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ASB Securities Morning Brief for Friday, 13 April 2012

New Zealand Headlines

NZ Market Report. New Zealand stocks rose Thursday following stronger employment numbers across the Tasman... Read more

Tower Investments, one of the nation's biggest retail fund managers, is predicting more turmoil for global markets... Read more

Nationwide property values eased slightly in March but are still up 0.5% over the past three months and 3% up over the past year, according to the latest QV report... Read more

The value of fraud going through New Zealand's courts is at its highest in recent years, with 2012 likely to see another increase because of a small number of "super frauds"... Read more

Fonterra Cooperative Group plans to spend $100 million to build two more farms in China’s Hebei Province as part of a plan to construct farming hubs to service the world’s most populous nation... Read more

The Serious Fraud Office has batted away any suggestion it will probe the New Zealand Meat Workers & Related Trades Union’s books, saying an initial evaluation didn’t find any evidence of fraud... Read more

A barometer of manufacturing is still solidly in the expansion zone, though back from the very strong levels recorded in February... Read more

The New Zealand Rugby Union reported a slightly smaller operating loss than expected in the latest financial year after keeping a lid on Rugby World Cup costs, and it’s expecting to break even in 2012... Read more

The Productivity Commission's Housing Affordability report findings around the tax treatment of property have been welcomed by the New Zealand Property Investors Federation... Read more

Tourism NZ is in talks with Warner Bros to let Waikato tourism operators use the soon-to-be released Hobbit films in marketing campaigns... Read more

Former justice minister Sir Douglas Graham laments the years he has been engaged in legal battles as a former director of Lombard, but insists he will appeal against his conviction... Read more

Red-zoned residents in Christchurch are reeling from a change in rules... Read more

Ports of Auckland and the Maritime Union of New Zealand may go to the Employment Relations Authority to have their long-running industrial dispute settled, as latest talks between the parties come to nothing... Read more

Being unable to supply advertised daily deal vouchers has today earned a start-up Christchurch-based website a warning about bait advertising from the Commerce Commission... Read more

A leading Wellington restaurant says the foodie trade is still doing it tough, as new card spending figures show shoppers returned to cafes and restaurants last month... Read more

Telecom still has its work cut out recovering lost love in the mobile market, according to a Roy Morgan survey carried out for the Commerce Commission that examined why customers changed their provider... Read more

The board of Seeka Kiwifruit Industries, the grower which aborted a merger with rival Satara Cooperative last year, is recommending shareholders vote against the election of director, Craig Greenlees due to a conflict of interest... Read more

Wellington's Mojo Coffee is making the move into Japan, opening a cafe and roastery in Tokyo within the next two months... Read more

Australian Headlines

Australian Market Report. Australian shares snap a four-day losing streak as surprisingly good jobs figures added to improving investor confidence about the outlook for the economy... Read more

Australia's jobless rate held steady at 5.2 per cent in March as the economy added 44,000 jobs for the month, according to the ABS... Read more

Jobs numbers show the market is not as bad as it looked a month ago, and Australia is still a two-speed economy... Read more

James Packer and Lachlan Murdoch secure another court victory related to their time as directors of the failed telephone company One.Tel... Read more

Ten Network said its first-half profit fell 70 per cent from a year earlier as a weak advertising market took its toll, as the broadcaster reports its first results under new chief executive James Warburton... Read more

Wesfarmers boss Richard Goyder takes aim at the Government's superannuation legislation, saying it will cost his company close to $240m... Read more

James Packer looks like reclaiming the $6.5 billion Crown casino group as a subsidiary of his family company by Christmas after lifting his stake beyond 48 per cent yesterday in a $133 million deal... Read more

A top financial strategist warns that the Government's budget surplus plan could spark a recession and jeopardise Australia's AAA credit rating... Read more

Kerry Stokes' WesTrac is poised to grab Bucyrus, which sells Caterpillar-brand mining machinery in three states... Read more

China is cracking down on foreign investments - a move that could have implications for Australia's resources boom... Read more

Residents in the Queensland town of Dysart say they face an uncertain future after BHP-Mitsubishi Alliance said it would close a nearby mine... Read more

Fox Sports' joint bid with Channel Nine for NRL broadcasting rights is set to reap the code $1.2 billion, which is triple the current agreement... Read more

Nothing splits public opinion more than a debate about a second airport in Sydney... Read more

Oil and gas explorer MEO Australia says it has received strong expressions of interest in methanol offtake agreements for its Tassie Shoal project... Read more

Aston Resources has said it will "vigorously defend" itself against a legal claim by a former chief executive, Hamish Collins, which exposes the company to a possible $189 million payout... Read more

Former airline boss Michael James had not paid staff superannuation entitlements for more than four months when Air Australia collapsed, yet it seems unlikely he will be criminally charged... Read more

As the building industry starts to recover in 2012, valuations are emerging as a prominent issue with an increasing number of new dwelling sales failing to settle because of mortgage valuations coming in under the contract price... Read more

Minerals sands miner Iluka's production and revenue fell in the first quarter of 2012... Read more

Laos-focused miner PanAust has made no changes to its 2012 production targets after exceeding its expectations in the three months to March... Read more

The High Court of Malaysia has knocked back a request to review the recent decision to grant the rare earths miner Lynas Corporation a temporary licence for a processing plant... Read more

Cash-strapped miner Kagara says it has suspended mining operations at its Baal Gammon base metals project in Queensland while it completes the restructure and refinancing of its business... Read more

Australian investors are bailing out of listed property stocks, looking for higher returns elsewhere. But overseas investors, despite the strong dollar, are pouring cash into the sector... Read more

Shares in Flinders Mines have been placed in a trading halt pending the outcome of court action aimed at preventing the iron ore explorer's $554 million takeover by a Russian steel maker... Read more

The high cost of doing business, weak local conditions and finding staff have been identified as the key issues facing WA business this year, a survey has found... Read more

The Northern Territory Cattlemen's Association is worried an abattoir planned for Darwin will not go ahead without Federal Government support... Read more

A charity working abroad to heal horrific childbirth injuries in Ethiopia is being financially crippled after its Australian executive went renegade, warning partner organisations they had to be Christian to participate... Read more

International Headlines

US Market Report. Stocks rose on Thursday as lower yields on some euro-zone debt eased some concerns and rumors about China's strong GDP increased investors' appetite for risk... Read more

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

China is expected to report its weakest growth numbers in almost three years as global and domestic issues hurt its economy... Read more

Ailing cellphone maker Nokia has the cash to survive seven quarters like the last, but investors are losing faith that it can break the vicious circle that keeps customers and in turn application developers from its new phones... Read more

The Indian government approves a debt restructuring plan to save Air India, the country's national airline... Read more

Promising change and announcing a string of goals, Sony’s chief executive, Kazuo Hirai, laid out a revival plan for the struggling electronics and entertainment company, including a focus away from its unprofitable television business and a plan to cut 10,000 jobs... Read more

Italy's cost of borrowing rises as investors remain concerned about the country's ability to reduce its high levels of debt... Read more

Around 1,200 staff at bmi will lose their jobs after the takeover by British Airways, the airline has announced... Read more

After shunning Gap for the likes of Hennes & Mauritz AB and Forever 21 Inc., U.S. consumers have been snapping up brightly colored denim at Gap’s namesake stores and 1960s-inspired dresses from Banana Republic’s “Mad Men” collection... Read more

French presidential candidate Francois Hollande says he intends to take a no-nonsense approach to financial markets and tackle speculation... Read more

Regulators said on Thursday that Goldman Sachs Group Inc will pay $22 million to settle civil charges that it lacked adequate policies to prevent its analysts from sharing non-public information with Goldman traders and select clients... Read more

George Soros says Europe's financial crisis has taken 'a turn for the worse' and outlines a series of measures to solve it... Read more

A spate of earthquakes across the middle of the U.S. is “almost certainly” manmade, and may coincide with wastewater from oil or gas drilling injected into the ground, U.S. government scientists said in a new study... Read more

The relentless decline in US home prices is nearing an end and prices should rise for the first time in seven years in 2013, but a possible new wave of foreclosures could threaten the recovery, according a Reuters poll of economists... Read more

Gary Hoffman, the former boss of Northern Rock, is attempting to spoil the Co-op's offer to buy 632 branches from Lloyds Banking Group in a new bid that could result in a potential £700m cash payout to the government... Read more

Struggling UK retailer Mothercare said it will close another 111 UK stores over the next three years in a move affecting 730 jobs... Read more

The UK's trade deficit widened in February as exports of goods to non-EU countries dropped, figures have shown... Read more

The International Monetary Fund is considering scaling back how much money it needs to rebuild its war chest for handling financial crises, and it may not strike a deal with members next week, the IMF head said on Thursday... Read more

Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Europe’s largest oil company, said its operations aren’t the source of a Gulf of Mexico sheen it estimated was fewer than six barrels... Read more

Microsoft announced its biggest-ever customer for cloud computing - software that it hosts on behalf of clients and delivers over the Internet - after winning a contract to provide free services to a major Indian education body... Read more

India's industrial production rose less than expected in February, at 4.1% from a year earlier, the government says... Read more

Private equity firm Hellman & Friedman is exploring a sale of AlixPartners in a deal that could value the restructuring advisory firm at more than $1 billion, according to four people familiar with the matter... Read more

Traditional retailers like Nordstrom are tapping into the expertise of e-commerce companies such as Bonobos, which in turn are learning the advantages of bricks and mortar... Read more

The world's biggest banks would have needed to find more than $600 billion if tough new capital rules to be phased in from 2013 had been in place last year... Read more

An attempt by BP management to move on from the Gulf of Mexico crisis that has dogged it over the last two years was undermined at a turbulent annual meeting when the oil group came under fierce fire from its own shareholders... Read more

KFC Thailand stuck its foot in its mouth with a tweet exhorting customers to go buy KFC after an 8.6 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Indonesia triggered fears of a tsunami like the one that devastated the area in 2004... 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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