ASB Securities Morning Brief for Wednesday, 22 April 2015
Wednesday, 22 April 2015

New Zealand Headlines

New Zealand Market Report: New Zealand shares fell, paced by Meridian Energy as traders sold the stock ahead of its second installment date coming due. Spark New Zealand and MightyRiverPower fell as investors looked to book recent gains The NZX 50 Index fell 6.759 points, or 0.1 percent, to 5817.518. Within the index, 25 stocks fell, 15 rose and 10 were unchanged. Turnover was $141 million... Read more

The New Zealand dollar extended its gains against its Australian counterpart after minutes of the Reserve Bank of Australia's last policy meeting echoed comments by governor Glenn Stevens that interest rate cuts may be needed to foster sustainable growth. The kiwi traded at 99.39 Australian cents as at 5pm in Wellington and earlier touched 99.44 cents, from 98.69 cents late yesterday. It reached 99.78 cents on April 6, the closest it has got to parity since being floated. The local currency slipped to 76.53 US cents from 77.01 cents yesterday... Read more

New Zealand a rock star economy, but Auckland house prices “excessive”. New Zealand is still a rock-star economy and there is no case to cut official interest rates with such strong growth, according to HSBC chief economist Paul Bloxham. In the "best of both world" New Zealand was seeing both low inflation and solid growth, which was a recipe for lifting living standards, Bloxham said... Read more

Notes offer confirmed. Kiwi Capital Funding is to offer $150 million of perpetual capital notes to the public. ... Read more

House prices a threat for retirees. Soaring property costs will mean more New Zealanders are likely to experience hardship in retirement.... Read more

Major house price corrections lead to GDP shortfall of about 6%, Moody's says... Read more

NZIER is to launch a tool that will help financial advisers with asset allocation questions.... Read more

Petrol prices rise and fall faster these days - NZIER... Read more

Lesson for NZ in Australia's iron ore boom. Australia could have done a better job at managing its economy, says economist... Read more

Unlisted seeks ministerial exemption from new financial market rules... Read more

Global ICT industry leader Mitac Technology is winding up its Navman Technology NZ unit and transferring the assets to its Australian arm, although it says sales of Navman in-car and Magellan hand-held GPS navigation devices will continue to be supported locally... Read more

NZ’s Huhu Studios signs up to Chinese co-production on 3D ‘Beast of Burden’ film... Read more

Air New Zealand is on the hunt for hundreds of extra flight attendants as its growth surges for the rest of the year... Read more

Ports of Auckland accused of 'giving everyone two concrete fingers' over wharf expansion... Read more

Legal action from MediaWorks, TVNZ, Spark and Sky TV hasn't stopped an offshore push by Bypass Network Services Ltd. The company says it has just signed IndonesianCloud to sell its global mode service into Indonesia... Read more

Make disclosure automatic: Whyte. Insurers could be given online automatic access to clients’ medical records, to avoid issues of non-disclosure, an industry commentator has suggested. ... Read more

Jetstar is now being investigated by the Commerce Commission for using ‘opt-out’ pricing, after Air New Zealand was warned for the same thing earlier this year. A Commerce Commission spokesman confirmed to NBR ONLINE it began looking into Jetstar’s use of the practice – which adds extra charges, such as credit card fees, throughout the booking process onto an advertised fare – at the beginning of this month... Read more

Levelling the gender imbalance pays off. The gap is being closed but it could be done quicker, says professor... Read more

'Hawkish' shareholders want gender diversity, says BlackRock boss... Read more

Plus4 Insurance Solutions has appointed Peter Standish to a newly-created role of group general manager.... Read more

Prominent lawyer Mai Chen has been appointed to the BNZ board of directors.... Read more

Finzsoft Solutions, the Auckland-based financial technology company, appointed Silverlake Axis managing director Raymond Kwong to its board after the group became its cornerstone shareholder... Read more

Callaghan Innovation has terminated a grant awarded to Trends Publishing International after an investigation it referred to the Serious Fraud Office and is seeking repayment of $382,911.97, a demand the company chairman calls "fundamentally unjust."... Read more

Swney fraud tops $4 million. Auckland businessman Alex Swney's actions have reflected poorly on the country, the Serious Fraud Office says... Read more

A bankrupt's KiwiSaver account cannot be accessed by the Official Assignee, despite financial hardship being a reason for individuals to access KiwiSaver funds early, the Court of Appeal has ruled... Read more

Waiheke's biggest landowner has lost a challenge over the zoning on parts of its holdings on the island's eastern tip and on a nearby island. Justice Pamela Andrews yesterday delivered her decision in the case brought by Man O'War Station in the High Court at Auckland against Auckland Council.... Read more

Wellington City Council wins $273,00 from developer in leaky home case... Read more

Corporate warriors Sir Ron Brierley and Tony Gibbs have reconciled since their very public falling-out over the direction of Guinness Peat Group. Commenting on yesterday's news of Brierley's resignation from the board of Coats Group, formerly GPG, Gibbs said it was "the practical and sensible thing for Ron to do"... Read more

Opinion - Greg Harris: IRD backs down on remission rules... Read more

Opinion - Jane Kelsey: NZ irresponsible to follow Obama's TPP spin... Read more

Opinion - Tom Pullar-Stricker: Global Mode a stepping stone to a more entertaining future... Read more

Australian Headlines

Australian Market Report: The Australian sharemarket closed substantially higher after cautious trade as investors weighed up the latest comments from the Reserve Bank of Australia, while an iron ore rally supported mining stocks. At the 4.15pm (AEST) official market close, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index had added 39.2 points, or 0.67 per cent, to 5,872.3, while the broader All Ordinaries index was up 37.2 points, or 0.64 per cent, at 5,844.... Read more

Australian dollar sinks on RBA comments. The Australian dollar was trading at US76.96c at 5pm (AEST), compared with US78.12c late yesterday.... Read more

The head of the Reserve Bank says the booming Sydney property market gets far too much attention, and further interest rate cuts are possible.... Read more

The Reserve Bank of Australia has for the first time addressed “unusual trading” in the Australian dollar before its recent interest rate decisions, blaming illiquid market conditions and computer-driven trading rather than any misconduct or procedural lapses... Read more

The Reserve Bank has been criticised by economists for holding fire on a rate cut as the economy shows little sign of improvement... Read more

Australian governments are going to have a tough time in the years ahead as they face the need to continue cutting costs, New Zealand Finance Minister Bill English says. "The politicians, I think, can see that ahead of them but I'm not sure everyone understands the pressures that go with it," he told AAP... Read more

An energy ’death spiral’ could result in electricity prices skyrocketing as more consumers go ‘off-grid’... Read more

Federal Deposit Insurance Corp officials on Tuesday will release a proposal to help them better sort through a large, complex bank's accounts in the event of a sudden failure. ... Read more

Premier aims to ease Budget pain. Colin Barnett set the scene for a State Budget that will inflict some pain yesterday, but said it had been designed to have minimal impact on WA households.... Read more

Rio Tinto plans to increase iron ore sales this year to 350 million tonnes, despite prices being at decade lows and surprisingly weak quarterly production. Rio's shares were 93 cents, or 1.7 per cent, higher at $55.59 at 1456 AEST.... Read more

Atlas Iron has asked for an extension to its share trading suspension as it continues carrying out a review and talking with creditors and contractors. Atlas, which recently shut its three Pilbara mines, said it was not in breach of its debt covenants and the recent falls in the iron ore price had left the company with little choice but to suspend production in April... Read more

Novogen is tapping investors for $30.5 million as it prepares to enter a major growth phase fuelled by development of its cancer fighting drugs. The biotech is carrying out a $15.5 million share placement with institutional investors and issuing another $15 million worth of shares to existing shareholders... Read more

Leighton chief executive Marcelino Fernandez Verdes says its trouble-plagued Middle Eastern operations remain a good opportunity for the company and has assured shareholders that its legacy issues in the region are going to become “increasingly easy to support’’. Leighton’ 45 per cent owned Middle Eastern business Al Habtoor Leighton (HLG) recorded another break-even performance during the 2014 financial year... Read more

Leighton Holdings AGM: Fernandez Verdes under fire over pay... Read more

Banks face Senate grilling over dodgy financial advice. Critics of the financial planning services provided by Australia's major banks are maintaining their calls for a royal commission to help clean up the sector.... Read more

Banks open to $50m industry insurance scheme for bad financial advice... Read more

Shares in G8 Education were the worst performer on the ASX 200 on Tuesday after the Gold Coast-based childcare centre operator warned it faced higher costs. The company, which owns 455 centres, says it expects costs to rise by around three per cent, or $2 to $2.20 per child, if the federal government’s National Quality Framework laws on staff-to-child ratios come into force in January as expected... Read more

Myer chairman Paul McClintock's job safe – for now. Myer's Paul McClintock may not have the full backing of shareholders, but many think that stability is necessary, especially in the midst of a strategic review... Read more

Optus parent Singtel has requested approval to delist from the Australian Stock Exchange over low trade volumes, the company said today. Singtel listed on the ASX in September 2001 as a result of its acquisition of Optus. It has a market cap of $67.1 billion... Read more

Farmers offer cautious welcome to Murray Goulburn capital raising plan... Read more

Morningstar has slashed its earning expectations for marine services provider MMA Offshore over the next two years because of the oil price slump. Morningstar's falls near the lower end of broker price targets for MMA, which range from 87¢ to $1.50. The research organisation yesterday also cut its fair value estimate of MMA's share price from $1.70 to $1... Read more

NBN Co reveals active service dates for 1000-node trial sites... Read more

Insurance Council says 7,100 claims now lodged for severe NSW weather... Read more

A marketing drive by major credit card issuers appears to be working. New figures show that demand for the plastic has soared 13.5 per cent in the past year, the strongest activity in nearly a decade... Read more

The scope of a planned $4.9 billion overhaul of a 1.5km stretch of the Cockburn coast will be revealed today when the first residential lots are released for sale. The long-planned redevelopment of the old South Fremantle power station and surrounding land is billed as the biggest coastal urban redevelopment of its kind in WA... Read more

Opinion - Ian Verrander: WA's uneasy relationship with the big miners behind GST fight.... Read more

Opinion - Neer Korn: Housing affordability means re-evaluating the Australian dream... Read more

International Headlines

U.S. Market Report: U.S. stocks were mixed on Tuesday, with the Dow industrials pulled down by a handful of uninspiring earnings reports, while the Nasdaq was pushed higher by a proposed biotech merger. Travelers, DuPont and IBM shares weighed most on the Dow... Read more

North/South Americas Market Report: North and South American markets are mixed. The IPC is higher by 0.86%, while the Bovespa is leading the S&P 500 lower. They are down 0.36% and 0.06% respectively... Read more

European Market Report: European markets finished higher today with shares in Germany leading the region. The DAX is up 0.40% while London's FTSE 100 is up 0.15% and France's CAC 40 is up 0.10%... Read more

Asian Market Report: Asian markets closed sharply higher today with shares in Hong Kong leading the region. The Hang Seng is up 2.79% while China's Shanghai Composite is up 1.82% and Japan's Nikkei 225 is up 1.40%... Read more

U.S. regulator wants better deposit data from big banks. The largest U.S. and foreign banks would need to keep track of deposits better under a plan launched by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation on Tuesday, as many lenders have grown and become more complex... Read more

Gas price fallout: People trading in hybrids for SUVs... Read more

New York's banking regulator will not settle with Barclays Plc over foreign exchange trading in coming weeks unless the deal excludes a probe of the possible rigging of rates through computer programs, the agency's superintendent said on Tuesday... Read more

Harley-Davidson Inc. on Tuesday cut its motorcycle-shipment outlook for the year as it struggles with growing competition and discounting in the U.S. The guidance came as the company reported better-than-expected earnings growth for its first quarter, though revenue came in below Wall Street expectations. Shares fell 2.9% in premarket trading.... Read more

Trading revenue from the world's biggest banks showed signs of recovery in the first quarter as financial market volatility boosted dealing room profits after years of attrition... Read more

Lockheed Martin profit falls 6 percent on fewer jet deliveries... Read more

More oil industry pain: Halliburton slashes 9,000 jobs... Read more

Chemical maker DuPont reported lower sales in all of its businesses and said a strong dollar would take a bigger toll on its full-year earnings than it had expected. The company's shares were down 1.6 percent at $71.66 in light trading before the bell... Read more

Paul Ceglia, a fugitive who claims he owns 50% of Facebook, cannot appeal a court ruling against him. A federal appeals court called the 41-year old Ceglia's attempt to revive his years-old case against Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook "meritless."... Read more

A financial trader has been arrested in the UK after US authorities accused him of contributing to the 2010 Wall Street "flash crash". US regulators are seeking to extradite Navinder Singh Sarao, 37, who is charged with wire fraud, commodities fraud, and market manipulation. The crash wiped billions of dollars off the value of US shares in minutes... Read more

BlackBerry to buy WatchDox to bolster data security... Read more

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker urged Greece on Tuesday to step up efforts to strike a deal with its international creditors, warning that talks were not advanced enough to find a quick solution... Read more

Wary of brinkmanship, euro zone steers away from new deadlines for Greece, official says... Read more

White House adviser says 'Grexit' carries major risks... Read more

U.S. and British officials are preparing to announce a settlement with Deutsche Bank AG as soon as Thursday over allegations it tried to rig benchmark interest rates such as Libor, two sources with knowledge of the matter said... Read more

Standard Chartered has a strong business case to move its headquarters from London to Singapore and save millions in taxes as, unlike HSBC, it doesn't have a banking network in the UK, Aberdeen Asset Management said... Read more

Top BNP Paribas banker Francois Villeroy de Galhau emerged as a possible candidate to replace the retiring governor of the Bank of France on Tuesday as he was named to lead a new state-sponsored investment drive... Read more

Safran faces AGM heat as revolt over French Florange law widens. Proxy advisory firms are threatening to block key financial resolutions at French aerospace group Safran, opening a second front in a battle between the French government and institutional investors over a new corporate law... Read more

Russian economy shrinks 2% as sanctions bite - Medvedev... Read more

Sanctions will cost Russia more than $100 billion.... Read more

Yamal LNG has contracts to supply 80% of gas to Asia... Read more

Aberdeen Asset Management's head of Asian operations warned on Tuesday that Chinese money was moving "a bit like a casino" in domestic stock markets, while BlackRock called on China to reform its capital markets further to avert boom and bust scenarios. China stocks .SSEC have jumped nearly 80 percent since November to trade near seven-year highs... Read more

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