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ASB Securities Morning Brief for Tuesday, 06 March 2012

New Zealand Headlines

NZ Market Report. New Zealand stocks rose with large volumes of Fletcher Building stocks traded... Read more

Former cabinet minister Bill Jeffries has resigned as chairman and director of Insured Group after he was among four directors of the failed Lombard Finance found guilty of making untrue statements in investment documents... Read more

Prime Minister John Key has defended support for SkyCity's planned $350 million convention centre in the wake of an incident in which five children were found locked in a van at the casino's carpark... Read more

New Zealand recorded its biggest loss of migrants in a 12-month period since August 2001, as Kiwis continued to jump the ditch seeking a better standard of life and higher-paying jobs in Australia... Read more

Draft legislation to allow the partial privatisation of four state-owned energy companies has been tabled, with its First Reading in Parliament due on Thursday... Read more

There will be no requirement for Kiwis to have first rights to the shares in state assets floated by the Government... Read more

The Maori Party has won a partial victory in forcing the National Government to include Treaty provisions in legislation paving the way for asset sales but have accepted their bid to have those obligations apply to private investors was misguided... Read more

The government's debt sales have fallen below the $1.1 billion a month needed to meet this year's bond tender programme, which may force the Debt Management Office to offer higher yields to make up the shortfall... Read more

A 14,000-tonne cargo ship remains in limbo at Wellington's wharf as industrial action spreads across the country.... Read more

Residential building work and the Canterbury reconstruction helped building activity increase 2.9% in the December quarter from the previous quarter's decade-low... Read more

Auckland saw the largest number of house sales in the February month for five years but listings remain low and price rises modest, according to Barfoot & Thompson... Read more

Open Country Dairy’s controlling shareholders, Talley’s Group and Olam International, will stump up $40.3 million in a rights issue aimed to cut the dairy processor’s debt as a loan repayment looms at the end of the month... Read more

The New Zealand dollar may fall this week amid speculation the Reserve Bank will keep its benchmark interest rate at a record low in the face of tepid economic growth and tame inflation... Read more

Christchurch could be facing the grim future of capital flight, with big-time property owners poised to seize their insurance payouts and buy in higher-returning Auckland... Read more

Foodstuffs will spend more than $20 million rebuilding its "flagship" supermarket in Christchurch's eastern suburbs... Read more

Angel investment slowed to a trickle in the latter half of last year, with the lowest total of new equity raised since the New Zealand Venture Investment Fund began running its Young Company Finance Index in 2006... Read more

Trading in shares on the NZX fell last month, by value, while transactions involving debt securities rose, according to the exchange’s monthly metrics... Read more

New air links to Asia have helped international tourism numbers top one million arrivals and departures in January, the highest monthly number ever, Statistics New Zealand says... Read more

City-owned Christchurch International Airport (CIAL) has posted a 40.5 per cent fall in half-year profit to $7.99 million, partly due to higher interest costs... Read more

Land could soon be used to generate electricity in the country's first solar power station.... Read more

McDonald's is evaluating how Georgie Pie might be integrated into its business, but is also wary of being accused of "bastardising" one of the country's best-loved brands, says the fast food firm's new boss in New Zealand... Read more

Wilmar International, the world's largest palm oil trader, is giving investors in Goodman Fielder the chance for a 31 per cent return as it considers an expansion into Crisco oil and Newman's Own salad dressings... Read more

Anyone foolish enough to repay the average credit card debt at just the minimum amount each month would take until 2045 to clear it... Read more

An alleged "mastermind" of the Five Star Finance could not stand trial in 2010 because of ill health despite working part-time and weekending at his Bay of Islands holiday home... Read more

Farm-owning group Rural Equities is near the end of a significant sales process in its property portfolio and is using some of the proceeds towards a buyback of shares... Read more

Australian Headlines

Australian Market Report. Shares fell, with weak metal prices and China growth concerns weighing on mining stocks... Read more

The RBA no longer has a finger poised over the interest rate cut button - although not so much because of a robust local economy... Read more

A private gauge of consumer prices grew at its slowest pace in two years in February thanks in part to a seasonal drop in holiday costs... Read more

A leading economist says ABS statistics show there is truth in Wayne Swan's warning that income inequality is rising.... Read more

The Treasurer has conceded problems with the first version of its mining tax... Read more

One of Australia's biggest class actions has begun in the Federal Court involving thousands of shareholders in property investment company Centro... Read more

Suppliers to Australia's two dominant supermarket chains have complained to the consumer watchdog about ''unconscionable conduct'' by Coles and Woolworths.... Read more

The labour market has reached its highest level in more than three years as the resources and energy sectors ramp up hiring, a new report shows... Read more

The world heritage status of the Great Barrier Reef will be scrutinised by a delegation from the United Nations concerned about environmental pressures being exerted by the boom in mining and coal seam gas drilling.... Read more

Lawyers for the Federal Government and Qantas are defending a decision by Fair Work Australia last year that barred the airline's pilots from taking industrial action... Read more

Economists say businesses are struggling after official figures show company profits fell sharply last quarter and inventory levels rose... Read more

The services industry has recorded its largest fall in activity since July 2009... Read more

Coca-Cola Amatil has decided against buying the Foster's spirits and ready-to-drink business in favour of further developing its business relationship with spirits giant Beam Global... Read more

Ticketek, and the Allphones Arena will be put on the auction block as the private equity operator CVC Asia Pacific looks for ways to get a $2.7 billion debt monkey off its back... Read more

Treasurer Wayne Swan, facing significant backlash from political and business circles, has reiterated that Australia's notion of a fair go is under threat as billionaires try to sabotage public policy.... Read more

FMG spends thousands to defend billionaire Andrew Forrest's reputation against Wayne Swan's attacks... Read more

BIS Shrapnel says the pain of the high Australian dollar will continue for at least another two or three years even though the pace of economic growth is expected to pick up... Read more

Crown finally lodged a substantial shareholder notice yesterday evening acknowledging its ''relevant interest'' in rival casino operator Echo Entertainment.... Read more

Discounting has become the defining characteristic of online sales in Australia.... Read more

Regional airline SkyWest says All Nippon Airways executive Jason Bitter will replace chief executive Mark Shelton... Read more

Quickstep has won a Lockheed Martin contract to supply carbon fibre wing flaps for the C-130J Hercules military aircraft, potentially worth as much as $100 million... Read more

ANZ has received approval to offer local currency products and services to customers in China.... Read more

Gina Rinehart, the mining heiress and media investor, is the fourth-richest person in the Asia-Pacific region, with a net worth of $19 billion... Read more

The Holden Cruze is the new Commodore, with the car maker's four-cylinder model taking over as the company's top seller so far this year... Read more

More West Australian small businesses expect to close or sell this year than in any other state despite recording the highest sales, according to the latest Sensis Business Index... Read more

Stephen Bartholomeusz. It's unclear why there's such urgency in James Packer's grand plan for a second Sydney casino licence under the Echo umbrella, and in any case his proposal faces serious hurdles... Read more

Nathan Bell. David Jones needs more innovation and there are plenty of things it could do to make it a unique attraction. Here are just a few suggestions... Read more

Rod Myer. Ever since the first phase of the global financial crisis, the gold market has been the place to be... Read more

Michael West. Treasurer Wayne Swan is right - the 'hyper rich' do deploy their wealth to swing political outcomes... Read more

Ian Verrender. For decades, the Packer name has been synonymous with casinos. But add the destination Sydney to the mix, and suddenly you have a three-word recipe for controversy and contention... Read more

Adele Ferguson. When Woolies rolls out 100 private drinks brands in half a year, you know it's 'Game On'... Read more

Michael Pascoe. Economists were almost unanimously wrong in tipping a rate cut last month. This month they're saying the RBA will stay on hold - but they could be wrong again... Read more

Ian McIlwraith. Deutsche Bank's 642-page shareholding notice forEcho Entertainment may set a world record... Read more

International Headlines

US Market Report. Stocks fell on Monday, dragged lower by the basic materials and energy sectors after China, the world's second-largest economy, cut its growth target for 2012... Read more

World Market Report. An updated report of the worlds' latest market movements... Read more

China says it is expecting economic growth of 7.5% this year as it looks for more sustainable expansion... Read more

China's acceptance of a slower rate of growth rattled markets on Monday, but it also shows that the gradual rebalancing of the global economy long sought by world leaders is on track... Read more

The US service sector expanded at its fastest rate in a year in February, lifted by a rise in new orders, a survey indicates... Read more

Uncle Sam will shell out more than $5 trillion in interest payments over the next decade, according to the latest projections from the Congressional Budget Office... Read more

Retail sales across the eurozone rose unexpectedly in January, figures show, but a separate survey indicates economic activity remains weak... Read more

The euro zone is out of the emergency ward, but it may face a chronic debilitating illness rather than a rapid convalescence... Read more

Russia's Vladimir Putin was president for two terms, prime minister for one and is now in place for another stint in the top job. CNN's John Defterios considers the economic impact of Putin 2.0.... Read more

China is considering “appropriately” widening the yuan’s trading band to better reflect market supply and demand, Xinhua News Agency reported, citing People’s Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan... Read more

Growth in Britain's services industries slowed more than expected last month, but confidence among firms hit a one-year high... Read more

Commodities trading giant Glencore reports a sharp rise in revenues on the back of higher prices for raw materials... Read more

The boss of carmakers Opel and Vauxhall vows to "work aggressively" to make the brands profitable.... Read more

John Leahy, the American supersalesman who propelled Airbus from European upstart to the world's largest maker of passenger jets, disclosed he has no plans to retire for several years from a post which has made him Boeing's most visible adversary... Read more

American International Group is selling part of its stake in AIA Group to raise about $6 billion, which will help the U.S. insurer repay part of its government bailout... Read more

In a twist of capitalistic irony, traders are betting that the very banks that are synonymous with the 2008 financial crisis might actually boost the stock and bond markets over the next two months... Read more

The EU considers legislating to get more women into top management jobs in Europe, arguing that firms are too slow to act... Read more

BP Plc may face as much as $17.6 billion in civil pollution fines and possibly billions of dollars more in criminal penalties as its settlement with businesses and individuals harmed by the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill shifts the focus to government claims... Read more

Nils Pratley. Glencore chief Ivan Glasenberg protests too much. He used the phrase "merger of equals" at every opportunity, as if mere repetition would persuade Xstrata's suspicious shareholders to be grateful for the modest takeover premium (8% on one basic yardstick) that Glencore is offering for their firm... Read more

Important Disclaimer - The views expressed herein are those of the authors and are based on information believed but not warranted to be correct. Any views or information, whilst given in good faith, are not necessarily the views of ASB Bank Limited and are given with an express disclaimer of responsibility and no right of action shall arise against any of the authors, ASB Bank Limited or its employees either directly or indirectly out of any views, advice or information.
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