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ASB Securities Morning Brief for Thursday, 29 March 2012

New Zealand Headlines

NZ Market Report. New Zealand stocks rose yesterday, buoyed by positive sentiment in global equities... Read more

The hunt for Telecom's new chief executive is down to the final three and speculation is mounting that an announcement from the company's board is imminent, industry insiders say... Read more

The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment is to undertake an independent inquiry into the oil and gas mining practice known as “fracking” amid growing public concern about its capacity to pollute groundwater and cause earthquakes... Read more

Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei - involved in a $1.35 billion Ultrafast Broadband project in New Zealand - is almost certainly a front for Chinese intelligence, a defence analyst claims... Read more

Treasury has been accused of being "asleep at the wheel" after the Auditor General's office found it took five months to set up proper monitoring processes for the Retail Deposit Guarantee Scheme... Read more

Hallenstein Glasson Holdings, the clothing retailer, first-half earnings rose 27 percent after a record Christmas and a strong January in the New Zealand market... Read more

Difficulties securing finance, council red tape and the imminent depreciation changes are acting as disincentives to rental property development at the same time as shortages are driving up rents... Read more

Mercer Group boss Rodger Shepherd, who is tasked with restructuring the unprofitable stainless steel fabricator, wants to exercise his first tranche of options early and will put it to shareholders at a special meeting... Read more

Disgraced Lombard Finance and Investments directors, including former justice minister Sir Douglas Graham, will appear for sentencing in the High Court at Wellington today... Read more

TVNZ has banned Mike Hosking from covering stories about SkyCity Entertainment on Close Up after he acknowledged he had a celebrity deal with the casino company... Read more

New Zealand's biggest tax-avoidance case has flared up again in the High Court after the Inland Revenue Department was accused of fraud... Read more

Airlines upset at a proposal by Christchurch International Airport to increase landing fees are calling the return it seeks "excessive"... Read more

The port strike could soon hit shoppers in the pocket, with price rises looming... Read more

A $25 million coal yard expansion planned by Lyttelton Port of Christchurch has been scrapped... Read more

Air New Zealand will add a fifth weekly service to Shanghai from July 4 but will suspend its twice-weekly direct Auckland to Beijing service from June 30... Read more

Tait Communications has approval to sell its digital handheld and vehicle-mounted radios to Mississippi emergency services and government agency personnel... Read more

A Wellington developer is angry that his proposals for 30 low-rise apartments on Wellington waterfront's Kumutoto precinct were rejected in favour of a much larger office block on the same site... Read more

Australian Headlines

Australian Market Report. Australian shares climbed to their highest close of the year, defying weak leads and a regional slump... Read more

Pressure is building for fresh probes into Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, after allegations that it ran a secret unit that promoted pirating of pay-TV rivals... Read more

China says it is concerned the Australian Government is not providing a level playing field for Chinese business bidding for contracts... Read more

Fiji government tightens its ownership rules for airlines in a move aimed at reducing the control Qantas exerts over the flag carrier Air Pacific... Read more

Apple offers to refund people who bought its new iPad, which it admits is not compatible with Telstra's 4G network... Read more

RBA warns against local banks taking on more risk or excessive cost cutting to help maintain profits in the face of the slowing credit market... Read more

The Australian stock market operator has appointed a new chairman to replace David Gonski who left to take a job as chairman of the Future Fund... Read more

Australian Ethical Investment tells you how many A4 sheets of paper they use. But they don't say 73% of the staff stood at the verge of resignation... Read more

Foster'sowners reject suggestions Abbotsford plant will be closed and the land sold to property developers... Read more

Australia's real estate sector is undergoing a once-in-a-generation shift as debt-wary buyers stay out of the market, according to a new report... Read more

Australian miner Kingsgate Consolidated has been ordered by a Thai Court to carry out an environmental impact assessment on the nation's largest gold mine, which residents say has affected their health and the local environment... Read more

Bonds from Australia's biggest airport and largest retailer are leading gains as company notes climb for a 12th quarter, the longest stretch in developed markets, spurred by confidence the economy will accelerate... Read more

More Australian businesses want to be accessible to consumers using mobile phones to make purchases online but many lack the knowledge and infrastructure to reach this group, a survey finds... Read more

Australia's gas fields should be harnessed for domestic consumption to keep the nation's manufacturing sector competitive, an adviser to the US President says... Read more

Wayne Swan says Australia's mining boom is just first taste of Asia's new prosperity... Read more

The retail recession, thankfully, has not reached the executive suites of Level 30, 85 Castlereagh Street. The retail landlord Westfield Group disclosed yesterday that its two co-chief executives, Peter Lowy and Steven Lowy, collected 100 per cent of their targeted cash bonuses for the previous year... Read more

Uncertain economic conditions have not stopped Australian businesses from growing more confident and planning expansion, a private survey has found... Read more

Gold explorer Oklo Resources says it is not expected to be affected by military coup... Read more

Manufacturers are urging the Gillard government to crack down on the dumping of cheap Asian imports... Read more

More WA farmers are struggling to secure financethis season as banks seek to balance their books after a good year and second-tier lenders disappear from the market... Read more

The competition watchdog has given its approval of packaging maker Amcor Ltd's $238 million acquisition of Aperio Group... Read more

One area advisable to stay away from in the market is property in south-east Queensland. Bank of Queensland investors had a rude awakening earlier this week about the woes in the sunshine state... Read more

Perth geologist and investor Michael Fotios has emerged as the sole recipient of Liontown Resources’ share placement a fortnight ago, becoming the company’s second largest shareholder behind chairman Tim Goyder... Read more

The ACT Government has rejected a proposal to buy the Sydney monorail and establish a commuter route in Canberra... Read more

Resources giant Rio Tinto's decision to scrap plans for a $US2 billion aluminium smelter in Malaysia has been blamed in part on China over-supplying the market... Read more

International Headlines

US Market Report. Stocks fell on Wednesday as weaker-than-expected data on durable goods orders and a drop in oil prices prompted selling in energy and materials shares... Read more

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

Energy giant Total is trying to contain a gas leak that has forced the evacuation of a well off the coast of Scotland. Unions warned the gas cloud, should it find an ignition source, could cause "complete destruction."... Read more

The insurance market Lloyd's of London announces a loss for 2011, saying it was its worst year for catastrophe claims... Read more

The leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa -- collectively known as the fast-growing BRICS economies -- began arriving Wednesday in New Delhi amid protests from Tibetan groups against the arrival of Chinese President Hu Jintao... Read more

Orders for durable goods in the US rose by 2.2% in February, recovering partly from a sharp drop in January, the Commerce Department says... Read more

UK economic growth in the last three months of 2011 is revised down to a contraction of 0.3%, partly due to the transport sector... Read more

An official at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas contends that despite the financial crisis of 2008, a cartel of megabanks is still hindering the economic recovery... Read more

U.S. chief executives' view of the economy brightened in the first quarter of 2012, with a growing number ready to hire more workers over the next six months, according to a Business Roundtable survey... Read more

The LA Dodgers baseball club is to be sold to a consortium that includes the former basketball star Magic Johnson... Read more

Nike Inc. sued Adidas AG’s Reebok International over its use of quarterback Tim Tebow’s name on New York Jets-related clothing, days before Nike is to become the official supplier of licensed National Football League apparel... Read more

The Indian government has said it will review a new tax on unbranded gold jewellery, after 11 days of protests by gold shop owners... Read more

Allergan Inc. is seeking to expand the medical use for its wrinkle smoother Botox, saying that injections of the drug into the bladder helped decrease symptoms of severe urinary incontinence in two studies... Read more

Transocean Ltd, the deep-water rig owner that’s trailed competitors in the stock market since its equipment burned and sank in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, is set to benefit the most this year from a surge in demand... Read more

Google is willing to pay Oracle a percentage of Android revenue on two patents if Oracle succeeds in proving patent infringement at an upcoming trial over the Java programming language, according to a court filing... Read more

The Hong Kong government has won an appeal against a ruling that could have allowed foreign domestic helpers to apply for residency in the city... Read more

As power shifts to consumers, propelled by the Internet and apps, many stores are scrambling to move beyond the time-worn cycle of markups and discounts — and still make money... Read more

Gucci America Inc., the maker of luxury clothing and accessories, told a federal judge that Guess? Inc.’s products infringe Gucci’s trademarked designs... Read more

An encouraging US stock market debut for Annie’s Inc., the organic food maker, highlights growing investor confidence for the consumer sector... Read more

Thailand stocks may fall as much as 10 percent in the second quarter, led by this year’s top performing consumer and telecommunication stocks, as valuations soared to the highest levels since at least 2007, according to the nation’s top-ranked fund manager... Read more

Britain's squeezed middle are cutting back on holidays to the Canary Islands and similar destinations, adding to the woes of Thomas Cook... Read more

Nearly five months after some $1.6 billion in customer money went missing at bankrupt brokerage MF Global, the question remains: Will anyone be held responsible?... Read more

Some members of the Bank of England's financial policy committee want to adopt a tough stance to control lending and protect against another crash but were outvoted... Read more

The board of European carmaker Opel met on Wednesday under pressure from parent General Motors to put an end to years of steep losses, with thousands of workers in Germany and Britain fearing the closure of their plants... 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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