ASB Securities Morning Brief for Friday, 17 April 2015
Friday, 17 April 2015

New Zealand Headlines

New Zealand Market Report: New Zealand shares rose, led by Kathmandu Holdings and Fletcher Building as investors bought sold-off trans-Tasman stocks. Fonterra Shareholders' Fund fell after dairy prices sank to their lowest level in 2015 overnight. The NZX 50 Index gained 25.678 points, or 0.4 percent, to 5881.757. Within the index, 24 stocks rose, 19 fell and seven were unchanged. Turnover was $115 million... Read more

The New Zealand dollar tumbled about 1 Australian cent, having flirted with another attempt at parity this week, after figures showed the jobless rate fell in Australia last month as the economy added jobs. The New Zealand dollar fell to 97.85 Australian cents as at 5pm in Wellington, from 98.84 cents at the start of the day and from 99.03 cents late yesterday. The kiwi rose to 75.90 US cents from 75.20 cents yesterday.... Read more

NZ Govt Bond tender number 540 results... Read more

A barometer of manufacturing activity is still pointing to fair weather. The BNZ/Business New Zealand performance of manufacturing index (PMI) fell 1.6 points to 54.5 in March. But it remains solidly in expansion territory, said BNZ economist Craig Ebert. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion... Read more

Not implementing a capital gains tax on investment properties is a "huge risk" for the Government, says ONE News Political Editor Corin Dann. The Reserve Bank yesterday warned about the dangers of a housing bubble collapse and the dangers to the economy from skyrocketing Auckland house prices... Read more

Fund manager Harbour Asset Management has waded into the debate on a capital gains tax for property investors... Read more

Labour leader Andrew Little: Reserve Bank should target Auckland property speculators... Read more

Fonterra Cooperative Group attracted $100 million of oversubscriptions for its 2021 bonds in a sale that benefitted from the maturity of $800 million of existing debt at the world's biggest dairy exporter and a large government bond maturity that pushed out the duration of a key benchmark index... Read more

Dairy shares dip after global auction registers another price fall. The price of Fonterra Shareholders' Fund units fell to their lowest point since listing after the latest GlobalDairyTrade auction registered another fall in product prices... Read more

The sharemarket float of Graeme Hart's Carter Holt Harvey, should it go ahead, will be a relative tiddler of a deal compared with a monster transaction New Zealand's richest man has just wrapped up in Europe. Hart's Reynolds Group completed a 3.6 billion ($5 billion) sale of its European packaging business, Switzerland's Sig Combibloc, to Toronto-based private equity firm Onex Corporation last month... Read more

RIS Group, a shell company listed on the NZAX, has been publicly censured and fined $80,000 plus costs after missing the deadline to file its 2014 annual report, the third such breach since 2011... Read more

Bermuda-based Bacardi, which bought New Zealand vodka brand 42Below in 2006, is adding further to its portfolio through acquisition. Last week, it bought Angel’s Envy Bourbon and invested Compass Box Whisky Co through its John Dewar & Sons business... Read more

Restaurant Brands aims to more than treble the number of Carl's Jr stores in the next six years as a strong performance at KFC helped the company boost annual profit by 19 per cent. New Zealand's largest fast food store operator, which also has Pizza Hut and Starbucks in its stable, posted net profit for the year ended March 2 of $23.8 million on the back of a 13 per cent rise in sales to $372.6 million... Read more

Tower, with ample capital to meet RBNZ rules, announces $34M buyback... Read more

French multinational corporation Andros plans to buy a majority stake in South Canterbury jam company Barker's for an undisclosed sum... Read more

Tourism NZ and Air NZ will push new Houston destination in joint US marketing campaign. Tourism New Zealand said a joint venture promotional campaign it's launching with Air New Zealand in the US in September will have a strong focus on pushing the airline’s new direct flight from Auckland to Houston, Texas, announced today... Read more

Confused why Air NZ is flying direct to Houston? Here's why... Read more

The Accident Compensation Corporation has revealed it could spend close to $1 billion fixing its shortcomings. The massive project will attempt to improve battered public trust in the Crown-owned insurer and increase the number of claims each of its staff can process... Read more

The New Zealand Film Commission, the government entity tasked with supporting the local film sector, is putting more emphasis on building links to China, which local film makers have largely ignored.... Read more

Burger King will be dropping the toys that accompany kids' meals, after stopping the televised advertising of meals targeted at children.... Read more

Christchurch City Council has awarded contracts for the maintenance of city parks to two new companies, following a competitive tender process... Read more

The Crown manager for Christchurch City Council’s building consenting functions, Doug Martin, has made six recommendations in his final report. He was appointed by the government in July 2013 after International Accreditation NZ revoked the council’s accreditation as a building control authority. His term ended in December, after the council’s successful re-application for accreditation... Read more

A legal challenge to the lawfulness of two wharf extensions in the Waitemata Harbour by Ports of Auckland will be heard in June.... Read more

Port company wins quick court hearing on wharves resource consents judicial review. Work can carry on with two wharf extensions at Auckland port on the Waitemata Harbour after Ports of Auckland won its High Court application for a quick substantive hearing of a judicial review launched by Urban Auckand over the legality of the resource consents for the wharves... Read more

Infometrics launches web-based community demographic profiles. Infometrics are pleased to announce the launching of complimentary web-based Community Profiles for every territorial authority and region of New Zealand.... Read more

Nominations for Greens co-leader close today... Read more

Northland’s luxurious Peppers Carrington Resort is refusing to respond to media enquiries following reports that former National MP Mike Sabin is the resort’s new chief executive officer. Media reported yesterday that Mr Sabin took up the post this week, with immediate effect... Read more

The Court of Appeal has heard that the Employment Court has no jurisdiction over a settlement agreement between JP Morgan Chase and its former New Zealand boss, in the latest iteration of a long running employment dispute... Read more

Opinion - Bernard Hickey: Regulators eye curbs for residential property investors... Read more

Opinion - Pattrick Smellie: Houses prices just supply and demand. Another day, another report on the over-heated Auckland property market... Read more

Opinion - Greg Ninness: 'Keep LVRs in place until the next recession'... Read more

New Zealand Herald Editorial: Blunt words Government can't ignore. Reserve Bank deputy governor Grant Spencer could hardly have been blunter in taking the Government to task over its response to Auckland's overheated housing market.... Read more





Australian Headlines

Australian Market Report: The Australian sharemarket has reversed three straight losses to close substantially higher, despite paring gains following surprisingly strong employment figures. At the 4.15pm (AEST) official market close, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 39.1 points, or 0.66 per cent, at 5,947.5, while the broader All Ordinaries index added 40.3 points, or 0.69 per cent, to 5,917.6.... Read more

The Australian dollar has surged to a three-week high in overnight trade, reaching the US78c mark for the first time since March 27 as investors continued to analyse strong local jobs data. At 3.15am (AEST), the local unit was trading at US77.85c, up sharply from US77.37c on Thursday... Read more

Unemployment unexpectedly drops as 37,700 jobs added... Read more

RBA's Edwards welcomes jobs data... Read more

There is a renewed push to restrict negative gearing and capital gains tax breaks on property that it says are costing the Federal Government $7 billion a year. The Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) today published a report finding that these two tax breaks are putting a hole in the budget in favour of higher income earners... Read more

A jump in March employment is "unambiguously good" news for the economy, which is "very far" from recession, according to John Edwards, a member of the interest rate-setting Reserve Bank of Australia... Read more

Property price surge generating policymaker headaches... Read more

Sydney's stellar run of double-digit home price growth looks set to run out of steam next year. HSBC Australia chief economist Paul Bloxham says he expects the Reserve Bank to hike interest rates in 2016, a move that will cool Sydney's booming property market. "Sydney house prices are running at an unsustainable pace," he said... Read more

Australia’s mergers and acquisitions activity was dominated by the real estate and transport sectors in the first quarter of 2015, according to a report by M&A intelligence group Mergermarket... Read more

Woodside Petroleum warns a long downturn in oil prices will cut profits and shareholder payouts, but insists the company is set to grow. Australia's largest oil and gas producer is planning for the current price weakness to last several years.... Read more

Iluka Resources' sales revenue has dived as demand and prices for its zircon products fell. Revenue in the three months to March 31 of $115.2 million was down 12 per cent on the same period a year ago, and 51 per cent lower than the December quarter... Read more

More reassuring comments from Fortescue this afternoon as CEO Nev Power tells reporters that an equity raising couldn’t be further away from the miner’s agenda, and the company doesn’t need more cash, with $1.8 billion in the bank... Read more

A defiant Fortescue Metals boss Nev Power has blamed financial speculators, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto for the iron ore price falls he says are ripping the heart out of the industry... Read more

Fortescue Metals chief Nev Power has accused arch rivals BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto of "ripping the heart out of communities" and hurting the nation by flooding the market with iron ore, on the same day the miner announced plans to lift exports by up to 10 million tonnes in the current financial year... Read more

Rio Tinto boss Sam Walsh sees silver lining in iron ore shake-up... Read more

Mining company NuCoal Resources is holding out hope it might eventually be compensated for a cancelled coal exploration licence in NSW. NuCoal was stripped of its Doyles Creek exploration licence when the state government introduced laws in 2014,... Read more

Avita Medical has raised $1.14 million through its share purchase plan to drive continue development of its regenerative product platform... Read more

Nine Entertainment looking for deals after $640m Nine Live sale... Read more

Nine Entertainment will boost shareholder returns and consider acquisitions after the $640 million sale of its ticketing and events arm to an Asian private equity giant... Read more

AGL's long-time chief information officer will depart the energy giant after a restructure which initiated a spill of the company's executive ranks and saw the CIO title retired... Read more

CSIRO staff vote to begin industrial action... Read more

Domino's Pizza Enterprises, one of Queensland’s largest and most successful companies, has appointed its first female director. Lynda O’Grady joins five men on Domino’s board, replacing Barry Alty who retired in October... Read more

Qantas says it is confident it can resolve problems at London’s Heathrow Airport that have led to a warning about its on-time performance and the possibility of stiff fines. The airline tonight downplayed an internal memo that warned the airline could face fines of 20,000 pounds ($38,000) for each time it missed its slot time or potentially lose a landing and takeoff slot for failing to land within its allocated slot time... Read more

The Federal Government expects the "vast majority" of Australians will still buy new cars from local dealerships, even if they are given the freedom to import vehicles directly from overseas... Read more

Carrspace forced to protect staff from online abuse after Woolworths Anzac campaign. A director of the trendy advertising firm behind the controversial Woolworths Anzac campaign has hit back at reports the firm was hiding from the public, saying she took a sensible precaution to protect her staff from the torrent of "vulgar and abusive tweets"... Read more

ANZ has become the latest major bank to compensate clients for bad service and inappropriate advice. Australia's third-biggest bank by market value will reimburse 8,500 clients who used its Prime Access fee-for-service package a total of approximately $30 million... Read more

Opinion - Victoria Thieberger: The delayed gratification of super... Read more

Opinion - Adele Ferguson: Another day, another scandal. ANZ bank's bombshell that it misled clients by charging them for advice they didn't receive is appalling but not surprising.... Read more

Opinion - Greg Jerico: Want to go it alone, WA? Good luck with that. WA relied on other states for the better part of a century, so it's a bit rich to raise the question of independence now that the times have come good. In any case, here's why any talk of secession is just that, writes Greg Jericho... Read more





International Headlines

U.S. Market Report: U.S. stocks edged lower on Thursday as corporate results showed little organic growth even as they largely beat profit expectations... Read more

North/South Americas Market Report: North and South American markets are mixed today. The S&P 500 is up 0.16% while the IPC gains 0.08%. The Bovespa is off 0.72%... Read more

European Market Report: European markets finished broadly lower today with shares in Germany leading the region. The DAX is down 1.90% while France's CAC 40 is off 0.57% and London's FTSE 100 is lower by 0.51%... Read more

Asian Market Report: Asian markets finished broadly higher today with shares in China leading the region. The Shanghai Composite is up 2.71% while Hong Kong's Hang Seng is up 0.45% and Japan's Nikkei 225 is up 0.08%... Read more

Oil prices were mixed in Asia Thursday, retaining support from a surprisingly upbeat US supply report a day earlier, analysts said. US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for May delivery gained six cents to $56.45 while Brent crude for June slipped 14 cents to $63.18 in afternoon trade... Read more

U.S. housing starts rose far less than expected in March and permits recorded their biggest drop since last May, which could raise concerns about the economy's ability to bounce back from a soft patch hit in the first quarter. The economy stumbled at the start of the year under the weight of a harsh winter, a resurgent dollar, weaker global growth and a now-resolved labor dispute at the West Coast ports... Read more

Ben Bernanke, former chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, has agreed to become a senior adviser to Citadel Investment Group, a $25 billion hedge fund founded by billionaire investor Kenneth Griffin, the New York Times reported on Thursday... Read more

Analysts giddy at Netflix plans for international expansion. Despite the negative impact that expanding into new territories had on Netflix Inc.’s earnings, analysts were thrilled with its growth numbers and its stock skyrocketed to a new high on Thursday... Read more

Carl Icahn's $100+ million pay day on Netflix... Read more

Tobacco giant Philip Morris International has reported first-quarter profit of $US1.8 billion ($A2.34 billion). The New York-based company said it had profit of $US1.16 per share... Read more

Carlyle Group LP has enlisted Mike Duke, former chief executive of Wal-Mart Stores Inc, to the executive team that the asset management firm taps for advise on deals, the Wall Street Journal reported... Read more

Citigroup Inc reported its highest quarterly profit in nearly eight years as costs plunged, showing that the bank's efforts to streamline its business may be starting to pay off. Shares of the third biggest U.S. bank by assets rose 2.3 percent to $54.45 on Thursday.... Read more

Goldman Sachs Group Inc reported a first-quarter profit on Thursday that handily beat analysts' expectations, driven by a burst of trading in fixed-income and currencies. Goldman's shares were up about 0.5 percent at $201 in premarket trading.... Read more

Bank of America settles currency-rigging lawsuit... Read more

Furious McDonald’s franchisees in the US have hit out at the company, accusing it of having “jumped the shark” as relations fall to their lowest level in more than a decade. That’s the finding of the US-based investment firm Janney Capital Markets in its latest half-yearly McDonald’s Franchisee Survey, which paints a grim picture for the future of the company... Read more

Fast-food workers rallied in U.S. cities on Wednesday to demand higher pay, using the April 15 deadline for filing tax returns to publicize their claim that they cannot survive on the hourly wages paid by many U.S. corporations. The protests demanding pay increases to $15 an hour kicked off at dawn outside a McDonald's Corp restaurant in New York with several hundred demonstrators... Read more

Let's get this party started: Party City goes public... Read more

Etsy, Virtu and Party City rocket on first day of post-IPO trades... Read more

Etsy shares surge 120% on US market debut... Read more

U.S. white goods group Whirlpool announced on Thursday it would invest 500 million euros ($535.25 million) over four years in Italy as part of a restructuring plan that would see 1,350 redundancies.... Read more

Greek government bonds plunged Thursday, shaken by swelling fears that the beleaguered country will be forced into a default. Yields on the country’s two-year bonds soared by more than 4½ percentage points on the day to above 27% —their highest since being issued and a massive jump even for notoriously volatile Greek debt. Yields rise when prices fall... Read more

Greece would struggle to find creditors outside Europe, says Schaeuble... Read more

UK Oil & Gas backtracks on Horse Hill oil find claims. Horse Hill operator UK Oil & Gas (LON:UKOG) has been told to clarify its statements last week that the Weald Basin near Gatwick may hold 100bn barrels of oil... Read more

Closure of Alexandria trade would cost Monte Paschi 1 billion euros. The European Central Bank has told Monte dei Paschi di Siena to close a loss-making derivatives trade with Nomura by late July, a move that would generate a pre-tax loss of 1 billion euros ($1.06 billion), according to a letter sent by the bank to prosecutors... Read more

Unilever reported better than expected first quarter sales and struck a positive tone on the rest of the year, citing brighter signs in major markets such as the United States, China and India. The Anglo-Dutch maker of Dove soap, Lipton tea and Ben & Jerry's ice cream saw its shares jump more than 4 percent to a record high on Thursday after its first-quarter report showed progress after a tough 2014. Last year it was hammered by weakening emerging markets and currency devaluations... Read more

Nestle told shareholders on Thursday it was taking steps to maintain its position at the head of the global food industry, where consolidation will create two big new rivals... Read more

Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne wants Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to play a key role in a consolidation of the global auto industry which he sees as inevitable to manage prohibitive capital costs... Read more

Volkswagen leadership crisis meeting has ended: source... Read more

China March FDI robust at $12.4 billion, outbound flows up 29.6 percent in first-quarter... Read more

The Japanese unit of McDonald's Corp forecast deeper losses this year and said it would renovate 2,000 stores while closing underperforming outlets, as it struggles to bring back customers after a series of food safety scandals. Shares of McDonald's Japan are down about 11 percent from last year's peak set in June. The stock closed down 1 percent before Thursday's announcement.... Read more

Indian Central Bank’s Rajan Gets Extra Security After Email Threat... Read more

Opinion - Ellie Ismailidou: Why a Greek call for war reparations from Germany might actually make sense... Read more

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