ASB Securities Morning Brief for Monday, 02 March 2015
Monday, 02 March 2015

New Zealand Headlines

New Zealand Market Report: New Zealand shares rose paced by Genesis Energy and Property For Industry, on good sentiment around the local economy and demand for dividend paying stocks. Xero fell as investors took the chance to crystalise profits from its recent surge. The NZX 50 Index rose 16.79 points, or 0.3 percent, to a fresh record of 5878.472. Within the index, 30 stocks rose, 12 fell and eight were unchanged. Turnover was $192 million... Read more

The New Zealand dollar is heading for a 0.4 percent gain against the greenback this week, ahead of what might be an extended rally for the US currency as the prospects for the world's biggest economy remain strong. The kiwi rose to 75.48 US cents at 5pm in Wellington from 75.18 cents on Friday in New York last week. It traded at 75.31 cents at 8am, and was down from 75.63 cents yesterday. The trade-weighted index increased to 78.42 from 78.26 yesterday, and is heading for a 0.4 percent weekly gain from 78.12 last Friday... Read more

Trade Minister Tim Groser departs for China tonight to undertake a range of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) related meetings including discussions with his trade counterpart, Minister Gao Hucheng... Read more

February as agri sector gets more upbeat... Read more

Consents were issued for nearly $1 billion of building work last month, the latest data from Statistics NZ shows.... Read more

The average asking price of homes for sale in New Zealand has pushed past half a million dollars for the first time, realestate.co.nz says. Sellers' expectations during February averaged $511,421, the monthly data shows... Read more

Buying a house in Auckland just got a bit more daunting. New figures from Realestate.co.nz show the average asking price of properties listed for sale in the city last month reached a record $764,000.... Read more

The surging New Zealand dollar is pushing Kiwi property investors and holiday home hunters across the Tasman in search of more bang for their buck. Anecdotal evidence from estate agents and investor groups shows inquiries from Kiwis are increasing as the dollar goes from strength to strength... Read more

Retirement sector adds to landbanks to meet rising baby boomer demand. The exponential growth of the retirement village and aged care sector across New Zealand is one of the major trends dictating the buyup of large development sites across the country according to leading property agency, Bayleys... Read more

SBS Bank’s push into the Auckland market, with the use of mortgage advisers, is starting to pay off.... Read more

Mortgage brokers' obligation to insurance. There’s a claim mortgage advisers of the future will have to be much more confident about insurance products as well as home loans.... Read more

Insurers to rule on what makes a SME... Read more

Co-ops need growth cash, says bank. Growing global market opportunities and the need to strengthen supply chains are creating a thirst for capital among agricultural co-operatives around the world, rural lending specialist Rabobank said... Read more

New Zealand farm investment company MyFarm, which up until now has specialised in the pastoral sector, has weighed into kiwifruit with the launch of a $5 million orchard syndicate... Read more

Fonterra's Glencoal says Waikato mine delayed, not on hold... Read more

Bathurst Resources, which last year wrote off the value of assets covered by its Buller coal project, posted a first half loss as it continues to wait for international coal prices to improve. Shares of Bathurst jumped 20 percent to 5.9 cents and are up 63 percent this year.... Read more

TSB Bank writes off $53.9 mln Solid Energy debt; Fitch affirms A- rating... Read more

Woolworths, increased first half earnings 2.9 percent as it cut costs and boosted volumes to compensate for lower prices.... Read more

Food giant Sanitarium, the tax-exempt manufacturer of Weet-Bix and Marmite, is expected to reap significant financial returns from the sale of a United States-based drug developer's intellectual property to a Nasdaq-listed pharmaceutical firm.... Read more

Hawkesby-owned logistics company gears up for IPO. The company released a statement this afternoon confirming it is considering an IPO to raise between $30-50 million, ahead of listing on the NZX main board... Read more

Pyne Gould Corp, whose 2014 accounts are being looked into by the market regulator, reported a first-half loss as it was hit with foreign exchange adjustments and losses from its subsidiaries, and wrote down the value of what it expects to be paid on the sale of its Perpetual Trust unit. The shares were unchanged at 38 cents, and have dropped 9.5 percent this year.... Read more

Delegat targets North America to build on record-breaking sales... Read more

'We've never seen a competitor in any category behave in this manner' — MYOB on Xero man's outburst... Read more

A targeted rate to pay the Hastings District Council’s $55.7-million public debt over five years, as implied by the Local Government Commission, could mean an extra $367.90 per year per ratepayer, Hastings Against Amalgamation spokesman Mike Butler said today... Read more

Court rules on Hubbard payout. Judge’s ruling means entitlements of others caught up in collapse of business will be significantly less... Read more

The public is being warned to be wary of misleading advertising promoting "risk-free, money-back investments". The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) says people should be wary of a company trading as Eco Investments Group that is offering a high-return investment programme... Read more

Taurus Group tells investors 'don't speak to media'. Investors in property syndicates formerly run by SPI have been told to close ranks to the media. Two separate investors in the syndicates, which notched up $25 million in accumulated losses during the 2014 financial year, say their manager, Taurus Group, wrote about not speaking to the media.... Read more

Tensions rise at Dotcom hearing close... Read more

Opinion - Gareth Morgan: 'Tax mega-rich for their Kiwi hideaways' . Gareth Morgan says we should have a Comprehensive Capital Income Tax for everyone and that would mean the global elite using NZ would pay their share... Read more

Opinion - Liam Dann: Fresh Chinese rate cut highlights slowdown risk... Read more

Opinion - Brian Gaynor: Results season shows lacklustre performance... Read more





Australian Headlines

Australian Market Report: The Australian stock market looks set to open higher after a mixed night in overseas markets. At 0652 AEDT on Friday, the March share price index futures contract was up seven points at 5,885... Read more

The Australian dollar is struggling to hold above US78 cents after strong core inflation figures from the US strengthened the greenback. At 5pm (AEDT), the local currency was trading at US78.03 cents, down from US 78.47 cents yesterday... Read more

No debt crisis in Australia but spending cuts needed, new Treasury secretary, John Fraser, says... Read more

The author of a major review of Australia's complex welfare system believes change has to happen either through this federal government or a future one. Former Mission Australia boss Patrick McClure's report prepared for the Abbott government aims to simplify a welfare system that has 20 payment streams and 55 supplements into five core payments... Read more

Reporting season wraps up; focus shifts back to RBA... Read more

The corporate reporting season has drawn to a close, with market watchers divided on whether earnings have been strong enough to maintain the stock market’s momentum... Read more

Australia's gold output hit an 11-year high in 2014 but lower prices have caused job losses and may lead to mines shutting prematurely. Production rose four per cent to 284 tonnes in 2014, it's highest level since 2003, Sandra Close, a director of mining consultants Surbiton and Associates said... Read more

Glencore to cut Australian coal output. Glencore's move to curb Australian coal production by around 15 per cent highlights a growing tactical split with miners of another commodity--iron ore--in tackling a prolonged period of low prices... Read more

Cokal Limited has been granted an ASX trading halt in relation to a potential takeover proposal.... Read more

Discovery Metals granted trading halt. Discovery Metals is preparing to update the market in regards to the receipt of correspondence from DML’s Lender Group... Read more

Communities sign up to oppose fracking for unconventional gas in WA's Mid West... Read more

Yancoal Australia expects the oversupply in coal markets to continue in 2015 after booking a full year net loss of $353.5 million. The troubled coal company released its results to the market around 8.30pm (AEST) on Friday. The full year loss of $353.5m compared favourably with the $832.1m loss from the previous calendar year... Read more

Woolworths will funnel more than A$500 million ($516 million) into improving sales as it lags further behind supermarket rival Coles. The company's supermarkets division reported a disappointing 3.4 per cent increase in sales for the half year, markedly weaker than Coles' sales growth of 5.3 per cent... Read more

GrainCorp has warned its full year profit could dive more than 50 per cent due to smaller crops and weaker exports. The company is now forecasting an underlying profit of between $45 million and $60 million, down from $95 million in 2014. GrainCorp shares dropped 20 cents, or 1.99 per cent, to $9.87.... Read more

Southern Cross Austereo wants to put a dismal 2014 behind it as it pins its hopes on a new breakfast radio team in Sydney and improved ratings from its TV affiliate, Ten. Southern Cross shares gained 17 cents, or 18.2 per cent, to $1.105.... Read more

Business Learning Institute joins growing online degree market... Read more

Packaging group PaperlinX has announced an even deeper half year loss stemming from problems in Europe, a week after its chief executive was sacked and replaced. The company's shares closed flat at 1.8 cents.... Read more

Australians are splurging at Harvey Norman as their houses and share portfolios increase in value. The retailer is forecasting sales growth in its homemaker products this year thanks to improved consumer confidence following a 27.4 per cent boost to half year net profit. Shares in the company rose 5.5 cents, or 1.3 per cent, to $4.40 at 1610 AEDT.... Read more

Queensland companies are boosting their earnings and share prices through acquisitions as tougher economic times make it harder to boost sales organically. Corporate Travel Management, Cromwell Property Group, Retail Food Group, Flight Centre and Green Cross are among local companies whose bottom lines have been helped by acquisitions... Read more

A class action has been launched to recover millions of dollars in credit card late payment fees from two of Australia's largest finance companies. HSBC and GE Capital Finance provide finance and credit card facilities to customers of thousands of retailers and service providers including Buyer's Edge, Coles, JB Hi Fi, The Good Guys and Myer... Read more

Telcos could charge individuals to access their own metadata... Read more

CCC called into potato wars. WA's potato wars have taken a bizarre twist with the State Government-sanctioned marketing corporation taking an internal complaint about one of its top executives to the Corruption and Crime Commission... Read more

The Australian chief executive officer of an exchange company for Bitcoin cyber currency has been killed in a motorcycle accident in Thailand. Melbourne resident Adam Tepper, the 34-year-old boss of Independent Reserve, was holidaying on the Thai resort island of Phuket... Read more

Opinion - Mark Gregory: NBN will suffer under telcos' lack of vision... Read more





International Headlines

North/South Americas Market Report: North and South American markets finished lower on Friday with shares in Mexico leading the region. The IPC is down 0.51% while Brazil's Bovespa is off 0.44% and U.S.'s S&P 500 is lower by 0.30%.... Read more

European Market Report: European markets finished mixed as of the most recent closing prices. The CAC 40 gained 0.83% and the DAX rose 0.66%. The FTSE 100 lost 0.04%... Read more

Asian Market Report: Asian markets finished mixed as of the most recent closing prices. The Shanghai Composite gained 0.36% and the Nikkei 225 rose 0.06%. The Hang Seng lost 0.29%.... Read more

Copper continues to improve following a sharp decline to US$2.42 in mid-January, which was a more than five-year low for the metal... Read more

Homeland Security funding drama darkens U.S. fiscal outlook. Congress narrowly averted a partial shutdown of the U.S. domestic security agency late on Friday night, but the forces behind the chaotic episode remain - fractious Republicans and House Speaker John Boehner's lack of control over them... Read more

U.S. economy slowed in fourth quarter, but growth outlook still favorable... Read more

These are the most profitable Nasdaq biotech companies. Biotechnology stocks tend to be risky, but some are backed by real products and solid earnings... Read more

Herbalife Ltd cut the pay of Chief Executive Michael Johnson 36 percent for 2014 after the nutrition and weight loss company failed to meet performance goals set for him and other top executives, according to a securities filing on Friday. Shares in Herbalife fell 11 percent on Friday after the company cut its earnings guidance for 2015 to reflect the stronger dollar.... Read more

With a winning bid of $25 million, Google Inc. beat Amazon Inc. and others to control the top-level web domain ending “.app”. The company won an auction Wednesday on ICANN, the nonprofit that oversees the Internet. The $25 million sum is the most paid so far in an ICANN auction, according to a spokesperson... Read more

Warren Buffett wants to buy more businesses to add to Berkshire Hathaway Inc's "sprawl," but cautioned it may not keep the company he has run for 50 years from evolving into something rarely used to describe it up until now: average... Read more

Warren Buffett says Berkshire has 'right person' as heir... Read more

Warren Buffett admits 'thumb-sucking' over Tesco cost him $444m In a letter to shareholders, the American billionaire said he had made a ‘huge mistake’ by investing in the supermarket... Read more

ECB braces for QE as others shift rates... Read more

British Airways owner International Airlines Group (IAG) has reported a big jump in annual profit and raised its forecast for 2015. IAG reported pre-tax profits of €828m (£601m) for the year to 31 December.... Read more

Germany will spend more on defense in coming years in response to growing global instability, Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said in an interview published on Sunday. He did not tell newspaper Bild am Sonntag how much extra Europe's largest economy would spend, or when the increases would kick in... Read more

Bankia Profit Rises as Higher Revenue Offset Provisions for IPO... Read more

Airbus Group Chief Executive Tom Enders has given the strongest hint yet that he may seek a new term as head of Europe's largest aerospace company, telling a French newspaper he does not feel ready for retirement when his mandate expires next year... Read more

China's central bank has announced that it will cut the benchmark deposit and loan interest rates by 25 basis points. The move, which is effective on Sunday, comes as authorities seek to prop up flagging growth in the world's second-largest economy... Read more

New Year celebrations give Chinese economy a hangover... Read more

The Japanese company JCB, one of the world's leading payment systems, is launching card production in Russia with the support of the Gazprombank local bank. ... Read more

South Korea cracks down on its rich and privileged elite.... Read more

Hyundai recalls more than 200,000 Elantras over steering problem... Read more

Indian Budget 2015: As It Happened. The Wall Street Journal reporters in New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore live blogged Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first full-budget Saturday... Read more

With the strongest election mandate in 30 years and oil prices sliding, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a chance to quickly get India’s finances under control in his first full-year budget.... Read more

The Modi government’s budget offered some sops for middle-class tax payers and a series of steps aimed at boosting social security for the country’s poor... Read more

Opinion - Nicholas A Vardy: Why U.S. small caps will beat Buffett’s Berkshire by 2024... Read more

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