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The latest from Jonathan Underhill

News, opinion and analysis by Jonathan Underhill

Proactive monitoring needed in banking, insurance, MPs told
Jonathan Underhill | Wed, 19 Sep 2018

By Gavin Evans Sept. 19 (BusinessDesk) - More proactive monitoring of the country’s banking sector is needed given the lack of understanding in the community about insurance products and loans, MPs heard today. Home loans, savings schemes and insurance are not the same as o...

Near-record throughput at Marsden Point
Jonathan Underhill | Tue, 18 Sep 2018

By Gavin Evans Sept. 19 (BusinessDesk) - The Marsden Point oil refinery processed a near-record 7.62 million barrels of oil during the past two months. Operator New Zealand Refining said its throughput for July and August was the second highest on record. It attributed the...

Independent valuation of Tilt 'very optimistic' - Infratil
Jonathan Underhill | Tue, 18 Sep 2018

By Gavin Evans Sept. 18 (BusinessDesk) - Some of the assumptions in an independent valuation of Tilt Renewables have resulted in a “very optimistic” view of the firm’s long-term prospects, suitor Infratil says. Chief executive Marko Bogoievski said some of the assumptions a...

Electricity price caps may harm new entrants, investment - S&P
Jonathan Underhill | Tue, 18 Sep 2018

By Gavin Evans Sept. 18 (BusinessDesk) - Retail price caps in the electricity market may disproportionately harm new entrant players while also discouraging investment, ratings agency S&P Global says in an appraisal of the Australian power market. Interventions in retail pr...

Auckland Airport eyes six-year bond offer
Jonathan Underhill | Mon, 17 Sep 2018

By Gavin Evans Sept. 18 (BusinessDesk) - Auckland International Airport is planning to offer a six-year retail bond to help fund its ongoing expansion. The company didn’t specify the size of the offer it expects to open next week. Last month the firm, which has a $75 millio...

Infratil, Mercury have strong incentive to complete Tilt takeover - appraisal
Jonathan Underhill | Mon, 17 Sep 2018

By Gavin Evans Sept. 17 (BusinessDesk) - Infratil and Mercury NZ have a strong incentive to increase their stake in Tilt Renewables to 90 percent but may only raise their offer for the business if there is strong resistance from minority holders, an independent review says....

Nelson Airport earnings jump on strong passenger growth
Jonathan Underhill | Mon, 17 Sep 2018

By Gavin Evans Sept. 17 (BusinessDesk) - Nelson Airport reported a 12 percent increase in full-year net profit on continued passenger growth and an increase in work through the aircraft maintenance business Air New Zealand operates there. Passenger traffic increased 6 perce...

Aurora faces court action for network reliability breaches
Jonathan Underhill | Sun, 16 Sep 2018

By Gavin Evans Sept. 17 (BusinessDesk) - Aurora Energy faces court action after breaching its reliability standards for two years running. The company, which operates the electricity networks in Dunedin, Queenstown and Central Otago, under-invested in asset maintenance and...

Renewables, market power may force electricity generation market change - academic
Jonathan Underhill | Fri, 14 Sep 2018

By Gavin Evans Sept. 14 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand may have to consider changing its wholesale electricity market as increasing volumes of solar and wind energy make it harder to fund traditional large-scale generation, an Auckland academic says. The falling cost of wind...

Contact posts biggest customer loss in seven years
Jonathan Underhill | Thu, 13 Sep 2018

By Gavin Evans Sept. 13 (BusinessDesk) - Contact Energy posted its biggest customer loss in seven years last month after its contract with a major commercial client came to an end. The firm, which has been letting commercial and industrial customers go rather than compete t...

Power company shares rally on electricity review panel report
Jonathan Underhill | Tue, 11 Sep 2018

By Gavin Evans Sept. 11 (BusinessDesk) - Shares in some of the country’s biggest generators jumped today after an independent review of the electricity sector found no evidence that they, or distributors, were making excessive profits. Shares in Meridian Energy, the country...

Electricity industry, govt need to do more on energy hardship - panel
Jonathan Underhill | Tue, 11 Sep 2018

By Gavin Evans Sept. 11 (BusinessDesk) - Electricity providers, regulators and the government need to do more to help families struggling to meet their energy costs, an expert advisory panel says. More than 100,000 households are spending more than 10 percent of their incom...

Govt direction on transmission may be needed for dairy sector electrification
Jonathan Underhill | Mon, 10 Sep 2018

By Gavin Evans Sept. 10 (BusinessDesk) - Government intervention in transmission will probably be required if the country is serious about electrifying dairy processing to reduce the country’s carbon emissions, Babbage Consultants associate Richard Stretton says. Processors...

Tourism Holdings' campervan maker cleared to expand
Jonathan Underhill | Fri, 31 Aug 2018

By Gavin Evans Aug. 31 (BusinessDesk) - Tourism Holdings’ campervan manufacturing business has been cleared to acquire a new site to expand its operations in Hamilton. Action Manufacturing is acquiring a leasehold interest in 1.5 hectares of land at Te Rapa for $8.6 million...

Infrastructure, spectrum sharing may be key to 5G roll-out - ComCom
Jonathan Underhill | Fri, 31 Aug 2018

By Gavin Evans Aug. 31 (BusinessDesk) - Sharing infrastructure may be important in improving the economics of 5G mobile services and speeding its take up across the country, the Commerce Commission says. The new technology is considered necessary for the wide take-up of aut...

UPDATE: Vector acquires contractor Vircom to maintain national footprint
Jonathan Underhill | Thu, 30 Aug 2018

(Adds MainPower comment from 5th paragraph) By Gavin Evans Aug. 30 (BusinessDesk) - Vector has agreed to buy Vircom Energy Management Services to help maintain a national service for residential and commercial smart meters. Vircom, owned by Rangiora-based lines company M...

Vector acquires contractor Vircom to maintain national footprint
Jonathan Underhill | Thu, 30 Aug 2018

By Gavin Evans Aug. 30 (BusinessDesk) - Vector has agreed to buy Vircom Energy Management Services to help maintain a national service for residential and commercial smart meters. Vircom, owned by Rangiora-based lines company MainPower, has offices there, Auckland, Nelson a...

Entrust seeks special meeting to remove Vector chair Stiassny
Jonathan Underhill | Wed, 29 Aug 2018

By Gavin Evans Aug. 30 (BusinessDesk) - Vector’s major shareholder is seeking a special meeting to formally remove company chair Mike Stiassny from that role. Entrust, which holds 75 percent of the firm’s shares on behalf of customers of the former Auckland Electric Power B...

Mercer loss widens on poor H&C performance; recent trading better
Jonathan Underhill | Wed, 29 Aug 2018

By Gavin Evans Aug. 29 (BusinessDesk) - Mercer Group says its two major operating divisions have good work flows and delivered an operating profit last month. The group’s Mercer Stainless business delivered operating earnings of $1.1 million in the year through June, while...

Genesis not worried by lifting of ETS cap
Jonathan Underhill | Wed, 29 Aug 2018

By Gavin Evans Aug. 29 (BusinessDesk) - Genesis Energy, the country’s largest thermal generator, says it is not worried by proposals to lift the cap on carbon prices in the country’s emissions trading scheme. The company said it is important that consumers see the true carb...

Genesis beats earnings forecast; signals higher 2019 capex
Jonathan Underhill | Tue, 28 Aug 2018

By Gavin Evans Aug. 29 (BusinessDesk) - Genesis Energy reported an 8 percent increase in full-year operating earnings after dry, still weather boosted demand for coal- and gas-fired generation from its Huntly site. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation a...

FIRST CUT: Genesis beats earnings forecast on strong generation demand
Jonathan Underhill | Tue, 28 Aug 2018

By Gavin Evans Aug. 29 (BusinessDesk) - Genesis Energy reported an 8 percent increase in full-year operating earnings after dry, still weather boosted demand for coal- and gas-fired generation from its Huntly site. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation a...

Tilt says Waverley among key near-term projects
Jonathan Underhill | Tue, 28 Aug 2018

By Gavin Evans Aug. 28 (BusinessDesk) - Tilt Renewables says its consented wind project at Waverley on the southern Taranaki coast is among three it is focusing on for near-term development. The Melbourne-based company is advancing an 80-turbine, 336 MW project at Dundonnel...


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