 0.04 percent, to 6914.12. Within the index, 24 stocks gained, 15 fell and 11 were unchanged. Turnover was $113.5 million... Read more

The New Zealand dollar was little changed before the release of the inflation expectations report tomorrow that may help guide the market's view on the timing of interest rate cuts by the Reserve Bank. The kiwi traded at 67.69 US cents as at 5pm in Wellington, from 67.72 cents at the New York close on Friday. It fell to 67.53 cents at the start of the day, in line with a weaker Australian dollar after weaker-than-expected China industrial production, retail sales, and fixed asset data. The trade-weighted index fell to 72.56 from 72.75 on Friday... Read more

New Zealand's services sector, which accounts for about two-thirds of the economy, picked up in April, suggesting the economy is growing at a "better than average" pace heading into the second quarter. The BNZ-BusinessNZ performance of services index advanced 2.6 points to a seasonally adjusted 57.7 last month, the highest level of expansion since December 2015. A reading of 50 separates expansion from contraction... Read more

Pressure on Council ramps up. Restricting borrowers won’t solve Auckland’s housing woes, but building more houses will, says the Property Council as it joins chorus of pressure on Council. The Property Council has pointed to the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan as crucial to dealing with Auckland’s supply shortage... Read more

Property Councils warns the Reserve Bank to tread carefully. Property Council believes the Reserve Bank’s loan-to-ratio restrictions to curb soaring house prices is charting into treacherous waters which it must tread carefully. Property Council Chief Executive Connal Townsend says imposing further loan-to-value restrictions is likely to worsen the housing affordability problem... Read more

Reserve Bank debt-to-income caps would be disastrous for house buyers and the residential and building sector, says a real estate chief. Connal Townsend, Property Council chief executive, said any new restrictions would worsen housing affordability and his organisation was "terribly concerned" about it... Read more

New Zealand and overseas commercial property investors almost on par. Private Kiwi investors are levelling out the playing field when it comes to snapping up commercial property in New Zealand. New research shows commercial property sales last year were "split reasonably evenly" between international and local investors. "Kiwi investors are flexing their muscles," CBRE New Zealand national director of capital markets Andrew Stringer said... Read more

Lifestyle Market Sales Volumes Strong with Prices Rising. Data released today by the Real Estate Institute of NZ (“REINZ”) shows there were 436 more lifestyle property sales (+22.5%) for the three months ended April 2016 than for the three months ended April 2015... Read more

Prime Minister John Key used his post-cabinet media conference to indicate he was looking at reducing personal tax levels in next year's budget or he would campaign for a fourth term on a platform of tax cuts. Last week Finance Minister Bill English said there would be no tax cuts in next week's budget, with the government's focus either on paying down debt or boosting spending on health and education to deal with the needs of a rapidly growing population... Read more

The Government will not be throwing money at housing initiatives in the Budget, Prime Minister John Key says. The Budget next week is expected to include some funding to buy up more surplus Crown land in Auckland for housing developments, as part of a scheme which was launched in last year's Budget... Read more

Roboadvice may be a solution to fee pressure. Roboadvice and other software solutions are being suggested as an answer to increasing pressure on investment advisers' fees... Read more

Fonterra Cooperative Group says milk collection is down in New Zealand and Australia, its two largest markets, in the first 11 months of the season during a period of weak dairy prices. Milk collection across New Zealand fell 3.3% to 1.499 billion kilograms of milk solids in the season from June 1, 2015, through April 30, 2016, with all of the decline coming in the North Island while good weather conditions kept South Island production unchanged, Auckland-based Fonterra said in its Global Dairy Update... Read more

Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited today confirmed it will pay part of its forecast final dividend earlier, to support farmers during a time of extremely tight on-farm cash flows. Chairman John Wilson said a solid performance during the nine months to 30 April in the current financial year enables the Co-operative to declare the 10 cents per share dividend today. Payment will be made on 7 June, bringing dividend payments so far this year to 30 cents per share... Read more

Livestock Improvement Corp, the farmer-owned cooperative that focuses on dairy herd genetics, farm software and automation, has proposed splitting into two businesses and allowing outside shareholders to invest for the first time.... Read more

Kiwi Property NZX: KPG will buy 50% of The Base after Waikato-Tainui turned down the property investor's proposal to buy all of the shopping centre at Te Rapa, Hamilton. When the proposal was announced in April, Kiwi said Tainui would consider selling its remaining stake but has chosen to retain its interest. Kiwi will pay $192.5 million in cash and stock for a half share in the shopping complex which comes with about 6.7 hectares of vacant land suitable for development. The deal is to settle on May 31. Kiwi's shares last traded at $1.495 and have gained 11% this year, just ahead of the NZX 50 Index's 9% gain.... Read more

Kiwi Property Group, the country's biggest listed property investor by market value, reported a 118 percent jump in full-year profit reflecting an increase in its portfolio value, higher rental returns, and lower costs including interest charges. Net profit rose to $250.8 million in the year ended March 31, from $115 million a year earlier, the Auckland-based company said in a statement. Total come grew 126 percent to $391 million and included a 2.3 percent gain in property revenue and a $176 million gain in the value of investment properties... Read more

Eroad, the logistics and fleet management company, cut its 2016 earnings guidance for the second time to a loss in the range of $1.3 million to $1.6 million compared to a prospectus forecast of a $5.5 million profit. Earlier guidance released to the market on Sept. 28 indicated a profit of about $500,000 in the 2016 financial year, the Auckland-based company said in a statement... Read more

SkyCity Entertainment Group raised about 70 percent of the $263 million it's seeking for expansion in a share sale to institutional investors, and will offer the remaining shares to retail investors. The stock is rated 'hold' according to the average of six analyst recommendations compiled by Reuters.... Read more

Tourism business Jucy is considering opening its new pod-style budget hotels in Australia later next year if the New Zealand rollout proves successful. The first of the pod-style Jucy Snooze hotels will open at Christchurch Airport in November and one in Queenstown next July while another in Auckland is also on the drawing board... Read more

Latipay says New Zealand exporters stand to benefit from a trial that integrates its payment platform for Chinese consumers with Chinese e-wallet platforms Alibaba and WeChat. Auckland-based Latipay's agreements with the two Chinese sites will allow Chinese customers to pay for New Zealand products in yuan while New Zealand sellers are paid in kiwi dollars... Read more

LA, Gaungzhou and Auckland: Pacific growth cities meet. Hundreds of officials, politicians, business and trade representatives are gathered at the Viaduct Events Centre in Auckland today for the second Tripartite Economic Summit. That joins Auckland with Los Angeles and Guangzhou... Read more

Conservation group Forest & Bird has warned ANZ it could lose its business if it fails to divest from the fossil fuel industry. Chief executive Hone McGregor wrote a letter to ANZ boss David Hisco​ delivering the ultimatum. "We have given them a six month timeframe to develop a credible fossil fuel divestment plan," he said... Read more

Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce has announced an extra $15 million in funding for commercialisation of scientific research and supporting start-up companies. Of that sum, $12 million will go to the Pre-Seed Accelerator Fund, taking the government's investment to $8.3 million per year over four years, while $3 million will go to Callaghan Innovation's Accelerator programmes after their successful three-year pilot... Read more

PWC talks will put innovation in the spotlight. Innovation and R&D are the focus of many corporations as digital technology continuously changes, offering new ways to connect people and audiences. For the modern business, it's innovate or perish. New Zealand is known for innovating in technology with Rocket Lab almost ready to launch its electron rocket, and Xero's accounting software disrupting the books worldwide... Read more

Global cable-maker General Cable is cutting more than 60 jobs at its trans-Tasman manufacturing base in Christchurch. The global firm's Sockburn factory makes power and phone cable for New Zealand and Australian customers, including mining industry... Read more

The Clear Grain Exchange was not as flexible as NZX had been told it was before acquiring the business, former chief executive Mark Weldon told Wellington's High Court this afternoon. Weldon appeared for the first time in week three of the lawsuit between NZX and Ralec, the former owners of the grain exchange. The trial, which is expected to last nine weeks, is over NZX's purchase of Australia's Clear Grain Exchange in 2009. NZX is suing for between A$20.7 million and A$37.6 million, and Ralec has countered with a suit totalling A$14 million plus bonuses.... Read more

Mobil has been fined $288,000 in the Environment Court after thousands of litres of oil spilled into Tauranga Harbour.... Read more

Opinion - Roger J Kerr: Roger J Kerr ponders where the catalysts will come from to start interest rates rising again... Read more

Opinion - Cas Carter: There is plenty of room at the NZ summer inn... Read more

Australian Headlines

Australian Market Report: The Australian sharemarket defied dour international leads to lift on Monday, as financial and healthcare stocks led the gains. At the 4.15pm (AEST) official market close, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index had lifted 29.9 points, or 0.56 per cent, to 5358.9, while the broader All Ordinaries index was up 24 points, or 0.44 per cent, to 5420.3.... Read more

The Australian dollar is lower after soft Chinese data pointed to a moderation in the world’s second largest economy. At 12pm (AEST), the currency was trading at US72.77c, down from US72.89c on Friday.... Read more

Australian bond futures prices are pushing towards all-time highs as speculation about further rate cuts grows. Bond yields hit the lowest point since 1969 during trading on Monday, but Colonial First State head of rates Annette Mullen said bond prices had eased slightly... Read more

In the quest for yield, Australian investors should choose equities over bonds, but they should expect lower returns over the medium to long term, Societe Generale says. "The current market environment is characterised by ultra-low bond yields (negative in some cases), high deflationary fears and declining growth expectation," strategists for the French bank said in a research note... Read more

Small businesses have been investing “with gusto” as they take up the tax breaks offered in the federal Budget last year, new figures show. A quarterly small business survey conducted by the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry reveals plant and equipment investment has hit its highest level in more than six years... Read more

The Federal Opposition has returned to a familiar election campaign theme and will today make a $500 million infrastructure commitment for a tram network in Adelaide's inner suburbs. Opposition Leader Bill Shorten will travel to Adelaide and announce that a Labor government would spend half a billion dollars to help extend Adelaide's so-called AdeLINK tram network... Read more

A left-leaning think tank predicts proposed company tax cuts will deliver the US tax man a $8 billion bonus. Because the US corporate tax rate was higher than Australia’s, American firms operating here will have to pay the difference back home, Australia Institute executive director Ben Oquist says... Read more

Small business has been investing “with gusto” as it takes up the tax breaks offered in the 2015 budget. The Australian Chamber and Commerce and Industry quarterly small business survey shows plant and equipment investment at its highest level in more than six years. It says the result is down to the $20,000 instant asset write-off offered in 2015... Read more

The Australian economy's low inflation problem has an unlikely challenger: the motorways of New South Wales and Victoria, which are the subjects of iron-clad agreements that lock in price increases equivalent to three times the rate of today's inflation. The Reserve Bank of Australia this month cut interest rates to a record low 1.75 per cent in response to a shock consumer price index (CPI) outcome for the March quarter of negative 0.2 per cent... Read more

Emerging gold miner Blackham Resources hopes to mobilise open pit and underground mining contractors on site next month after receiving a string of approvals for the 4.8Moz Matilda project... Read more

Middle Island Resources Ltd is heading to market with a capital raising, and the ASX has granted the company a trading halt to prepare. The company recently secured a 100% interest in the Sandstone gold project in Western Australia... Read more

Doray Minerals has signed a $10 million farm-in agreement with Rox Resources over its Mt Fisher gold project 230km north of Leonora. Under the terms of the agreement, Doray can earn a maximum 75 per cent stake in the 480sqkm project by spending $10 million on exploration within five years. Doray shares were up half a cent to 98 cents at the close while Rox shares were steady at 1.3 cents.... Read more

The end of the mining boom and lower commodity prices are continuing to hit the global mining industry hard as the world's biggest miners sell off unprofitable mines and troubled miners sell assets to cut debt... Read more

Australia's last listed brewer, Gage Roads Brewing, is returning to its craft beer roots after its largest shareholder and major customer Woolworths scaled back orders for the supply of private label beer. Woolworths' Pinnacle Drinks unit has extended its beer supply deal with Gage Roads for another three years, with a further two-year option, but has reduced contract brewing volumes between 2017 and 2019, prompting the Perth-based brewer to renew its focus on higher margin proprietary craft beers to maintain production and boost earnings... Read more

Online creative marketplace Redbubble Ltd will commence its public company life trading on the ASX today after completing a $30 million IPO which was oversubscribed multiple times... Read more

Livestock export markets are likely to remain under pressure, but agribusiness Elders still expects its full-year results to improve. Elders on Monday booked a first-half net profit of $24.6 million — up 55 per cent from a year earlier. Excluding one-off items worth $5.2 million, including a $4.7 million tax adjustment, underlying earnings for the six months to March rose to $19.4 million... Read more

Clinical stage oncology company Prescient Therapeutics Ltd is heading to market with a capital raising, and the ASX has granted a trading halt to prepare. Prescient is developing novel compounds that show promise as potential new therapies to treat a range of cancers that have become resistant to front line chemotherapy... Read more

Novelty chocolate maker Yowie Group has raised $32 million by placing shares with institutional investors to further the rollout of its operations in the United States. Yowie placed the shares with domestic and international at 90 cents each. The WA-headquartered company said the offer was significantly oversubscribed. Yowie shares closed up 8.5 cents, or 8.72 per cent, at $1.06, well clear of the raising price.... Read more

The Gold Coast’s Jupiters Casino would undergo a multibillion-dollar redevelopment worth more than Brisbane’s Queens Wharf under a long-term masterplan announced today. As exclusively revealed by The Sunday Mail yesterday, Jupiters’ Broadbeach Island base would become a virtual mini-Manhattan of high-rise towers, with connections via elevated walkways to the Pacific Fair mega-mall across the road... Read more

Respiri Ltd is heading to market with a capital raising, which will be in the form of a rights issue. The ASX has granted the company a trading halt to prepare... Read more

The Takeovers Panel could put the brakes on pokies king Len Ainsworth’s $500 million deal to sell his majority interest in Ainsworth Game Technology. The panel announced today that it had received an application from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission on the share sale. Mr Ainsworth wants to sell his 52.5 per cent stake in the company to Novomatic at $2.75-a-share. Shares in the company were trading slightly lower today at $2.52.... Read more

Buddy Platform Ltd to divulge strategic acquisition... Read more

Deep divisions have opened up among Spark Infrastructure Group investors ahead of Friday's annual shareholder meeting, laying bare a level of dissatisfaction that may yet result in an upheaval of the board. While several proxy advisors and shareholders have sided with the board of the electricity network's owner, one of the two external board nominees has garnered enough support to present chairman Brian Scullin with a major headache... Read more

Virgin Australia’s budget airline, Tigerair Australia, has formed a new alliance with seven peers in Asia, aimed at boosting passenger numbers and cutting airfares. Tigerair chief executive Rob Sharp said the creation of the world’s largest low-cost carrier alliance will “deliver significant benefits” for its customers... Read more

Australia Post has ended its ten-month search for a chief information officer by luring the divisional CIO of NAB's banking and markets business into the government-owned enterprise. The organisation began its hunt for a CIO in July last year after Andrew Walduck was given a mandate to grow AusPost's emerging trusted services business. Just months later Walduck was handed an even bigger promotion to become head of the organisation's new dedicated e-commerce unit... Read more

Australia Post’s high-profile chief information security officer Troy Braban has finished up at the government-owned business and will soon leave the country's shores to take up a cyber security gig with finance giant JP Morgan. iTnews understands Braban will jet off to the US within a fortnight to take on a newly established global role in the financial services firm’s corporate IT security division... Read more

7-Eleven wage scam: Union says it has evidence cash-back scheme is 'still alive and kicking'... Read more

The crackdown on dodgy private college operators rorting the taxpayer has finally drawn blood. One of Australia’s biggest private colleges, Careers Australia, could repay more than $50 million in government loans after admitting it used door-to-door marketing tactics to sign up vulnerable and disadvantaged students.... Read more

The cash-strapped State Government has been denied a $900 million pre-election payday after the High Court this morning chucked out laws seizing control of the failed Bell Group. The court upheld appeals by two Bell liquidators and a creditor syndicate attacking rules putting a State-appointed administrator in charge of $1.8 billion of proceeds from a 20-year legal campaign... Read more

Scammers stole more than $229 million from Australians last year as romance and investment scams hit victims the hardest. New figures from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission show that reports of scams — and financial losses — are growing as fraudsters use new technologies to overwhelm a higher level of vigilance among consumers... Read more

Dozens of Melbourne homeowners say they have been left out of pocket by as much as $25,000 each after paying deposits to a window company which failed to deliver their products. Consumer Affairs Victoria has issued a warning about Australian Double Glazing and its director, John Heath, after receiving more than 49 complaints about the company since the start of the year.... Read more

Opinion - Brian Robins: Deflation anxiety to ratchet up fears over the housing bubble.... Read more

International Headlines

U.S. Market Report: Wall Street rallied sharply on Monday, juiced by a jump in Apple shares and gains from energy stocks that were backed by stronger oil prices. The three major U.S. indexes each were up more than 1 percent in afternoon trade... Read more

North/South Americas Market Report: North and South American markets are broadly higher today with shares in U.S. leading the region. The S&P 500 is up 1.13% while Brazil's Bovespa is up 0.38% and Mexico's IPC is up 0.29%... Read more

European Market Report: European markets finished mixed as of the most recent closing prices. The DAX gained 0.92% and the FTSE 100 rose 0.21%. The CAC 40 lost 0.18%... Read more

Asian Market Report: Asian markets finished higher on Friday with shares in China leading the region. The Shanghai Composite is up 0.84% while Hong Kong's Hang Seng is up 0.84% and Japan's Nikkei 225 is up 0.33%... Read more

Oil hits 6-month highs on supply outages, Goldman forecast. Brent crude futures were up $1.03, or 2.2 percent, at $48.86 per barrel by 1:55 p.m. EDT (1755 GMT). It came just 53 cents short of hitting $50 a barrel at the session high. U.S. crude's West Texas Intermediate futures rose by $1.28, or 2.8 percent, to $47.49.... Read more

Chinese nationals became the largest foreign buyers of US homes last year as they poured more than $150 billion into real estate over the past five years, a new study has found. And despite a slowdown due to Beijing's clampdown on capital outflows, the figure for the second half of this decade is likely to double, according to the study from the Asia Society and Rosen Consulting Group... Read more

U.S. Discloses Saudi Holdings of Treasuries for First Time... Read more

Another day, and another one of Wall Street’s biggest banks cuts its Treasury yield forecasts. JPMorgan Chase & Co. analysts led by Alex Roever joined a growing chorus of banks to pare year-end projections for the 10-year note yield, trimming their estimate to 1.9 percent from 2.15 percent.... Read more

Can Buffett-backed bid unlock Yahoo growth where others failed? Warren Buffett struck media gold with a 2012 investment in debt-laden Media General Inc. Now the famed investor may try to reprise that success by supporting a bid for Yahoo Inc's Internet assets. The Berkshire Hathaway Inc chairman is backing a consortium that includes Quicken Loans Inc founder Dan Gilbert, that is seeking to buy Yahoo's online portfolio, Reuters reported on Friday... Read more

Warren Buffett buys stake in Apple... Read more

Google faces record-breaking fine for web search monopoly abuse. Google faces a record-breaking fine for monopoly abuse within weeks, as officials in Brussels put the finishing touches to a seven-year investigation of company’s dominant search engine. It is understood that the European Commission is aiming to hit Google with a fine in the region of €3bn, a figure that would easily surpass its toughest anti-trust punishment to date, a €1.1bn fine levied on the microchip giant Intel.... Read more

Delta Air Lines Inc on Monday said it will fly fewer seats this winter than it had planned and defer the 2018 delivery of four large aircraft, as extra flights by rivals threaten to depress its ticket prices. Delta, the second-largest U.S. airline by traffic, will scrap 1 percentage point of its planned growth in the fourth quarter so flight capacity rises by less than 2 percent in the second half of 2016, according to a regulatory filing... Read more

Gannett Co Inc, the publisher of USA Today, raised its unsolicited offer for Tribune Publishing Co to $15 per share from $12.25, valuing the publisher of the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times at about $475 million. Including debt, the offer is worth about $864 million. Tribune's shares rose 22.1 percent to $14 shortly after midday, below the latest offer, which was set at a premium of 31 percent to Tribune's Friday close... Read more

Pfizer Inc is buying Anacor Pharmaceuticals Inc in a $5.2 billion deal to add an eczema gel to its portfolio, just a month after the U.S. drug major scrapped plans to acquire Allergan Plc. Anacor shares surged as much as 56 percent to $99.94 on Monday, above the offer price of $99.25 per share in cash. The net-of-cash deal value assumes conversion of Anacor's outstanding convertible notes, the companies said in a statement... Read more

The ECB Is Finding There's a New Zero-Lower Bound for Rates. Corporate debt yields have been sticky around zero, says Deutsche Bank... Read more

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne sought the support of former political foes and appealed to Britons’ love of cheap vacations in his campaign to keep Britain in the European Union. Osborne was joined on Monday by one-time adversaries Ed Balls and Vince Cable at Stansted Airport northeast of London, where he welcomed plans by Dublin-based budget carrier Ryanair Holdings Plc to invest $1.4 billion and create 450 jobs in the U.K. this year... Read more

Count Ireland, the Netherlands and the island nations of Malta and Cyprus among the countries that will be hit the hardest if the U.K. severs membership ties with the European Union, according to Fitch Ratings. Those countries, as well as Belgium and Luxembourg, will be the “most exposed” in the event of an U.K.-EU breakup, as their exports of goods and services to the U.K. are at least 8% of gross domestic product, Fitch said in a note Monday about the risk of a so-called Brexit to EU sovereign ratings... Read more

Digital Realty Trust Inc., an owner of technology-related real estate, agreed to acquire eight data centers from Equinix Inc. for about $874 million. The properties are located in London, Amsterdam and Frankfurt, the San Francisco-based company said in a statement on Monday. Digital Realty also granted Equinix, based in Redwood City, California, an option to purchase its facility in Paris and the related operating business for about $215 million... Read more

A "dark cloud of uncertainty" over global growth and the outcome of the EU vote is chilling growth, says the CBI. The lobby group cut its economic growth forecasts and says the economy will grow by 2% in 2016 and 2017, down from a previous forecast of 2.3% and 2.1%. It said Brexit uncertainty was having a "tangible impact" on spending plans... Read more

HSBC axes 840 IT jobs in Britain in first big wave of planned cuts... Read more

Up to 100,000 UK investors who lost money when the Spanish property market collapsed could be in line for payouts, a law firm has estimated. It follows a Supreme Court ruling in Spain last year, telling banks to pay investors back for the deposits they put down on homes sold off-plan... Read more

Heathrow bosses have been handed a new bonus scheme that is partially reliant on their persuading the Government to back the airport’s controversial plans for a £17.6bn third runway. The scheme for directors, which was set up last year, also includes targets for profits and passenger services that must be met first, before the new runway element is eligible for consideration... Read more

U.K. house prices rebounded in May after an investor rush to beat a new tax introduced last month left behind a shortage of homes for sale, according to Rightmove. Asking prices increased 0.4 percent to an average 308,151 pounds ($442,000), the property website operator said on Monday. Prices for properties traditionally sought by first-time buyers surged 6.2 percent... Read more

Volkswagen to be sued by Norway fund over emissions scandal... Read more

Saudi Arabia aims to create the world's biggest sovereign wealth fund, a $2 trillion behemoth that can throw its weight around global markets, but the fund's growth abroad is likely to be slowed by its responsibility for aiding the economy at home. Building the Public Investment Fund (PIF) into "the largest fund in the world by far" is a cornerstone of radical economic reforms announced by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman last month to cut the kingdom's reliance on oil... Read more

Kenya Mulls Scrapping Some Tea Taxes to Make Industry Profitable... Read more

China is buying one of London's biggest gold vaults. TheChinese state-owned ICBC Standard Bank (IDCBF), the world's biggest bank by assets, has agreed to buy Barclays precious metals storage business, including its state-of-the-art storage facility in London. The deal will boost China's access to London's gold market, and expand the country's role in the gold business... Read more

Uber China Rival Didi to Consider U.S. IPO as Soon as 2017... Read more

Nissan Qashqai cars built at the firm's Sunderland plant in the UK were fitted with so-called emissions defeat devices, South Korean officials allege. South Korea's government said earlier it plans to fine the Japanese company 330 million won (£195,000; $279,920) for manipulating emissions tests. It is the first time Nissan has been officially accused of cheating. It "firmly" denies the accusation... Read more

South Korean investors aren’t buying analysts’ bullish forecasts for earnings of the nation’s top refiners, bringing to an end the rally that brought their shares to a three-year high. "I sold all of my shares in refiners when crude prices were rebounding early this year," said Jung Sang Jin, a fund manager whose Korea Investment Long Term Value Securities Master Investment Trust fund beat 98 percent of peers this year with a return of 5.6 percent... Read more

India is making one small step toward its ambition to one day launch a space shuttle.... Read more

Opinion - Mohamed A. El-Erian: Saudi Arabia’s bold and risky vision to diversify the economy... Read more

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