ASB Securities Morning Brief for Wednesday, 29 July 2015
Wednesday, 29 July 2015

New Zealand Headlines

New Zealand Market Report: New Zealand shares fell in a broad based sell off, as China's stock market volatility spooked investors. Pacific Edge, Xero and Heartland New Zealand all declined. The S&P/NZX 50 Index fell 23.68 points, or 0.4 percent, to 5848.38, recovering from an intraday drop to as low as 5838.5. Within the index, 37 stocks fell, eight rose and five were unchanged. Turnover was $108 million... Read more

The New Zealand dollar rose after Beijing said it was continuing efforts to support the ailing Chinese stock market, slowing their decline, while locally traders await a speech by the Reserve Bank governor tomorrow. The kiwi dollar advanced to 66.61 US cents as at 5pm in Wellington, from 65.88 cents yesterday. The trade-weighted index gained to 70.90 from 70.22.... Read more

NZX prepares for dip after China rout... Read more

NZX, the stock market operator, said advertising in its portfolio of agricultural publications dropped 17 percent in the first half, reflecting the slump in dairy prices and the impact of drought... Read more

Government to 'crowd-source' rule changes. A wide-ranging set of reforms is to be implemented to shake up the way government agencies develop, write and implement regulations.... Read more

Gender and race discrimination hurting New Zealand financially: Lawyer Mai Chen... Read more

Andrew Little criticises TPPA trade deal (video only)... Read more

The Labour Party says the undermining of Pharmac in the Trans Pacific Partnership breaches one of its bottom lines on the trade deal. Leader Andrew Little said Government had misled the public by not being upfront about the potential impact on the Government agency, which uses bulk-buying power to reduce the costs of medicine for New Zealanders... Read more

Maori businesses are more optimistic and recording stronger profit growth than non-Maori firms as the focus of the sector shifts from righting historical grievances to looking to the future, ANZ Bank's 2015 Maori business report says... Read more

Health and safety reforms preserve main principles: Z Energy... Read more

Investor demand set to slow in Auckland. Looming policy measures will slow investor demand in Auckland, but marked supply and demand shifts are necessary to rebalance the market, according to one major bank... Read more

The best performing KiwiSaver funds were those that bet on the New Zealand dollar falling against foreign currencies in the three months to June 30, according to Morningstar. The research and ratings agency has released its latest survey on KiwiSaver funds and found currency had a big part to play in which funds had the highest returns... Read more

A group of New Zealand’s leading institutional investors plan to flex their investment muscle over corporate governance through a newly set up forum. Corporate Governance Forum chair Anne-Maree O’Connor, from the New Zealand Superannuation Fund, said best practice corporate governance was key to company performance and to the long-term health of the nation's capital markets... Read more

Finance Minister Bill English has admitted the Government and Reserve Bank are in discussions with banks to ensure they don't prematurely force dairy farmers into mortgagee sales that could trigger a dangerous spiral lower in land values.... Read more

Overseas investors tipped to eye Kiwi dairy farms. International investors from Europe, the United States and Australia are likely to consider buying more New Zealand dairy farms, says an expert... Read more

A2 Milk Co managing director Geoff Babidge is sitting on a 730 percent capital gain after settling the outstanding amount due on 6 million partly paid shares he received five years ago... Read more

Green Cross Health, formerly known as PharmacyBrands, will return $20.3 million to shareholders through a special dividend after reviewing its capital structure. The shares were unchanged at $2.14, and are up 0.9 percent this year, valuing the company at $289.6 million. Green Cross's dividend reinvestment plan won't operate in respect of the special dividend, but will for future payments, it said... Read more

Shanton Fashions has been sold to a mystery buyer who wants to remain confidential. Shanton's liquidator, Gareth Hoole, said yesterday he did not know how many of the clothing chain's outlets would be kept open by the new buyer.... Read more

SeaDragon, which this month announced plans for a deeply discounted rights issue, expects annual sales to rise 60 percent in 2016, helping generate positive pretax earnings. SeaDragon shares were unchanged at 1.3 cents, and have slumped 41 percent this year. That compares to a 2.3 percent increase in the S&P/NZX All Index over the same period... Read more

Summerset Group, the country's third biggest listed retirement village operator, has bought a 2.3 hectare site in Auckland's Parnell which it plans to develop as a premium site. The company's shares last traded at $4.12, and have gained 49 percent this year... Read more

Retirement villages are booming as the population ages, but there's a lot of work to do schooling up older people, their families and lawyers on how they work. About 12 per cent of people over the age of 75 live in a retirement village and the number continues to rise. In some regions, it's even higher.... Read more

More young New Zealanders are taking out health insurance policies, new Health Funds Association figures show. The number of lives covered by health insurance rose 1800 in the June quarter, to 1.334 million, or 29% of the population. The number of people aged 25-35 with cover increased by 3300... Read more

A new roboadvice solution targeted at investors who do not want to pay for advice is being rolled out in Australia by a firm that has a New Zealand-based businessman at its helm... Read more

Power to the people as Kiwis profit from switching providers. One in five Auckland households switched power companies last year, helping them save an average of $136 in the process.... Read more

Tourism industry fears $104m hit. The Tourism Industry Association says it is "very ironic" the Government has proposed a more open approach to regulation on the same day submissions closed on a controversial travel tax that it says was passed into law without consultation... Read more

Tourism NZ heads to Facebook for new campaign. Tourism New Zealand has launched a new campaign using a global partnership with Facebook. The Kombi Diaries, a series of five short films following a couple's trip around New Zealand is the result of a direct collaboration between Tourism New Zealand and the social media giant... Read more

Beware: Green Gardens Finance. The Financial Markets Authority has issued its first ever stop order against Green Gardens Finance Trust, which it says was offering investments illegally, trying to raise money for property development in Auckland... Read more

David Ross of Ross Asset Management declared bankrupt... Read more

FMA drops Capital + Merchant action. A civil claim against Capital + Merchant Finance was unlikely to recover more of investors' money, the FMA said today as it announced it had stopped the proceedings... Read more

EQC engineer Graeme Robinson wins appeal. EQC's top engineer has won an appeal against findings he was negligent and incompetent.... Read more

Opinion - William Pesek: Now the markets are doing the bullying... Read more

Opinion - Josh Williams: Is the Government obsessed with degrees?... Read more

New Zealand Herald Editorial: Regional bait for migrants shows sense. Providing migrants with an added incentive to settle in regional New Zealand, rather than Auckland, involves a degree of intervention that would not normally be contemplated by a National Government... Read more

Australian Headlines

Australian Market Report: The resumption of China’s stockmarket roller-coaster ride has shaken local investors, leading to seesawing trade on the Australian equities market after a global bourse retreat. At the 4.15pm (AEST) official market close, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 was down 5.2 points, or 0.09 per cent, at 5584.7, while the broader All Ordinaries index slipped 8.2 points, or 0.15 per cent, to 5571.... Read more

The Australian dollar strengthened today, helped by a firmer iron-ore price and solid Japanese investor demand. The local currency was trading at US73.12c at 5pm, up US72.79c yesterday. Against the yen, the currency rose from around Y89.35 to around Y90.36 during the session.... Read more

Gender pay gap alarming: study. Full-time working women will earn on average $700,000 less throughout their lifetime than men and are more likely to retire in poverty, a major new report says. The ANZ Women's report 'Barriers to Achieving Gender Equity' looked at the financial experiences of women from birth to grave, finding those working full time earn $15,000 a year less than men.... Read more

Industry group CPA Australia has questioned how many foreign online ­retailers will be captured to pay GST if the threshold is lowered or done away with completely. Treasurer Joe Hockey and his state and territory counterparts will aim to level the ­playing field for Australian ­retailers when they meet next month by again looking at the $1000 GST threshold on goods bought from overseas... Read more

The troubles for the iron ore price are set to continue, with a Beijing crack down on air pollution in September expected to reduce demand from the region's steel mills. Meanwhile, Australian exports of the commodity are set to rebound from a sluggish July, positioning the price of Australia's biggest export for a renewed plunge, after only recently bouncing from a decade-low... Read more

The mining sector is adjusting to the end of the resources boom, with companies expecting that tough conditions will continue, while a small number of firms are hopeful of growth, Newport Consulting's Mining Business Outlook Report says. The annual survey -- based on April-June interviews with 50 leaders from private and public companies -- found that the amount of firms 'cautiously optimistic' about growth for the next year had more than doubled to 16 per cent... Read more

Mining boss Andrew Forrest says he's not particularly concerned about sagging Chinese equities markets, despite the slump sparking worries about growth in the world's second biggest economy... Read more

NRW Holdings has won a $140 million iron ore mining contract with Rio Tinto. The move will see Rio Tinto increase production at its Nammuldi mine in the Pilbara. After emerging from a trading halt, NRW’s shares closed up 2 cents, or 11 per cent to 19.5 cents.... Read more

The world's biggest miner BHP Billiton will cut around 100 jobs from its head office in Melbourne as the company focuses on streamlining its business. A spokesperson for BHP said the number of Melbourne employees would potentially move to around 300 "over the coming years", down from 400 workers currently... Read more

Stratum Metals has been granted an ASX trading halt in relation to the proposed acquisition of energy retailer Locality Planning Energy Pty Ltd... Read more

Strata-X Energy to reveal equity raising... Read more

Cudeco founder Wayne McCrae had a sliver of good news on Tuesday with his shareholding in the cash-strapped copper explorer rebounding by $2.5 million. But the bad news for Mr McCrae who last week was ousted as CEO, director and chairman of CuDeco, is that his 10.9 million shares are worth roughly $13.4 million, down from $18.5 million a week ago... Read more

Transport and logistics firm Toll Group is in talks with stevedore DP World Australia over a $50 million plan to increase the use of rail to move freight in and out of Port Botany... Read more

National Australia Bank is aiming to raise $US385 million ($A529.76 million) when it sells its final stake in its former US subsidiary Great Western Bancorp through a public offering. The bank, which is refocusing on its core Australian and New Zealand operations, will sell 12.7 million shares as part of the offering, while Great Western has agreed to repurchase around $US60 million worth of NAB's holding... Read more

PwC, Australia's biggest accountancy group, has announced a 10 per cent rise in full-year revenue to $1.73 billion. Like its peers, PwC does not disclose its earnings, but the firm's Australian chief Luke Sayers said the results for the 12 months to June 30 were "supported by another year of strong profit growth"... Read more

No one likes bumbling around a large department store trying to find a sales assistant. And Myer knows it. That's why the department store chain will cut its permanent staff numbers in favour of more casuals. Shares in Myer closed one cent higher, or 0.84 per cent, at $1.195 on Tuesday.... Read more

Myer to replace CIO with chief digital, data officer... Read more

Telstra launches Roku to take on Apple and Google... Read more

Brisbane-based junior soccer coaching business Ginger Sport is one of many Queensland companies set to get a major kick out of the new Sporting Schools program. A total of 349 Australian “fit kids” businesses will be chosen to provide coaching as part of the Federal Government’s $100 million Australian Institute of Sport designed program, with many to be selected from Queensland... Read more

Melbourne-based healthcare heavyweight CSL has taken a big step in advancing its haemophilia treatments after its therapy gained ­approval to be reviewed by the powerful US drug regulator. Shares in the blood products and vaccine maker climbed to a fresh seven-year high on Tuesday after it said the US Food and Drug Administration would review its licence application for its treatment of the rare blood disorder... Read more

Cogstate has signed a contract worth US$1.2 million for its computerised cognition tests to be used in a Phase II clinical trial of patients with Alzheimer’s disease... Read more

GrainCorp critiques foreign agri rules. GrainCorp chief executive Mark Palmquist has taken a swipe at the Federal Government’s moves to clamp down on foreign investment in agriculture.... Read more

Fairfax boss warns Foxtel's Ten play will entrench Murdoch dominance. Fairfax Media boss Greg Hywood is hoping the Government and the competition watchdog see that the changes at the top of Ten Network are attempts by the Murdoch family to skirt media ownership laws... Read more

ICAC targets TAFE IT manager over alleged $1.7m fraud... Read more

Victoria's Supreme Court has found News Corp's misled consumers through an advertising campaign that accused its major rival of selling customers' information without their knowledge. Supreme Court judge James Judd found the company engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct in a series of advertisements attacking Read more

Analysis - Peter Ryan: Ten CEO Hamish McLennan leaves to reduce News Corp links, clear decks for Foxtel deal... Read more

Opinion - Malcolm Maiden: Chinese roller coaster has a way to run... Read more

Opinion/Analysis - Peter Drysdale: Down to the wire on the Trans-Pacific Partnership... Read more

International Headlines

U.S. Market Report: U.S. stocks looked set to break the five-day losing streak Tuesday, as investors looked past softer economic reports and a continued rout in China’s stock market. The S&P 500 index added 23 points, or 1.1%, to 2,091, with the energy and sector leading the gains. The energy sector jumped nearly 3%, following a rise in oil prices... Read more

North/South Americas Market Report: North and South American markets are mixed today. The Bovespa is up 1.40% while the S&P 500 gains 1.21%. The IPC is off 0.26%... Read more

European Market Report: European markets finished broadly higher today with shares in Germany leading the region. The DAX is up 1.06% while France's CAC 40 is up 1.01% and London's FTSE 100 is up 0.77%... Read more

Asian Market Report: Asian markets finished mixed as of the most recent closing prices. The Hang Seng gained 0.62%, while the Shanghai Composite led the Nikkei 225 lower. They fell 1.68% and 0.10% respectively... Read more

Oil prices fell further in Asia Tuesday after a plunge in Chinese stocks jolted global markets and added to fears about an oversupply of the commodity. US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for September delivery fell 17 cents to $47.22 and Brent crude for September lost 30 cents to $53.17. Both contracts closed lower on Monday.... Read more

Oil prices have plunged nearly 20% this month... Read more

Demand for gold fell to its weakest level since 2009 in the second quarter of this year, as Chinese buyers shunned gold purchases, metals consultancy GFMS said on Tuesday... Read more

The U.S. dollar is getting too strong for some countries. Early warning signs suggest another emerging markets currency crisis.... Read more

U.S. consumer confidence drops in July... Read more

Amazon has entered the UK streaming market with the launch of Prime Music, a new service available to Amazon Prime customers as part of their annual £79 subscription. Prime Music will provide access to more than one million songs and about 500 specially created playlists. Amazon's answer to Spotify, Deezer and Google Play follows the launch of Apple Music and Jay-Z's Tidal this year.... Read more

Smithsonian turns to Kickstarter to fund Neil Armstrong spacesuit project.... Read more

This is what profit sharing should look like. The CEO and co-founder of a Turkish food delivery company has paid out $27 million to 114 employees after selling the firm. Nevzat Aydin told Turkish newspaper Hurriet his employees deserved to benefit from the sale... Read more

Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking warn over 'killer robots'. A group of concerned scientists, researchers and academics, including Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking, have warned that a military artificial intelligence arms race could soon develop if preventative measures are not taken.... Read more

United Parcel Service Inc. has fired warning shots across the bow of the Federal Reserve and the stock market, by saying on Tuesday that U.S. economic growth appears to be slowing.... Read more

UK economic growth picks up to 0.7% in second quarter... Read more

Mike Bloomberg buys historic London mansion for $25 million... Read more

Foreign crooks are laundering billions in London real estate. Money launderers be warned: Don't try and hide your dirty cash in London property. Criminals have been pouring billions into the city's red hot real estate, but the U.K. government is now promising to get tough with measures aimed at shining a light on the murkier corners of the market.... Read more

Half-year profits at ITV have risen by 25% to £391m as revenue increased across all divisions. The broadcaster said that net advertising revenue for the six months to 30 June was up 5% to £838m, while revenue from ITV Studios jumped 23% to £496m. However, ITV's share of viewing across its portfolio of channels fell 4%... Read more

BP has reported a sharp fall in profits for the three months to the end of June as lower oil prices continue to hurt. Underlying replacement cost profit (RCP) was $1.31bn (£841m) compared with $3.63bn a year ago... Read more

Zurich Insurance has said it is considering a bid for RSA Insurance, the owner of the More Than brand. The Swiss firm said: "Zurich notes the recent market speculation in relation to RSA Insurance Group and confirms that the company is evaluating a potential offer." There is "no assurance that any offer will be made", Zurich added... Read more

New tolls on heavy trucks to raise funds for road repairs in Russia. Russia is to introduce a new system for collecting tolls from heavy trucks, with the proceeds – some 50 billion rubles ($896 million) a year – to go toward vital road repairs. Payment will be controlled by special gates set up on major highways... Read more

Ruble falls to 4-month low as Brent crude enters bear market... Read more

Rosneft halves payments to BP as oil prices slump.... Read more

Chinese share market turmoil not 'systemic'; unlikely to destabilise rest of economy, OECD advisor says. A senior Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) official has played down the risk of the Chinese share market turmoil destabilising the rest of the Chinese economy... Read more

China shares fall again as Beijing scrambles to calm markets... Read more

Police raid Chinese factory that was churning out fake iPhones. Police in Beijing have seized an electronics factory that was used to manufacture more than 41,000 fake Apple iPhones over the past seven months.... Read more

Malaysia PM Najib Razak sacks deputy over 1MDB scandal... Read more

Volkswagen has stolen Toyota's crown to become the world's top carmaker by sales -- at least for the year so far.... Read more

Opinion - Mark Hulbert: Not even Donald Trump can save the stock market... Read more

Opinion/Analysis - Irwin Kellner: Gold sends the markets a message... Read more

Latest reports

Latest reports