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ASB Securities Morning Brief for Tuesday, 27 March 2012

New Zealand Headlines

NZ Market Report. The New Zealand sharemarket rose slightly Monday, starting the week on a positive note with most volumes limited to blue chip stocks... Read more

The sharemarket is looking for a firm steer on whether Fonterra's contentious share trading among farmers scheme is a goer, when the dairy giant presents its half-year results this week... Read more

Time is running out for New Zealand to secure a quality free-trade agreement with Korea, Prime Minister John Key has admitted... Read more

NZF Group, the embattled finance company, will resume trading in its shares and capital notes today after making the second halt on its listed securities in under a week yesterday... Read more

Home loan affordability improved slightly in February, the national median house price was stable, interest rates remained at record lows and incomes nudged up a little... Read more

The Chinese telecommunications giant supplying equipment for New Zealand's ultra-fast broadband scheme has been banned from participating in Australia's national broadband network because of cyber attack concerns, according to the Australian Financial Review... Read more

Cruise ship passenger numbers in New Zealand are expected to soar more than 20 per cent next year despite the negative publicity following the deadly capsizing of the Costa Concordia off the coast of Italy in January... Read more

Auckland councillor Cameron Brewer is questioning the size and $3.2 million running cost of Mayor Len Brown's office... Read more

A Zespri board member has been cleared of links to unlicensed planting of a new kiwifruit cultivar, but his brother will be slapped with the "strongest penalties" available... Read more

The number of hotel rooms in Christchurch is shrinking further as hotels that survived the earthquakes close for strengthening and repairs... Read more

Well-known ad agency Wag The Dog faces liquidation in the Auckland High Court on Friday over a tax debt... Read more

An energy efficiency expert says bosses who do not support sustainability risk losing customers, staff and money... Read more

Christchurch plastics millionaires the Stewarts appear to have made a healthy profit from their investment in medical equipment supplier Ebos Group... Read more

China's hot pace of economic growth is cooling, and it could filter through to New Zealand if it drops off quickly, according to a market analyst... Read more

Whangarei’s Zion Wildlife Gardens, in receivership, still owes Rabobank $2.5 million post sale... Read more

Arrowtown's NZPGA Pro-Am Championship could eventually be on par with famed international golfing tournaments and help net billions of dollars from well-heeled golfers, tournament backers say... Read more

K9 Natural, the raw petfood company, named by Deloitte Fast 50 as the country's fastest growing manufacturer last year and the fifth fastest growing company, was founded by Geoff Bowers, a former British police dog handler, who went to Alaska to study wolves in the wild and found that they thrived on a diet of raw meat, offal and blood... Read more

Australian Headlines

Australian Market Report. Australian shares closed slightly lower Monday after miners slipped into the red, weighing on the market... Read more

Qantas has announced it will establish a new low-cost carrier based in Hong Kong in a 50-50 joint venture with China Eastern Airlines... Read more

Finally the re-invention of the Qantas group international business is starting to gain some altitude... Read more

Bank of Queensland expects to post a $91 million first-half loss because of a large increase in impairments on loans... Read more

Prime Minister Julia Gillard says a decision to not allow Chinese telecoms equipment giant Huawei to take part in tenders for the national broadband network (NBN) project is "prudent"... Read more

Troubled forestry company Gunns has lifted its equity-raising ambitions after initial plans were upset by the withdrawal of a cornerstone investor... Read more

It may not be the big one, but OZ Minerals will be on the acquisition trail... Read more

A close look at IAG's convertible preference share offer leaves a clear investment decision... Read more

Shares in Quickstep Holdings rallied after the advanced composites manufacturer completed the first production parts for the international F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter military aircraft... Read more

A national survey of business managers has found there remains much confusion and uncertainty about the Federal Government's carbon tax... Read more

A legal brawl between mining giant Vale and Australia's Aquila Resources has been halted so they can start selling coal again... Read more

As the federal government puts its fifth budget together, a new survey shows many voters believe the economy is heading in the wrong direction... Read more

As Queensland rides the wave of riches pouring into the state from the latest mining boom, the rapid growth is having unintended consequences for many rural towns... Read more

Selling-off government assets is the easiest way for new Queensland Premier Campbell Newman to whip the state's budget back into shape, a leading economist says... Read more

Premier Investments is pinning its hopes on funky pyjamas and cute stationery to steer it through the tough times gripping the retail sector... Read more

Origin Energy is still considering further a selling downs of its equity in the Australia Pacific liquefied natural gas (APLNG) project in Queensland to pay for a second processing "train"... Read more

Junior minerals explorer Phillips River has agreed to sell its flagship assets to its former suitor... Read more

The NSW Government is set to launch the first Australian trial of social impact bonds, which will see investors fund programs to meet community needs... Read more

Bass Metals says it has struck a deal with its lenders to continue operating after the cash-strapped miner was forced to seek a restructure of its debt following problems at its Hellyer base metals project in Tasmania... Read more

The merits of the federal and state government assistance package for Holden will be debated in the South Australian parliament this week... Read more

CFS Retail Property Trust Ltd has sold a 50 per cent stake in Myer's Brisbane shopping centre to a fellow property investment trust for $366 million... Read more

ANZ Banking Group Ltd chief executive Mike Smith is closely watching Australian-Burmese diplomatic relations, with resource-rich Burma central to the bank's aggressive push into Asia... Read more

The future of football cards is now at a crossroads as the AFL considers whether to continue with its long-term trading cards partner Select Australia Pty Ltd... Read more

Plans for a $1.6 billion retail and housing development in Sydney's west have reportedly been put on hold... Read more

International Headlines

US Market Report. Stocks rose on Monday, rebounding from last week's decline, after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke suggested the central bank would continue supportive monetary policies, even as the unemployment rate improves... Read more

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

The U.S. economy needs to grow more quickly to bring down the unemployment rate further, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said on Monday, defending the central bank's policy of very low interest rates... Read more

As stock exchange mergers crumbled from Frankfurt and New York to Singapore and Sydney, traders have become only more convinced that Japan’s plan to combine its biggest bourses is the best bet to succeed... Read more

The UK government is in talks to sell up to a third of its stake in Royal Bank of Scotland to Abu Dhabi... Read more

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says it would be a huge political mistake if debt-stricken Greece was allowed to leave the euro... Read more

Contracts to purchase previously owned U.S. homes unexpectedly fell in February, suggesting a loss of momentum in the housing market after recent signs of improvement... Read more

Russia's finances would be severely damaged by a sustained fall in oil prices, according to the credit rating agency, Standard and Poor's... Read more

The good new: China’s government will engineer a soft landing. The bad news: Even a soft landing is painful for industries that have become dependent on the world’s fastest-growing major economy as their main profit engine... Read more

Oil has been discovered in Kenya after exploratory drilling by Anglo-Irish firm Tullow Oil, President Mwai Kibaki says... Read more

Vivendi SA Chief Executive Officer Jean-Bernard Levy will head SFR, the mobile-phone division that’s losing customers to a new French operator, after Frank Esser, the unit’s chief of more than 11 years, stepped down... Read more

German luxury carmaker BMW is recalling more than a million cars worldwide because of potential battery problems that could cause a fire... Read more

The video games specialist Game has officially entered administration, appointing PwC prior to a swift restructuring that is expected to result in heavy job losses and the closure of half the firm's 600 UK stores... Read more

German business confidence rose for a fifth month in a row in March, according to the Munich-based Ifo institute... Read more

Honda Automobile Thailand (HATC) resumes production at its plant in Ayutthaya after major floods halted operations in early October... Read more

Broadcom Corp's leadership in the market for Wi-Fi chips is under threat as Qualcomm Inc uses technology from last year’s Atheros Communications Inc. deal to create a competing product that connects handsets to hot spots... Read more

One of the world's biggest pension funds is to set up a new base in London in a move the government expects to provide a major boost to investment in British infrastructure... Read more

EasyJet has said its half-year losses would be smaller than expected after its revenues were boosted by higher baggage charges... Read more

General Motors is recalling more than 6,000 big vans and SUVs because their steering can fail... Read more

Microsoft employees, accompanied by United States marshals, raided two nondescript office buildings in Pennsylvania and Illinois on Friday, aiming to disrupt one of the most pernicious forms of online crime today — botnets, or groups of computers that help harvest bank account passwords and other personal information from millions of other computers... Read more

Omgpop’s popular game Draw Something attracted the attention of the game maker Zynga, which bought the company for $180 million... Read more

"Hunger Games" is doing big box office its first day in theaters, and now a Barbie doll is in the works... Read more

According to a new survey conducted by consumer-focused information site BIGinsight, those who frequent certain fast-food restaurants are even less happy with their health than the average American... 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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