ASB Securities Morning Brief for Saturday, 20 August 2016
Saturday, 20 August 2016

New Zealand Headlines

New Zealand Market Report: New Zealand shares rose, led by Tegel Group on prospects for growth in Australia while Port of Tauranga dropped following broker downgrades. The S&P/NZX 50 Index gained 20.14 points, or 0.3 percent, to 7,405.26. Within the index, 24 stocks rose, 21 fell and six were unchanged. Turnover was $162 million... Read more

The New Zealand dollar was little changed near 73USc after the minutes of the Federal Reserve's last policy review showed little appetite for a rate hike in the near-term. The kiwi traded at 72.91USc at 8am in Wellington from 72.88USc yesterday. The trade-weighted index was almost unchanged at 76.83 from 76.80... Read more

International visitors brought over $10 billion into New Zealand over the last year, Tourism New Zealand says. In the year ended June 30, the financial contribution from international visitors was $10.3 billion, up 18 percent from 2015, with the median foreigner spending $2,000 here, figures from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's international visitor survey show... Read more

Tighter loans rules could force buyers to underground lenders. Desperate buyers wanting to break into the housing market may be forced to turn to alternative lenders due to the tougher rules for banks. Purchasing a property has become increasingly difficult with prices soaring across the country... Read more

Planning system too adversarial, slow and risk averse – Productivity Commission. Planning in New Zealand is adversarial and skewed by the views of well-resourced and mobilised groups, rather than the majority... Read more

Big businesses in big cities might get all the attention, but more than $30 million is about to be flung at the regions. That is how much has been invested in a new private equity fund in Tauranga, now boasting high-profile investors such as Sir Stephen Tindall's K1W1 fund... Read more

Concerns over controversial and possibly illegal investments in clusterbomb manufacturers have led two major KiwiSaver providers to announce they're either reviewing or planning to divest their controversial holdings. A Herald investigation, Dirty Secrets of KiwiSaver, disclosed three KiwiSaver providers had signed up more than 400,000 New Zealanders to funds with stakes in clusterbomb manufacturers, raising questions over whether these investments were breaking the law... Read more

Life insurance adviser's warning 'a message'. The Financial Markets Authority may be trying to send a message to the industry by making public some of the details of a warning delivered to an insurance adviser.... Read more

The gloom may be lifting over dairy farms with forecasts that farmers could actually make a profit. A strong rise in this week's Global Dairy Auction has seen forecasters AgriHQ lift their predicted milk price payout to $5.46/kg of milk solids... Read more

Dairy slump brings change on the land. Fall in farm conversions prompts interest in horticulture, honey and alternatives such as sheep milk.... Read more

The European summer holiday period kept some wool buyers out of the New Zealand market this week, denting demand for fine crossbred wool. The price for 35-micron wool fell to $5.50 a kilogram at yesterday's South Island wool auction from $5.55/kg when it was last traded at the previous South Island auction two weeks ago, according to AgriHQ... Read more

Overseas consumers' taste for New Zealand wine has lifted exports to just under $1.6 billion for the last year, up 10 per cent on the year before. The United States market jumped by 23 per cent, from $372 million in 2015 to $460m to the end of June 2016. Other leading export destinations include the United Kingdom ($381m), Australia ($361m), Canada ($107m), and the Netherlands ($44m). China, which has grown from practically nothing 10 years ago, is now worth $27.5m, although it slipped in value slightly from the year before. Hong Kong, regarded as a separate market, recorded $17m in exports... Read more

Port of Tauranga has some $200 million of "headroom" it could use at short notice to pursue growth opportunities even if it proceeds with the full $140 million capital return it has flagged for the next four years, says chief executive Mark Cairns. New Zealand's biggest port company yesterday declared a fully imputed special dividend of $34 million, or 25 cents a share, as the first step in a capital return proposal that chairman David Pilkington says will still allow for a conservatively geared balance sheet and an investment grade credit rating... Read more

Michael Hill International, the jewellery chain business founded by its namesake, posted a 30 percent decline in annual profit as it accounted for tax adjustments. Profit fell to A$19.6 million, or 5.09 Australian cents per share, in the 12 months ended June 30, from A$27.8 million, or 7.22 cents, the year earlier, the Brisbane-based company said in a statement. The company will pay a 2.5 Australian cent final dividend on Oct. 6. Michael Hill shares last traded at $1.56, and have jumped 58 percent this year.... Read more

Endace, which makes high-speed network monitoring and recording technology, reported a loss of $US97.4 million for the June 2015 year and negative operating cash flows of $US5.5 million, although it has since undergone a management-led buyout from its former American owner and gained new contracts. Financial results recently filed with the NZ Companies Office show the company operating as a going concern, an accounting term that means despite making a loss, it has the funds to carry on in business without being forced into liquidation... Read more

Australasian Food Corp, which took over the NZAX-listed shell Vetilot last year, is being examined by the Financial Markets Authority over statements made by the company's auditor Staples Rodway accompanying its annual report. The Auckland-based company said it's cooperating with the market watchdog over statements by auditor Staples Rodway in its report, tagging Australasian Food Corp's 2016 accounts with a 'disclaimer of opinion' note over its inability to obtain enough audit evidence. The shares last traded at 0.9c , having gained 50% so far this year.... Read more

Colonial Motor Company, which owns motor vehicle dealerships nationwide, posted a record underlying profit of $19.2 million as the nation's new vehicle industry hit the highest ever level of sales... Read more

NPT shareholders query slump in Eastgate value.... Read more

Insurance Australia Group's New Zealand division had a 38% slide in annual profit as rampant competition for commercial customers pushed down prices. The country's biggest general insurer also faced a higher risk margin on the Canterbury earthquakes. The ASX-listed shares last traded at $A5.85 and have gained 7.2% so far this year.... Read more

Bennett under pressure to prove NZX has turned a corner... Read more

Rocket Lab launch site nears completion. Rocket Lab's space programme is a step closer to liftoff with the installation of a launch platform at its Mahia Peninsula base. The 50-tonne platform is the final step in preparing the site for the arrival of its Electron launch vehicle and will be used to erect the rocket from horizontal to vertical positions... Read more

Vodafone has been selected to deliver telecommunications services to two major government agencies – the Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE). MBIE will adopt connectivity (mobile, PTSN and network) and unified communications, and both agencies will adopt Vodafone’s cloud-based contact centre solution, powered by Genesys... Read more

Duncan Saville is to retire as a director of Infratil at the company's annual meeting later this month after 22 years in the role. Saville's departure from the board comes after the Utilico investment vehicle he manages reduced its stake in Infratil to just 2.5% in May, having been one of the infrastructure investor's biggest shareholders with a 20 percent stake before it started selling in 2010. Infratil shares fell 0.6% to $3.38.... Read more

Former Financial Markets Authority regulation boss Sue Brown is starting her own consultancy firm... Read more

EY names NZ's top entrepreneurs. The rocket, farm, funds, health and beer industries better take note of the 2016 EY Entrepreneur of the Year winners, because disruption is clearly coming. Six entrepreneurs have won this year’s annual competition, from a pool of 18 finalists... Read more

E tū has joined Pacific Steel in calling for immediate government action over alleged steel dumping by China.... Read more

Employment breaches 'wake-up call' for Marlborough wine industry. Widespread employment breaches have been unearthed by an investigation into labour contractors servicing the Marlborough wine industry. Several labour contractors, who supply wine companies with workers, were found to have breached employment standards by failing to pay their workers minimum wage, holiday pay, or keep proper employment records... Read more

Alex Van Heeren has failed his Court of Appeal bid to overturn a ruling that he pay US$25 million as an interim measure to former business partner Michael Kidd until they can agree on the full amount owed. The issue estoppel, made by Auckland's High Court last April, prevents van Heeren from denying he is in formal partnership with Kidd and that they accumulated assets worldwide, as was found in the South Gauteng High Court of South Africa in 2013... Read more

The family-owned Christchurch building company behind the Re:Start Mall fit-out has collapsed, with creditors left $1.5 million out of pocket. H&R Garlick ceased trading on August 5. Liquidators BDO are also overseeing the liquidation of related company Cladpro Ltd... Read more

High-end furniture importing business Bromhead Design Associates has gone into liquidation, owing more than $270,000. The company is owned by interior designer and one of the country's most celebrated cartoonists Peter Bromhead... Read more

The Commerce Commission has filed seven charges against Trustpower over the marketing of its bundled electricity and broadband offer. The company's TV, web and billboard advertising between March and July 2015 promoted unlimited broadband data for $49 a month for 12 months... Read more

Opinion - Fran O'Sullivan: Time for action on money-laundering. It's tempting to join the chorus of sinophiles who slapped "Adam" for suggesting Chinese speculators were building the Auckland property bubble. But the spectre of large-scale money-laundering through cash buys in the Auckland market - which the anonymous real estate agent also raised - must be investigated... Read more

Opinion - Tim Hunter: On tax, we can’t see the wood for the trees... Read more

Opinion - Brian Gaynor: Population soars as economy surges. The New Zealand economy is booming, but this strength is surprising given the depressed state of the dairy industry, the country's major export earner... Read more





Australian Headlines

Australian Market Report: The Australia sharemarket struggled for traction but finished in the black after ratings agency Moody’s kept the spotlight on the uncertain outlook for bank earnings. The S&P/ASX 200 index opened 0.5 per cent up, but it dropped into the red and bounced to close up 18.9 points, or 0.34 per cent, at 5526.7 as miners extended their recovery rally... Read more

The Australian dollar is losing ground against the greenback. After gaining ground on Thursday after the release of the latest jobs figures, the local currency has since retreated as the numbers showed part-time work is making up for a fall in full-time positions. At 1230 AEST on Friday, the local unit was trading at 76.40 US cents, down from 77.09 cents on Thursday.... Read more

Ratings agency Moody's has dropped its outlook for the Australian banking system to negative as it warns a weak economy could hurt banks' bottom lines. Moody's has downgraded its outlook for the Australian banking system from stable to negative, saying the "challenges" of Australia's ongoing economic transition had resulted in low wages growth, feeding into persistently low interest rates which put pressure on bank profits... Read more

Battered by politicians and public opinion, Australia’s big four banks are now being shunned by their own investors. Shareholders and investment funds have been selling down despite many years of healthy bank gains, and the big four’s share prices have fallen between 6 and 13 per cent over the past year while the overall Aussie sharemarket has climbed 4.5 per cent... Read more

Wealthy expatriates are driving a resurgence in the top-end luxury Melbourne market where prices range sky high but agents say demand is currently unprecedented. One of the highest priced houses on the market right now is 10 Glyndon Avenue, Brighton, a four-bedroom, four-bathroom replica French chateau that was built six years ago... Read more

Lands Minister Terry Redman has attacked the Pastoralists and Graziers Association and its influence over the Liberal Party after conceding defeat in his attempts to re-write laws affecting economic activity across almost 90 per cent of WA. Mr Redman said yesterday that he had been unable to get draft legislation on the Cabinet agenda in the face of resistance within the Liberal Party... Read more

Cooper Energy Ltd has recommenced the drilling of an oil development and appraisal well in PPL 220, a permit located on the western flank of the Cooper Basin in South Australia. Cooper Energy holds a 25% interest in PPL 220, with the balance held by the operator, Beach Energy Ltd (ASX:BPT)... Read more

MEO Australia Ltd has accepted commitments to raise about $1.69 million via the placement of shares at $0.036 each, to progress its oil exploration activities in northern Cuba. A number of existing shareholders showed support for the placement and the company has welcomed a number of new investors to its share register... Read more

Weak oil and gas prices have taken a toll on Woodside Petroleum's profit, but the energy giant and its investors appear upbeat about its future. Woodside reported a 50 per cent slide in profit to $US340 million ($A442 million) in the six months to June, primarily driven by a 26 per cent decline in its average realised prices, plus small losses on LNG trading and foreign exchange. Shares in the company were up 63.5 cents, or 2.2 per cent, at $29.185 at 1318 AEST.... Read more

Energy giant Santos will not pay a dividend after plunging to a $US1.1 billion ($A1.4 billion) half year loss on the back of lower oil prices and a large impairment against its massive new LNG project. The huge loss compares to a $US30 million profit a year earlier. Revenue in the six months to June dropped six per cent to $US1.19 billion, despite sales volumes rising by a third.... Read more

Adslot Ltd’s shares have surged after signing a multi-year global media trading contract with GroupM, the world’s largest media buying group. The deal will have a significant impact on Adslot’s trading technology revenues anticipated via increased contract licence fees... Read more

Whitehaven Coal has outlined a bullish outlook after returning to a full-year profit on the back of its expanded operations. The east coast miner posted net profit of $20.5 million for the year to June 30, compared to a $342.7 million net loss a year ago. Even excluding significant items, that 2014/15 loss was $10.7 million. Whitehaven shares, which have more than trebled this year, continued on their upward journey, adding eight cents, or 3.9 per cent, to $2.12.... Read more

Predictive Discovery Ltd to update on capital raising... Read more

Geopacific Resources has raised $15 million to progress the Woodlark gold project by defining a development plan, which will allow the company to define a 1.2 million ounce gold reserve... Read more

Walkabout Resources Ltd turns to Namibia for lithium... Read more

Lithium Australia NL will provide pre-IPO company, LiGeneration Ltd, access to its LieNA™ lithium processing technology. Lithium Australia provided seed capital for LiGeneration Ltd, which holds Canadian lithium projects and is planning an ASX IPO before the year-end... Read more

Heavy engineering firm Civmec has blamed commodity price falls for a 43 per cent drop in annual profit to $17 million. Henderson-based Civmec said the prices of oil and other commodities had taken a toll on the offshore, marine and mining industries worldwide... Read more

Pepper Group will make its second whole loan sale transaction in Australia for 2016 that comprises a $400 million portfolio of residential mortgage loans... Read more

Woolworths is set to abandon its Woolworths Dollars rewards scheme in a major overhaul that would bring back customers earning Qantas Frequent Flyer points, according to new industry reports. Australian Business Traveller reports the supermarket giant will ditch the scheme — which copped a massive backlash from customers — just nine months after launch... Read more

Lendlease to ride on building boom. Lendlease expects a strong pipeline of apartment and office projects to drive earnings growth, after the construction group delivered a 13 per cent jump in annual net profit. Chief executive Steve McCann said the group is well placed heading into the 2017 fiscal year despite a mixed external operating environment... Read more

A focus on online shopping and a strong social media presence is helping Bellamy's Australia capitalise on China's insatiable appetite for baby fomula and food. The Tasmanian-based organic baby food maker's profit more than quadrupled in the year to June 30 to $38.3 million, as revenue from China soaring by similar levels to $62 million... Read more

ResApp Health Ltd has been awarded Asia Pacific’s ‘Best Tech IPO/Venture Capital Raising’ at the global grand finals of the 2016 Talent Unleashed Awards held in Sydney. The awards were judged by an esteemed panel of international judges including Apple cofounder, Steve Wozniak and Virgin Group founder, Sir Richard Branson... Read more

Telstra has picked up one of the last major telecommunications outsourcing contracts in the federal government it didn't already hold. Earlier this month it sealed a $243 million deal at the Department of Foreign Affairs that will see it take over support of the diplomat’s WAN infrastructure for the next ten years... Read more

Australia's dominant health insurer Medibank Private has put slow industry growth and a shrinking market share for its premium product behind to post a 46 per cent rise in full year profit to $417.6 million. The rise in profit was driven by an improved underlying profit in the operation of the health insurance business, and a lower than expected uptake of expensive hospital services by customers... Read more

Apiam Animal Health Ltd will acquire the Quirindi Veterinary Group for $11.57 million to further strengthen Apiam’s production animal and rural veterinary services capabilities. QVG is one of Australia’s largest rural veterinary groups, generating revenue of $12.2 million in FY16... Read more

Brambles still expects to grow underlying profit more than sales revenue in 2016/17, and says its long-standing chief executive is standing down. News of the CEO change comes as the supply chain logistics firm's full-year net profit came in flat, up just one per cent to $US587.7 million ($A766.9 million), while revenue lifted two per cent to $US5.5 billion. Brambles declared a final, partially franked, dividend of 14.5 cents per share, up from 14 cents.... Read more

Qantas, PwC, Deloitte, CBA: The best job perks in Australia. This the surprising list of the best companies to work for in Australia — and it turns out there’s good reason why their employees have fallen in love with them. From investment in innovation to travel benefits, gym memberships and free time, these little perks have helped these businesses make it to the top of this year’s Most Innovative Companies list... Read more

ACCC makes banks wait for Apple Pay decision. Australia's anti-trust regulator won't grant the country's three biggest banks interim approval to collectively negotiate with Apple to gain third-party access to the NFC chips in its phones.... Read more

Expanding Amaysim plans fixed broadband. Amaysim chief executive Julian Ogrin is upbeat about the junior mobile operator's outlook as it continues to attract more customers and plans to enter the fixed broadband market before Christmas to boost earnings. The company's annual underlying earnings more than doubled to $35.4 million for the year ended June 30, driven by a 34.5 per cent jump in customers to 966,000, with the strong momentum continuing.... Read more

Flexiroam Ltd has been granted a trading halt by the ASX, pending details of a material agreement with an online travel website company... Read more

Seafarms Group Ltd has been granted a trading halt by the ASX, pending details of a capital raising.... Read more

News Corp Australia launches its 5000 Jobs in 50 Days campaign to try to help the young jobless... Read more

The long-running saga of Padbury Mining’s false start to build a rail system servicing Oakajee Port and Rail came to an end yesterday when directors Gary Stokes and Terence Quinn were banned from managing corporations for three years and fined $25,000 each. In a judgment handed down following an Australian Securities and Investments Commission investigation, the Federal Court found Stokes and Quinn were “misleading and deceptive”... Read more





International Headlines

U.S. Market Report: U.S. stocks edged lower on Friday, led by declines in utility shares as investors weighed prospects for an interest rate increase in the coming months. Energy shares also weighed on the market, even though U.S. crude oil prices settled higher.... Read more

North/South Americas Market Report: North and South American markets finished mixed as of the most recent closing prices. The IPC gained 0.37%, while the S&P 500 led the Bovespa lower. They fell 0.14% and 0.11% respectively... Read more

European Market Report: European markets finished lower today with shares in France leading the region. The CAC 40 is down 0.82% while Germany's DAX is off 0.55% and London's FTSE 100 is lower by 0.15%... Read more

Asian Market Report: Asian markets finished mixed as of the most recent closing prices. The Nikkei 225 gained 0.36% and the Shanghai Composite rose 0.13%. The Hang Seng lost 0.37%... Read more

Saudi Arabia raised its combined crude oil and refined-product exports to 8.83 million barrels a day in June, the highest on record for that month and the latest sign of the expansion of the kingdom’s share of global markets... Read more

Investors questioning whether record high U.S. stock prices mean it is time to bail out of equities should look beyond the elevated levels found in the widely used valuation tool, the price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio, experts say. The benchmark S&P 500 stock index hovers just underneath an all-time peak, and its P/E ratio has recently been at the highest level in more than a year. It remains well above historic averages... Read more

Immigrants in America work more, search for jobs more and get paid way less than native-born U.S. citizens. They're a big chunk of the U.S. job market too. Documented and undocumented immigrants make up nearly 20% of America's labor force, according to a report by Goldman Sachs (GS). Immigrants have a lower unemployment rate (4.3%) than native-born U.S. citizens (4.9%). They also participate more in the economy, meaning they're either working or looking for work.... Read more

The debate over the path for U.S. interest rates heightened as hawkish comments from another Federal Reserve regional chief sent Treasuries and stocks slumping, while spurring dollar gains... Read more

Fed guessing game moves up a gear as Yellen takes stage. Will they or won't they? The debate over whether the U.S. Federal Reserve is readying an interest rate hike will get its umpteenth airing over the coming week, with all eyes on Chair Janet Yellen to provide some clarity. Amid conflicting signals from the Fed in recent days, central bankers from around the world will gather from Aug. 25 for an annual meeting in the mountains of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, with Yellen due to speak the following day... Read more

Apple Inc. has hit roadblocks in making major changes that would connect its Watch to cellular networks and make it less dependent on the iPhone, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The company still plans to announce new watch models this fall boasting improvements to health tracking. The updated versions will also be able to integrate GPS-based location tracking, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans aren’t public. An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment... Read more

As Viacom Inc prepares to announce the impending departure of CEO Philippe Dauman, his interim replacement, Thomas Dooley, is planning to reach out to investors, setting a new tone for a company that has kept communications minimal. Dooley plans to set up meetings between shareholders and heads of Viacom networks, which include Comedy Central, MTV and Nickelodeon, two people familiar with the situation said on Friday... Read more

Restoration Hardware Holdings Inc. shares soared toward a 2 1/2-month high Friday, after Goldman Sachs turned bullish on the high-end furniture retailer, citing expectations that a recovery will begin by the end of the year. Analyst Matthew Fassler raised his rating to buy, after being at neutral since November 2015, and added the stock to Goldman’s conviction list. He boosted his 12-month stock-price target to $40, which is 30% above Thursday’s closing price of $30.77, from $37... Read more

New York has knocked off London as the world's premier city for foreign investment in commercial real estate due to fears the vote to leave the European Union would diminish the British capital's appeal as a global financial center. Data on cross-border property transactions indicate greater unease among investors prior to the referendum, which voters unexpectedly approved on June 23, than had been captured in the capital markets prior to the vote... Read more

Harley-Davidson is paying US authorities $12m (£9m) to settle allegations its motorbikes polluted the air at higher levels than allowed. It has also been ordered to stop selling "super tuners", devices that enable motorbikes to generate power but also increases gas emissions. US authorities said Harley had sold around 340,000 super tuners since 2008... Read more

Nike Capitalizes on Team USA's Basketball Wins, Sidelining Under Armour... Read more

Pound weakens on report U.K. could trigger ‘Article 50’ sooner than expected... Read more

UK public finances surplus lower than expected in July. The government achieved a smaller than expected surplus on the public finances in July, leaving the new chancellor, Philip Hammond, with a tougher balancing act to buoy the post-referendum economy while also bringing down Britain’s deficit... Read more

The start of 24-hour weekend service on London's Tube is set to boost the capital city's thriving night-time economy. The annual economic benefit from "Night Tube" service is expected to peak at 77 million pounds ($101 million) within the next 15 years, and help create 2,200 new jobs, according to a new report by EY and business lobby, London First... Read more

Volkswagen AG factories in Germany are grinding to a halt after a supplier took the unprecedented step of cutting off the automaker as the two battle in court and engage in a public war of words about who’s to blame for the impasse. VW stopped Passat production on Thursday and will halt assembly of its best-selling Golf on Monday if the conflict isn’t resolved, said people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified... Read more

German carmaker Opel plans to cut its workers' hours this year because it expects Brexit to hurt its UK sales. A spokesman for Opel said about 5,000 workers at its Ruesselsheim and Eisenach factories would be affected. Opel is owned by US car giant GM... Read more

The latest judicial probe into Monte dei Paschi di Siena is a procedural necessity but it could still damage Italy's third-largest bank as it seeks to solve its financial woes, the lender's chief executive said on Friday. CEO Fabrizio Viola and former chairman Alessandro Profumo are under investigation for alleged false accounting and market manipulation in a case involving derivatives trades, Reuters reported on Thursday... Read more

Some call it extreme narcissism, for others, it is just a bit of fun. For Estee Lauder, the selfie is a trend that has helped drive a rise in make-up sales. Cosmetics was the fastest growing division for the company for the full-year to 30 June, with turnover up 9%.... Read more

The Land of Genghis Khan Is Having an Epic Economic Meltdown.... Read more

Short-sellers who made their names and fortunes wiping billions off Chinese and Southeast Asian companies are setting their sights on Japan after a series of accounting scandals amplified concerns about weak corporate governance there... Read more

The Philippine central bank is seeking to tighten scrutiny and regulation of currency dealers, money-transfer and financial-technology companies after the country was dragged into one of the biggest ever bank heists. Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas will ask Congress to expand the list of businesses it supervises to protect consumers and combat money laundering, Deputy Governor Vicente Aquino said in an interview in Manila... Read more

Smartphone manufacturers are finding it harder to make products that stand out. So what to do? Many have fallen back to old playground-like tactics of finger pointing and throwing out disses to get attention. Moto, which transitioned away from its Motorola branding earlier this year, became the latest company to take this approach when it accused Samsung of ripping off its "always-on" display feature on Thursday.... Read more

Pokemon Go spurs lifestyle changes, business boom as it rolls out in Asia. Asian fans of smartphone game Pokemon Go are hunting out the best telecom providers and network gear to overcome the hurdle posed by patchy network signals in their race to capture virtual cartoon characters... Read more

Indian messenger app Hike has won fresh money from investors and a key partner from China. The latest investment round now sees the company, a rival to Whatsapp, valued at $1.4bn (£767m). China's Tencent and Taiwan's Foxconn were the biggest investors in the latest cash injection... Read more

India Is Set to Name New Central Bank Governor This Week. Two contenders for the Reserve Bank of India’s top post are Subir Gokarn and Urjit Patel, officials say... Read more

Opinion - Jon Henley: Why Osborne’s ‘Rambo’ outing is not the way to go after Brexit blow. The ex-chancellor’s Vietnam exploits may be a symptom of the pain of losing for a politician, but as Major and Portillo have shown, defeat is not always the end... Read more

Opinion - Allister Heath: Why economists are hopeless when it comes to Brexit. I love economists, I really do. I adored economics at school, spent five years studying the subject at university and have written about the economy, among other topics, for my entire professional career. I like hanging out with dismal scientists... Read more

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