ASB Securities Morning Brief for Wednesday, 04 March 2015
Wednesday, 04 March 2015

New Zealand Headlines

New Zealand Market Report: New Zealand shares rose to a fresh record pushed higher by Warehouse Group after James Pascoe lifted its stake to become the second-biggest shareholder in the retailer. Diligent Board Member Services fell after an analyst's report downgraded the stock. The NZX 50 Index edged up 0.988 points, or 0.02 percent, to 5893.661. Within the index, 19 stocks rose, 22 fell and nine were unchanged. Turnover was $171 million... Read more

The New Zealand dollar fell against its trans-Tasman counterpart after the Reserve Bank of Australia kept its key rate unchanged, while leaving open the possibility of a future cut. The kiwi fell to 96.32 Australian cents at 5pm in Wellington from 96.77 cents immediately before the announcement, and 96.88 cents yesterday. It gained to 75.33 US cents from 75.09 cents at 8am, and 75.21 cents yesterday... Read more

Higher dairy prices, weaker kiwi help raise commodity price index... Read more

Clarification of the GST rules for bodies corporate has been laid out in a taxation bill introduced to Parliament last week.... Read more

Terms of reference for the Financial Advisers Act review have been released.... Read more

Property values rise at fastest pace in five months... Read more

Residential values nationwide have increased by 3.1% over the last three months and 6.4% over the last year, according to the latest QV data... Read more

KiwiSaver: Government says law change on track for first home buyers. Member tax credits will be available as well as a more generous HomeStart grant... Read more

Game on for financial advisers. Advisers acquired their "ticket to the game" six years ago when the government chose to regulate their sector. They've played their first game and are about to find out what the rules for the next game game will be... Read more

Reviews should consider AML. Annual client reviews are being suggested as an ideal time to catch up on customer due diligence, required under the AML/CFT regime... Read more

The Canterbury Mortgage Trust has made a profit but there is no dividend any time soon for its more than 4000 long-suffering local investors. The new managers of the trust, into its seventh year of being wound up, have posted financial statements for the group investment fund for the year to March 2014... Read more

James Pascoe lifts Warehouse stake to 16.4%, buying Woolworths' shares... Read more

Rich-listers David and Anne Norman have snapped up Australian supermarket operator Woolworths' stake in The Warehouse Group, more than doubling their shareholding in what is seen as a vote of confidence in the Red Sheds operator's long-running turnaround push... Read more

Goodman Property Trust, New Zealand's largest listed property investor by market value, will spend $28 million on two new industrial plants and an office building at its Highbrook Business Park... Read more

Credit Suisse downgrades Diligent to neutral ahead of new product spending. Shares of Diligent fell 2.5 percent to $5.80, below the analyst's target price of $6.35, and has gained 13 percent since the start of the year... Read more

GTL Energy (New Zealand), Solid Energy's former partner in an experimental briquette making plant in Southland, narrowed its loss in 2014 in a year when it garnered no revenue and began preparing for the sale of the Mataura briquette plant, its biggest asset... Read more

Wine company Invivo to use crowdfunding for $2m to fuel growth... Read more

Promapp Solutions, whose software lets organisations map their business processes, has hired a marketing executive to help drive the company's tilt at the US market... Read more

High demand is driving up hotel prices in New Zealand but for Kiwis travelling overseas, Asia is offering the best bargains and Australian hotels are more affordable. The latest price survey shows a 5 per cent rise in NZ dollar hotel prices in this country last year, increasing from an average $139 per night in 2013 to $146 in 2014... Read more

TVNZ 'on track' with $19.8m first-half profit... Read more

Netflix has revealed its New Zealand launch date: March 24. As in other countries, the video streaming service will offer a single-stream standard definition plan, two-stream high-definition plan and four-stream 4K ultra-high definition “family” plan... Read more

Competition holds down power prices. Four largest retailers losing market share as smaller companies emerge and gain increase in customers... Read more

New Zealand’s proactive electricity retailers lead the way internationally. Latest international research shows New Zealand’s electricity retailers are competing fiercely for customers compared with those in selected overseas markets with competitive retail markets, but New Zealand consumers are relatively passive about exercising their option to choose between providers... Read more

Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism (CCT) needs to be more transparent and open to the public, because it is substantially funded by ratepayer and taxpayer money, tourism operators say. CCT, which is registered as Christchurch Canterbury Marketing Ltd, is controlled by shareholder Destination Christchurch Canterbury, New Zealand Trust... Read more

Amazing Race host Phil Keoghan is the face of a new campaign to attract United States cycle tourists to New Zealand. Keoghan, a keen cyclist, has been hired by Tourism New Zealand to front digital and print campaigns in the US... Read more

Lyttelton port worker hurt in fall. Port unions are calling for an industry-wide review into health and safety standards after a Lyttelton Port worker became the latest casualty on board a container vessel.... Read more

Auckland mayor Len Brown calls for limit to his pay rise... Read more

Carter Holt Harvey, the building products supplier owned by billionaire Graeme Hart, is appealing its failed bid in the High Court to strike out a claim that its cladding contributed to a nationwide problem of leaky school buildings... Read more

Bankrupt Bryers needs to get back on his feet, lawyer in discharge hearing says... Read more

Former Blue Chip boss Mark Bryers was accused of contriving to present himself as a consultant to Talos Accounting Group, when he was actually running the Australian company in breach of rules covering undischarged bankrupts, New Zealand's Official Assignee said... Read more

Opinion - Chris Barton: Something rotten in our Commerce Commission. Something is very rotten in our Commerce Commission. In setting the price for access to Chorus's copper wholesale network, it's maintaining a price $12/month higher than comparative countries. It seems to think consumers should pay $12/month more than they should have to for broadband... Read more

Opinion - David Chaplin: Inside Money: NZDF marches on KiwiSaver offensive.... Read more

Opinion - Rose Patterson: You can’t grow an economy... Read more

New Zealand Herald Editorial: Critics of politicians' pay increases should be careful what they wish for... Read more

Australian Headlines

Australian Market Report: The Australian sharemarket closed weaker after the Reserve Bank refrained from cutting the official cash rate, causing the benchmark index to slide from seven-year highs reached earlier today. At the 4.15pm (AEDT) official market, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 25 points, or 0.42 per cent, at 5,933.9, while the broader All Ordinaries index had fallen 23.5 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 5,902.8... Read more

The Australian dollar rose above US78c after the Reserve Bank left the cash rate on hold at its board meeting today. The currency rose to a three-day high of US78.49c shortly after the 2:30pm (AEDT) decision before retracing ground back to US78.25c by 4pm. At 1pm, the local currency was trading at US77.68c, down from US77.76c yesterday... Read more

The economy is struggling to grow because Australians get too much pay, too much annual leave and are too hard to fire, an American economist says.... Read more

Borrowers anticipating cheaper mortgages needn't give up hope just yet, with the Reserve Bank indicating another rate cut is a very firm possibility. The central bank defied expectations by keeping rates on hold at 2.25 per cent, deeming it appropriate to "hold interest rates steady for the time being" following February's 25 basis point cut... Read more

Official figures show a record number of homes were approved for construction in January. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) said there was a 7.9 per cent rise in the number of approvals from December, in seasonally adjusted terms, to surpass 19,000 dwellings for the first time since the data began being collected in 1983... Read more

Record home construction over the next 12 months should give the economy a much-needed boost, but could also put the brakes on more interest rate cuts.... Read more

Australia, Switzerland to target tax evasion... Read more

Australia Post: Malcolm Turnbull confirms plans for two-tier mail service, wants postage stamp cost to rise from 70c to $1... Read more

Mali focused Oklo Resources is preparing to outline details of a capital raising / placement. The ASX has granted the company a trading halt, with its shares placed in pre-open... Read more

Glencore has followed up its cuts to Australian coal production with a reduction in industrial capital expenditure, despite swinging to a full-year profit. The mining powerhouse booked a preliminary annual profit for the year to December 31 of $US2.3 billion ($A2.96bn), which was a substantial rebound from the $US8.05bn loss in 2013, chalked up largely from charges associated with the Xstrata merger... Read more

Bass Strait Oil Company raising funds to interpret 3D seismic... Read more

Peter Coates will become chairman of Santos once again after stepping back to assist with the integration of Glencore International and Xstrata... Read more

The long wait continues for Galaxy Resources shareholders to discover if the company has been successful in offloading its troubled Chinese processing plant. Shares in the company have been suspended for the past month while the plant's prospective buyer Sichuan Tianqi Lithium Industries beds down shareholder and regulatory approvals for the sale to go ahead... Read more

Fresh cracks are appearing in Roy Hill's ambitious bid to start shipping iron ore from Port Hedland by September, after major construction contracts at its port operations were torn up yesterday... Read more

Nanosonics Limited has been granted a trading halt by the ASX pending details of a material fund raising... Read more

Three tiny rocky outcrops discovered 300km off WA's north-west coast have become the world's most valuable real estate, worth at least $5 billion to State coffers in gas royalties... Read more

Investors in jetpack developer Martin Aircraft are on a very wild ride. Shares in New Zealand-based Martin Aircraft, which were listed on the Australian Securities Exchange just one week ago at 40 cents each, hit a high of $3.15 in early trading on Tuesday. The stock had closed on Monday at $1.75... Read more

Insurance group Suncorp expects to take a hit of up to $150 million from Tropical Cyclone Marcia, meaning it is likely to miss its return on equity target for the financial year. Suncorp shares dropped 26 cents, or 1.9 per cent, to $13.75.... Read more

Genera Biosystems raises funds to progress molecular diagnostic platform... Read more

A major grain storage and handling business long considered a prime target for overseas interests looking for supply chain control in WA has fallen into the hands of receivers. Tamma Grains owner Kim Packer said the business had been under pressure from banks for some time but stressed that all growers had been paid... Read more

iiNet hit with $204k penalty over broadband ads... Read more

Nemex Resources advancing biometric technology investment... Read more

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has cast doubt over Brisbane’s casino project, with business groups saying her refusal to outline the “issues” she asked her Government to investigate could damage confidence... Read more

The Victorian government will soon start accepting applications from providers interested in operating the state’s smartcard public transport ticketing system Myki. Myki was introduced as a replacement for Metcard in the Melbourne metropolitan area and paper tickets for V/Line commuter services when the contract for the ticketing solution was first awarded in 2005... Read more

The new chair of the ACT Heritage Council David Flannery says he fully supports the Territory Government's light rail project, but denies there is a conflict of interest. Mr Flannery appointed to a three-year term by the Government on Monday, replacing Duncan Marshall whose term had come to an end... Read more

Gina Rinehart drops in Forbes’ list of richest people... Read more

Australia on Tuesday ordered China's Evergrande Real Estate Group to sell a Sydney mansion worth Aus$39 million (US$30 million), saying it was bought illegally under foreign investment rules... Read more

Evocca College under investigation by the Australian Skills Quality Authority after reports of low graduation rates... Read more

Opinion - Callam Pickering: Where will the residential construction boom go from here?... Read more

International Headlines

U.S. Market Report: U.S. stock prices fell on Tuesday, with the Dow Jones industrial average and Standard & Poor's 500 receding from their record highs, while the dollar fell from its 11-year peak versus a basket of currencies... Read more

North/South Americas Market Report: North and South American markets are mixed. The Bovespa is higher by 0.25%, while the S&P 500 is leading the IPC lower. They are down 0.77% and 0.66% respectively... Read more

European Market Report: European markets finished broadly lower today with shares in Germany leading the region. The DAX is down 1.14% while France's CAC 40 is off 0.98% and London's FTSE 100 is lower by 0.74%... Read more

Asian Market Report: Asian markets finished broadly lower today with shares in China leading the region. The Shanghai Composite is down 2.20% while Hong Kong's Hang Seng is off 0.74% and Japan's Nikkei 225 is lower by 0.06%... Read more

Oil rose more than $1 in volatile trade on Tuesday as fighting in Libya and signs of stronger global demand outweighed persistent concerns about a supply glut. Brent crude futures rose more than $2 at one point before slipping back to trade just below $61, recovering from their biggest one-day decline in a month on Monday... Read more

Saudi Arabia has reversed course on its pricing tactics with Asian buyers, announcing a significant increase in prices to a market that it had previously tried to woo with discounts... Read more

One-Third of Americans Living on Financial Edge... Read more

Weak U.S. consumer spending points to slower first-quarter growth... Read more

U.S. chief executive officers are modestly more upbeat about the economy and almost half plan to increase capital spending over the next six months, a quarterly business group survey said on Tuesday... Read more

Nearly 13 Million Americans Victimized by ID Thieves in 2014... Read more

Major automakers miss bullish February sales expectations. For the second year in a row, ferocious winter weather slowed U.S. vehicle sales in February, with several major automakers missing analysts' projections and dampening bullish expectations.... Read more

IBM Corp was sued on Monday by a shareholder that said it committed securities fraud by failing to write down a money-losing semiconductor unit before agreeing to pay another company $1.5 billion to take that unit off its hands... Read more

Best Buy Co Inc, the largest U.S. consumer electronics chain, on Tuesday reported higher-than-expected quarterly earnings on a strong holiday season and said it would buy back stock for the first time since 2012... Read more

Lumber Liquidators Says It 'Stands By Every Plank'. Trading was halted Monday in Lumber Liquidators after its shares dropped more than 20 percent following a CBS report that the company sold flooring with higher levels of formaldehyde than permitted under California's health and safety standards (CARB)... Read more

Citigroup Inc said it has agreed to sell its consumer finance unit OneMain Financial Holdings Inc to subprime lender Springleaf Holdings Inc for $4.25 billion in cash. The sale of OneMain, which Citigroup has been seeking to hive off since 2011, is a major step in the No. 3 U.S. bank's plan to sell unwanted assets and focus on wealthier clients... Read more

A Warning From Buffett About Banks. “Money-shufflers don’t come cheap.” That was Warren E. Buffett’s latest salvo against Wall Street from his annual letter to shareholders published over the weekend. Mr. Buffett has long ridiculed the financial industry, but this year’s letter, laced with references to bankers, lawyers and consultants as “a lot of mouths with expensive tastes,” seemed to amp up the pugnacity and was clearly noted by the industry, which pored over the letter... Read more

Forbes rich list: Bill Gates declared world's richest person for a 16th time, Michael Jordan joins list... Read more

EU banks won't undergo stress tests in 2015: EBA... Read more

‘Legendary’ German retail data signal Europe is turning a corner... Read more

State-controlled nuclear group Areva must lay out its industrial strategy and clearly present its financial situation before the French state will consider any financial operation, Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron told Reuters on Tuesday... Read more

Austria Tuesday joined a handful of European countries that have sold five-year government bonds at a negative yield at an auction, reflecting low and falling borrowing costs across the euro area ahead of the start of the European Central Bank’s blockbuster sovereign bond-buying program... Read more

Barclays has reported a fall in profits as it set aside more funds to cover potential fines for misconduct. Statutory pre-tax profits fell 21% to £2.26bn in 2014. The bank increased its provision to cover any fallout from a probe into currency market manipulation by £750m to £1.25bn... Read more

Barclays Plc chief Antony Jenkins has threatened more cuts to its underperforming investment bank after a 750 million pounds ($1.2 billion) charge by the British bank provided fresh evidence of the costs of past misdemeanors by its traders... Read more

Barclays gives information to U.S. precious metals probe... Read more

Ascap Topped $1 Billion in Revenue Last Year... Read more

Heineken launches production of Asian rice beer at Irkutsk brewery... Read more

New Tag Heuer boss replaces top managers in turnaround drive... Read more

Ukraine central bank hikes key rate to 30%... Read more

Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich has invested $5 million in Houston-based Propell Technologies, which through its subsidiary Novas Energy USA has exclusive U.S. rights to a new fracking technology known as plasma-pulse (PPA)... Read more

An online documentary on China's notorious smog has become a viral sensation with more than 155 million views, just one day after it was released. A former anchor with state broadcaster China Central Television, Chai Jing, produced the film Under the Dome, which details causes of atmospheric pollution in the country... Read more

China curbs discussion of documentary on air pollution... Read more

Revenue in Macau's casinos fell by a record amount last month as China's corruption crackdown continued to hit the region's gambling industry... Read more

Latest reports

Latest reports