ASB Securities Morning Brief for Friday, 27 February 2015
Friday, 27 February 2015

New Zealand Headlines

New Zealand Market Report: New Zealand shares rose, pushing the NZX 50 Index to a record, as investors cheered Xero's US capital raising. A2 Milk Co paced the gain on its plans to list in Australia. The NZX 50 Index rose 19.39 points, or 0.3 percent, to 5861.682. Within the index, 19 stocks rose, 24 fell and seven were unchanged. Turnover was $198 million... Read more

The New Zealand dollar gained against its Australian counterpart after economic data from the two nations pointed to diverging fortunes for their respective economies. The kiwi rose to 96.22 Australian at 5pm in Wellington from 95.53 cents yesterday. It advanced to 75.62 US cents from 75.46 cents at 8am, and 75.29 cents yesterday... Read more

NZX and S&P Dow Jones enter indices deal... Read more

New Zealand's top business bosses are losing confidence with the global economy, a new survey has found. Kiwi CEOs were less positive about the outlook for the global economy than they were last year, according to PWC's New Zealand insights publication, with 47% believing the global economy will improve in the next 12 months compared to last year's 63%.... Read more

New Zealand eked out a merchandise trade surplus of $56 million last month, its first since last June, but on an annual basis the deficit widened to $1.4 billion from $1.2 billion for calendar 2014... Read more

Online spending at overseas sites has continued to grow strongly and was last month up 14 per cent on the same time last year according to new figures. However, the value of online spending domestically was only up a mere 2 per cent on last January, according to BNZ's latest quarterly online retail sales report... Read more

Finance Minister Bill English said calls by the Reserve Bank Governor for more densification in Auckland's housing were "about as popular in parts of Auckland as Ebola" would be... Read more

Are banks allowing bigger mortgages? There are claims lower interest rates are driving banks give buyers bigger mortgages than their income would previously have allowed... Read more

The New Zealand government is looking at ways Tamaki Redevelopment Co can help boost the supply of affordable housing, which forms part of its focus on the nation's "unbalanced" property market, Finance Minister Bill English says... Read more

The grass isn't greener: More Kiwis sticking to this side of the Ditch. The allure of the lucky country is fading, as fewer Kiwis leave for Australia and more return - a brain gain forecast to continue this year... Read more

Migration swamps housing... Read more

The New Zealand Superannuation Fund's litigation against the Portuguese central bank, the Bank of Portugal, could end up before the European Court of Justice, says the fund's chief executive, Adrian Orr... Read more

NZ Superfund spent $150,000, so far, in legal fees in Portuguese banking case... Read more

NZ Super Fund Guardians have reviewed Oak Finance loss; 'refinements' around process possible; Loss may not have happened if NZ Super Fund name was used... Read more

New Zealand's dairy industry has committed $5 million over two years to the fight against stoats, rats and possums, which destroy native flora and fauna, and can carry bovine tuberculosis. The Zero Invasive Predators scheme, or ZIP, formed after a $10 million injection from philanthropic fund NEXT Foundation, and a further commitment of $5 million from the Department of Conservation... Read more

Fonterra 'on track' to hit payout. Fonterra chief financial officer Lukas Paravicini rejects the notion that the co-operative is playing safe in keeping this season's farm gate milk price forecast at $4.70 a kilogram of milksolids. Fonterra's forecast is based on whole milk prices reaching US$3500 a tonne by the second quarter, compared with US$3272 a tonne at the last GlobalDairyTrade (GDT) auction... Read more

Aalt Dijkhuizen: The future of NZ Dairy - more with less... Read more

Scales Corp, New Zealand's biggest apple exporter, reported a 9.8 percent drop in annual profit, beating its offer document forecast, after better-than-expected apple volumes drove up earnings in its horticulture division... Read more

Fliway to raise up to $50 mln in first NZ IPO of the year... Read more

SBS Bank today declared a surplus before tax of $20.9 million for the nine months ended 31 December 2014, a 41% increase on the same period in 2013... Read more

Harmoney CEO 'getting excited' about potential move into the residential mortgage market. New Zealand's only licenced peer-to-peer (P2P) lender is eyeing a push into the residential mortgage market.... Read more

MYOB reports record revenue, ebitda, but debt mountain grows, net loss widens... Read more

Gentrack Group, which develops utilities and airport software, affirmed its annual profit guidance and said it is looking at potential acquisitions in its core markets. The shares rose 2.2 percent to $2.30, and have gained 4.7 percent this year. That's still lower than its $2.40 offer price, which it has traded below since the August profit warning... Read more

Air NZ soars on stronger outlook... Read more

Vital Healthcare Property Trust, the country's biggest listed healthcare property investor, reported a 21 percent drop in first-half earnings as it faced a bigger tax bill relating to a lease transaction, having benefited from a tax credit a year earlier... Read more

Mercer Group, the stainless steel fabricator and manufacturer, reported a first-half loss after the sale of an S-Clave licence a year earlier washed through, and the company expects to lift profitability in the full year. The company announced the result after the close of trading. Mercer's shares were unchanged at 18.5 cents, and have declined 7.5 percent this year... Read more

Ports of Auckland: Reclamation work to start in April... Read more

Lyttelton Port of Christchurch says first half freight volumes have been hit by an export-based partnership using rival PrimePort Timaru instead of the LPC freight hub. The port, now fully owned by the Christchurch City Council, yesterday said it achieved a significant increase in trade for the six months to December 31 with container volumes up 3 per cent, driven by strong import growth... Read more

Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee has clipped the wings of a fledgling regional airline before it can get off the ground, rejecting plans to operate domestic flights from Whenuapai airbase, northwest of Auckland, to Wellington... Read more

NZX head of policy & legal Robin Dey resigns, position split... Read more

One of the country’s biggest banks is having trouble recruiting financial advisers. ASB’s head of wealth, Jonathan Beale, said his division had been in a growth phase for some time. He would like to add another seven or eight financial advisers to the staff... Read more

Russell McVeagh has once again been recognised at the 2015 ILO Client Choice Awards.... Read more

NZ links to Irish sub-prime stoush highlight the potential for an undesirable form of regulatory arbitrage around our AML law... Read more

FMA: No hold-up. There is no hold-up with the investigation into Milford Asset Management, the Financial Markets Authority says.... Read more

Disgraced lawyer Davina Murray has been banned from legal practice by a disciplinary tribunal order today. Ms Murray was convicted under the Corrections Act of delivering contraband items to her client, convicted murderer and rapist Liam Reid. She had given him an iPhone and cigarettes... Read more

Seventeen Shanton Fashion stores are to close as the company begins a restructuring process under voluntary administration. Up to 70 staff working for Shanton Fashions will lose their jobs while some staff will be relocated to other stores... Read more

OIO judges Dotcom ‘good character’ – despite hacking, insider trading, reckless driving... Read more

Opinion - Pattrick Smellie: Pumped up over petrol price margins... Read more

Australian Headlines

Australian Market Report: The Australian sharemarket has snapped a three-day winning streak, pulling back from recent seven-year highs on weakness in financial and mining stocks. At the 4.15pm (AEDT) official market close, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index had fallen 36.4 points, or 0.61 per cent, to 5908.5, while the broader All Ordinaries index slipped 30.7 points, or 0.52 per cent, to 5877.9.... Read more

The Australian dollar has touched US79c for the first time in a month as investors cheered Chinese data and muted expectations for rate hikes in the US. At 7.05am (AEDT), the Australian dollar was trading at US78.93c, up from US78.88c at the close of local trade yesterday... Read more

Australia to tighten food labelling laws after China scare... Read more

New capital spending drops sharply for December quarter... Read more

Another cut to interest rates appears more likely after the mining sector led a much bigger-than-expected decline in business investment. Bureau of Statistics figures show capital expenditure (capex) fell by 2.2 per cent in the December quarter, to $37.5 billion... Read more

Hydraulic fracking gets go ahead in Northern Territory as Tasmania extends ban by five years... Read more

White Cliff Minerals has strong response to rights issue. White Cliff Minerals has received a vote of confidence with shareholders subscribing for 86,468,474 shares, or more than 75% of the shares offered under its 1 for 4 rights issue priced at $0.008.... Read more

Newcrest Mining is selling a 17.4% stake of Evolution Mining in a $105.9 million deal through Macquarie Capital.... Read more

Singapore-listed Noble Group said Thursday that its full-year net profit fell 46 per cent from a year ago as a $US200 million ($A253.9m) impairment against coal company Yancoal weighed. Noble has a 13 per cent stake in the ASX-listed mining company.... Read more

Carnavale Resources acquiring U.S. gold and copper projects... Read more

Mining services firm Ausdrill will cut more jobs as tumbling commodity prices drove a $177 million half year loss. The company hopes a weaker Australia dollar will revive the local gold sector and deliver a boost to the company's core business... Read more

Lincoln Minerals applies for mining lease over South Australia graphite mine... Read more

Decision on Abbot Point onshore dumping delayed. The Federal Government has extended the deadline to decide on whether or not to approve onshore dumping of dredge spoil from the Abbot Point coal terminal expansion near the Great Barrier Reef off north Queensland... Read more

Avalon Mineral has been granted a trading halt by the ASX pending the release of details regarding a material capital raising... Read more

Mining services firm Ausdrill will cut more jobs as tumbling commodity prices drove a $177 million half year loss... Read more

The latest round of profit results features strong revenue growth from across the spectrum, with Ramsay Healthcare and building materials company Adelaide Brighton receiving positive responses from the market... Read more

Qantas has flown clear of its recent losses to post a first-half profit of $203 million, boosted by cut-price fuel and continuing cost cutting. Today's result was in stark contrast to the record full-year loss of $2.8 billion posted by Qantas for the 2013–2014 financial year, following a $235 million half-year loss for the six months to December 2013... Read more

The stars finally align for Alan Joyce as Qantas posts $203m half-year profit... Read more

Transfield profit growth disappoints. Shares in engineering and contracting firm Transfield Services have plunged despite an 80 per cent rise in half year profit... Read more

Australia Post says it is not threatened by a newly-announced partnership between eBay and Woolworths which will allow online shoppers to pick up online purchases from their closest supermarket... Read more

Virtus mulls entering UK... Read more

Shareholders in Goodman Fielder, the maker of a wide range of iconic Australian food brands, have voted overwhelmingly in favour of a foreign takeover. Goodman Fielder shares closed at 67 cents on the ASX.... Read more

Magazine, book and catalogue printer PMP has suffered a fall in earnings and revenue despite improvements in its business for self publishers. PMP said subdued retail conditions had impacted catalogue distribution in the half year to December 31. PMP shares were down two cents at 47 cents at the close.... Read more

NBN Co's financial losses are climbing as the network builder ramps up the speed at which it connects premises to the national broadband network. At its first-half fiscal 2015 results briefing today, NBN Co reported a loss before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation of $497 million for the six months to December 2014... Read more

Olivia Mead wins $25m in court battle over father's will... Read more

Opinion - Callam Pickering: A swift wake-up call for APRA. Australia’s capital expenditure is set to contract sharply over the next two years -- particularly within the mining and manufacturing sectors -- with business investment set to fall at its most rapid pace since our last recession... Read more

International Headlines

U.S. Market Report: U.S. stocks held near the unchanged mark on Thursday in the wake of a mixed bag of economic data, with the Dow and S&P 500 holding just off record highs while the Nasdaq advanced modestly.... Read more

North/South Americas Market Report: North and South American markets are mixed. The IPC is higher by 0.38%, while the Bovespa is leading the S&P 500 lower. They are down 0.57% and 0.05% respectively... Read more

European Market Report: European markets finished broadly higher today with shares in Germany leading the region. The DAX is up 1.04% while France's CAC 40 is up 0.58% and London's FTSE 100 is up 0.21%.... Read more

Asian Market Report: Asian markets finished broadly higher today with shares in China leading the region. The Shanghai Composite is up 2.15% while Japan's Nikkei 225 is up 1.08% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng is up 0.51%... Read more

Inflation trend turns negative for first time since 2009. Consumer prices fell in January for the third straight month while inflation over the past 12 months turned negative for the first time since 2009, largely because of cheaper gasoline... Read more

Jobless claims surge 31,000 to 313,000... Read more

Apple to host 'special' event on March 9... Read more

U.S. regulators are poised to impose the toughest rules yet on Internet service providers, aiming to ensure fair treatment of all web traffic through their networks... Read more

Google Inc. is making its largest bet yet on renewable energy, a $300 million investment to support at least 25,000 SolarCity Corp. rooftop power plants. Google is contributing to a SolarCity fund valued at $750 million, the largest ever created for residential solar, the San Mateo, California-based solar panel installer said Thursday in a statement... Read more

IBM targets $40 billion in cloud, other growth areas by 2018... Read more

Starbucks proves again that it won't stop with just coffee. Its latest project involves a new media start-up that "will create and produce nonfiction, social-impact content," according to the new company's founder, Rajiv Chandrasekaran... Read more

Citigroup to be latest to embrace proxy reform for shareholders... Read more

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has sent letters to several companies asking for years of nondisclosure agreements, employment contracts and other documents to investigate whether companies are muzzling corporate whistleblowers, the Wall Street Journal reported... Read more

Standard Chartered said former JPMorgan investment bank boss Bill Winters will take over as chief executive in June, replacing Peter Sands in a major management overhaul following two years of problems... Read more

Greece struggles to get citizens to pay their taxes... Read more

Bank lending in the euro zone fell slightly in January but at a slower pace than a month earlier, suggesting the economy may be turning a corner as consumer morale picks up in the bloc's largest economies... Read more

RBS to exit 10 countries, cut back in Asia, U.S.... Read more

UK state-owned bank RBS has reported a loss of £3.5bn for 2014, down from a £9bn loss the previous year. The results were hit by a £4bn writedown on the sale of its US business, Citizens... Read more

German insurer Allianz raised its dividend by less than expected after earnings in its core property and casualty insurance businesses lagged and asset management stalled following client defections at its U.S. unit Pimco. Shares in Europe's largest insurer fell more than 3 percent on Thursday and were the biggest decliners in Germany's blue chip DAX .GDAXI index after the company announced a dividend of 6.85 euros ($8) per share... Read more

Ladbrokes to close 60 UK shops as profits fall... Read more

Spain's Iberdrola to buy UIL Holdings for about $3 billion... Read more

Hedge funds seeking 1.2 billion euros ($1.4 billion) in damages from Porsche SE over its botched attempt to take over carmaker Volkswagen in 2008 look set to have their case dismissed, according to a German judge... Read more

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne has increased his voting stake in the carmaker to nearly 1 percent after benefiting from a stock grant plan, just as the company readies to spin off luxury brand Ferrari. The stake makes him one of the largest individual shareholders in FCA, the world's seventh-biggest carmaker, whose share price has soared 75 percent since the Ferrari spin-off was announced in October... Read more

Loans by China's state-owned banks to Latin American countries rose by 71% to $22bn (£14bn) in 2014, according to estimates published by the China-Latin America Finance Database. The figure is the second largest on record for Chinese lending in Latin America, according to the report... Read more

China's Lenovo becomes victim of cyber-attack... Read more

General Motors will stop making GM-branded cars in Indonesia, a battleground for global automakers, closing an assembly plant, axing some 500 jobs and shifting its focus to sport utility vehicles... Read more

Samsung Electronics will freeze wages in 2015 for employees in South Korea for the first time in six years, after the world's biggest smartphone maker saw profits fall in the face of rising competition... Read more

Jaspal Bindra, a Standard Chartered group executive director and the bank’s chief executive officer for Asia is to step down from his position at the end of April, as part of a broad management shakeup, the bank said... Read more

India to Spend $137 Billion to Upgrade Railways. The government kept passenger fares unchanged in the budget for the fiscal year starting April 1... Read more

Analysis - Phillip Van Doorn: 10 Nasdaq tech stocks expected to rise as much as 189%... Read more

Latest reports

Latest reports