The latest from Senior Journalist Jenny Ruth

Jenny has been a financial journalist for more than 37 years. She has covered everything from listed companies to economics for outlets including the Australian Associated Press, Bloomberg News, Radio NZ and National Business Review. Jenny was the New Zealand Shareholders’ Association business journalist of the year for 2018.

NZSA says Vital Healthcare's manager is overstepping the mark
Jenny Ruth | Mon, 17 Dec 2018

By Jenny Ruth Dec. 17 (BusinessDesk) - Vital Healthcare Property Trust’s manager appears to be overstepping the mark in trying to sway investors into supporting the manager’s resolutions and voting against those proposed by rebel investors, according to the New Zealand Shareho...

Chorus says November household broadband usage jumped 35%
Jenny Ruth | Mon, 17 Dec 2018

By Jenny Ruth Dec. 17 (BusinessDesk) - The average household broadband usage in November was more than 35 percent higher than a year earlier, with homes in Porirua leading the way, Chorus says. The telecommunications lines business says the average home nationally used abou...

Massey University launches a real-time GDP tracker
Jenny Ruth | Sun, 16 Dec 2018

By Jenny Ruth Dec. 17 (BusinessDesk) - Massey University’s Knowledge Exchange Hub has launched a new tool aimed at providing a real time measure of GDP. The tracker harnesses data from a wide range of sources including KiwiRail, the New Zealand Transport Agency, Port of Tau...

Christmas shopping starts to take off
Jenny Ruth | Sun, 16 Dec 2018

By Jenny Ruth Dec. 17 (BusinessDesk) - The Christmas shopping spree is heating up with spending excluding fuel jumping to $1.27 billion in the second week of December, up 6 percent compared with the first week. That figure is also 2.9 percent higher than in the same week la...

Could Australian banks float their NZ subsidiaries?
Jenny Ruth | Sun, 16 Dec 2018

By Jenny Ruth Dec. 17 (BusinessDesk) - The Australian parents of New Zealand’s four largest banks would need to transfer about A$18 billion of capital to their subsidiaries to meet proposed new capital rules, according to Macquarie Equities. In announcing the proposed rules...

Expect a soggy GDP reading for the September quarter
Jenny Ruth | Sun, 16 Dec 2018

By Jenny Ruth Dec. 17 (BusinessDesk) - September quarter gross domestic product data due for release on Thursday is expected to reflect an economy running out of puff after the very strong June quarter performance. Economists are expecting the figures to show the economy gr...

Noel Leeming fined $200,000 for misleading consumers
Jenny Ruth | Fri, 14 Dec 2018

By Jenny Ruth Dec. 14 (BusinessDesk) - Noel Leeming has been fined $200,000 for misleading consumers about their rights under the Consumer Guarantees Act following a Commerce Commission prosecution. The homeware retailer, which is owned by The Warehouse Group, was convicted...

Labour co-ordinator role may alleviate kiwifruit labour shortage
Jenny Ruth | Thu, 13 Dec 2018

By Jenny Ruth Dec. 14 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand kiwifruit growers' association says it has gained support from the government’s Provincial Growth Fund and the Ministry of Social Development to employ a labour coordinator to try to alleviate an expected staff shortage in...

Housing market continued cooling in November
Jenny Ruth | Thu, 13 Dec 2018

By Jenny Ruth Dec. 14 (BusinessDesk) - House price inflation abated further in November, although sales volumes increased slightly, and the Auckland market cooled a little more. The latest Real Estate Institute of New Zealand’s house price index rose 3.5 percent from a year...

Scales pays US$23.2m for 60% of US petfood manufacturer
Jenny Ruth | Thu, 13 Dec 2018

By Jenny Ruth Dec. 14 (BusinessDesk) - Mr Apple owner Scales Corp says it has bought 60 percent of a United States-based petfood manufacturer. Scales says it will pay US$23.2 million for the stake in Shelby JV LLC. It is buying that from founder and president Brett Frankel,...

PFI properties’ valuation rises 5.5% to $1.32 billion
Jenny Ruth | Thu, 13 Dec 2018

By Jenny Ruth Dec. 13 (BusinessDesk) - Property for Industry says the value of its portfolio has risen by 5.5 percent and that it has sold a Wellington property that had asbestos and earthquake issues. The company began the year with 92 properties valued at $1.21 billion an...

UPDATE: MBIE officials grilled on terms of Westland Milk loan
Jenny Ruth | Thu, 13 Dec 2018

(Updating with details of Westland's bank debt at end of story) By Jenny Ruth Dec. 13 (BusinessDesk) - Not knowing how much interest Westland Milk is paying on its $9.9 million loan from the government’s Provincial Development Fund leaves parliamentarians no means of assess...

Kiwibank says customers have a dwindling need of physical branches
Jenny Ruth | Thu, 13 Dec 2018

By Jenny Ruth Dec. 13 (BusinessDesk) - Kiwibank says the number of customers using its branches has halved since 2015 and that fewer than 5 percent of customers use a branch as their only means of interacting with it, the bank’s chief customer officer Mark Stephen told a parli...

NZSA throws its weight behind Vital’s rebel investors
Jenny Ruth | Thu, 13 Dec 2018

By Jenny Ruth Dec. 13 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand Shareholders’ Association has thrown its weight behind rebel investors in Vital Healthcare Property Trust, saying the manager is treating investors “with contempt.” NZSA says reform of the trust’s governance structure i...

Motor vehicle lending helps UDC lift annual profit 6%
Jenny Ruth | Wed, 12 Dec 2018

By Jenny Ruth Dec. 12 (BusinessDesk) - The ANZ Bank-owned UDC Finance says an 18 percent increase in lending on motor vehicles helped it lift annual net profit 6 percent. The finance company’s net profit for the year ended Sept. 30 was $65.3 million and that overall lending...

Sydney house price downturn could dampen Auckland prices
Jenny Ruth | Tue, 11 Dec 2018

By Jenny Ruth Dec. 12 (BusinessDesk) - The sharp fall in house prices in Sydney this year, down almost 10 percent from their peak in 2017, could have a dampening effect on Auckland's property market, although the shortage of local houses, lower mortgage rates and still elevate...

NorthWest hires lobbyist to solicit Vital Healthcare votes
Jenny Ruth | Tue, 11 Dec 2018

By Jenny Ruth Dec. 11 (BusinessDesk) - NorthWest Healthcare Properties Management has hired a proxy solicitation firm to lobby investors in the listed Vital Healthcare Property Trust to give their proxies to the chair, Claire Higgins. NorthWest, which is ultimately owned by...

CORRECT: Ryman Healthcare: service provider or property play?
Jenny Ruth | Tue, 11 Dec 2018

(Fixes number of Ryman villages in third paragraph) By Jenny Ruth Dec. 11 (BusinessDesk) - Ever since Ryman Healthcare listed on NZX in 1999, analysts have been divided on whether the company is a property play or the provider of an essential service delivered through prope...

CORRECT: Peter Yealands and his former company fined for "unprecedented offending"
Jenny Ruth | Mon, 10 Dec 2018

(Corrects the word "receive" to deceive in paragraph 12) By Jenny Ruth Dec. 11 (BusinessDesk) - Yealands Estate Wines has pleaded guilty to “unprecedented offending” under the Wine Act 2003 and has copped a $400,000 fine. The Ministry for Primary Industries prosecuted Ye...

CEO pay and non-GAAP reporting are linked, study shows
Jenny Ruth | Mon, 10 Dec 2018

By Jenny Ruth Dec. 10 (BusinessDesk) - The more highly paid the chief executives of publicly listed companies, the more likely they are to use figures that don’t conform to generally accepted accounting principles, according to a University of Otago study. Not only is the u...

CORRECT: New director of Vital Healthcare’s manager unfazed by fire-at-will clause
Jenny Ruth | Mon, 10 Dec 2018

(Fixes date when NorthWest bought management contract in 14th paragraph) By Jenny Ruth Dec. 10 (BusinessDesk) - Graham Stuart says he isn’t worried that Vital Healthcare Property Trust’s manager can fire him at will after a current review of the manager’s fees has been comp...

Is this the calm before a storm of credit card thrashing?
Jenny Ruth | Sun, 09 Dec 2018

By Jenny Ruth Dec. 10 (BusinessDesk) - Retail spending using electronic cards was only 1.2 percent higher nationwide in the first seven days of December than in the same week last year, according to Paymark, which processes more than 75 percent of New Zealand card transactions...

Shareholders’ Association wants Finzsoft to come clean
Jenny Ruth | Sun, 09 Dec 2018

By Jenny Ruth Dec. 10 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand Shareholders’ Association is hoping that financial institution software provider Finzsoft will come clean at the annual shareholders’ meeting about squabbles both at board level and between the owners of its largest shareh...


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