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The latest from Jonathan Underhill

News, opinion and analysis by Jonathan Underhill

Fonterra credit rating cut to A- by S&P on Beingmate debt, peak capex, price volatility
Jonathan Underhill | Wed, 14 Oct 2015

By Jonathan Underhill Oct. 14 (BusinessDesk) - Fonterra Cooperative Group's long-term credit rating was cut by Standard & Poor's, which said its peak capital expenditure and rising debt levels had coincided with a high level of volatility in the global dairy market in fiscal 2...

Westpac to raise A$3.5B in discounted rights offer, reports 3% gain in cash earnings
Jonathan Underhill | Wed, 14 Oct 2015

By Jonathan Underhill Oct. 14 (BusinessDesk) - Westpac Banking Corp, Australia's second-largest lender, plans to raise A$3.5 billion in a discounted rights offer to meet new capital requirements and posted a 3 percent increase in full-year cash earnings driven by lending growt...

Funds inflow underpins Fisher Funds 2015 earnings in year of smaller bonuses
Jonathan Underhill | Tue, 13 Oct 2015

By Jonathan Underhill Oct. 14 (BusinessDesk) - Fisher Funds Management lifted funds under management by 10 percent to $6.6 billion in 2015, helping underpin earnings in a year when investment returns resulted in smaller performance fees. Fee income fell to about $61 million...

Wheeler says some OCR easing likely but wants to avoid stoking property demand
Jonathan Underhill | Tue, 13 Oct 2015

By Jonathan Underhill Oct. 14 (BusinessDesk) - Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler has reiterated that he is likely to cut interest rates again, although he is also conscious of the risk that low borrowing costs inflame the housing market and wants to retain some capacity to...

NZ dollar falls on weaker Chinese imports data
Jonathan Underhill | Tue, 13 Oct 2015

By Jonathan Underhill Oct. 13 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand dollar fell after Chinese figures showed a bigger-than-expected drop in imports last month, which weighed on the currencies of countries that ship commodities to the world's second-largest economy. The kiwi fell...

Groser's 'blanket approach' in turning down Kelsey's OIA requests on TPPA not lawful, court rules
Jonathan Underhill | Mon, 12 Oct 2015

By Jonathan Underhill Oct. 13 (BusinessDesk) - Trade Minister Tim Groser had no lawful basis to withhold information about the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement requested under the Official Information Act made by Jane Kelsey, a high-profile opponent of the trade deal. Ju...

NZ dollar gains on growing signs Fed will wait longer to raise rates
Jonathan Underhill | Mon, 12 Oct 2015

By Jonathan Underhill Oct. 12 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand dollar rose amid speculation inflation is tame enough in the US to prevent the Federal Reserve rushing to restore normal monetary conditions, including interest rates of more than zero, which has driven down the gr...

'Dangerous game' to stare down banking syndicate, warns Silver Fern chairman Hewett, as shareholder vote looms
Jonathan Underhill | Sun, 11 Oct 2015

By Jonathan Underhill Oct. 12 (BusinessDesk) - Silver Fern Farms chairman Rob Hewett says the company's banking syndicate has become tired of its relationship and it would be "a dangerous game" to test lender support in the event farmer-shareholders don't support selling a hal...

Shanghai Pengxin unit ends attempt to buy Northland farms, citing 5 months of silence from OIO, Lochinver rejection
Jonathan Underhill | Sun, 11 Oct 2015

By Jonathan Underhill Oct. 12 (BusinessDesk) - Dakang New Zealand Farm Group, which is 55 percent owned by Shanghai Pengxin, has quit efforts to buy 10 farms in Northland, citing five months of silence from the Overseas Investment Office since it applied for clearance and its...

NZ dollar falls vs. Australian dollar as RBNZ seen cutting rates while RBA stands pat
Jonathan Underhill | Sun, 11 Oct 2015

By Jonathan Underhill Oct. 12 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand dollar extended its decline against the Australian dollar on speculation the Reserve Bank of New Zealand will cut interest rates again this year while Australia's central bank keeps its cash rate unchanged, narrowi...

World Week Ahead: Bank earnings, Fed talks
Jonathan Underhill | Sun, 11 Oct 2015

By Margreet Dietz Oct. 12 (BusinessDesk) - US corporate earnings including those from JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup will be in focus in the coming days as well as remarks from a slew of Federal Reserve officials as investors continue to seek guidance on when US rates will start...

NZ inflation probably slowed in 3rd qtr as vehicle levies fell, council rates rose
Jonathan Underhill | Sun, 11 Oct 2015

By Jonathan Underhill Oct. 12 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand inflation probably slowed in the third quarter, keeping the annual rate below the Reserve Bank's target band for a fourth straight quarter and giving the bank more reason to cut interest rates again as soon as this mon...

Silver Fern could stay NZ-owned for as little as $25k per farmer, says Chinese deal opponent
Jonathan Underhill | Thu, 08 Oct 2015

By Jonathan Underhill Oct. 9 (BusinessDesk) - Silver Fern Farms could be kept in cooperative ownership for as little as $25,000 per farmer and the meat company's board would be irresponsible not to consider a "plan B" if it fails to garner support for its proposal to sell half...

NZ dollar gains to six-week high as dovish Fed, global liquidity lift commodities, asset prices
Jonathan Underhill | Thu, 08 Oct 2015

By Jonathan Underhill Oct. 9 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand dollar rose to the highest level in more than six weeks after minutes of the last Federal Reserve meeting suggested its policymakers were more inclined to hold off raising interest rates and may not move as far in r...

Foodstuffs agrees to buy 21 stores from Asahi's The Mill to add to Liquorland chain
Jonathan Underhill | Thu, 08 Oct 2015

By Jonathan Underhill Oct. 8 (BusinessDesk) - Foodstuffs (NZ) part of the cooperative group that makes up New Zealand's biggest supermarket operator, has agreed to buy 21 stores from Asahi Group's Mill Retail Holdings, with plans to rebrand them as part of its franchised Liquo...

A2 Milk to raise up to $43 mln in placement, SPP, 4 months after shelving capital raising
Jonathan Underhill | Wed, 07 Oct 2015

By Jonathan Underhill Oct. 8 (BusinessDesk) - A2 Milk, which markets milk with a protein variant said to have health benefits, plans to raise $43 million through a share placement and share purchase plan, just months after it shelved an equity raising when its biggest sharehol...

Michael Hill first-quarter sales rise 9.9%, sees stable gross margin after difficult second half last year
Jonathan Underhill | Wed, 07 Oct 2015

By Jonathan Underhill Oct. 8 (BusinessDesk) - Michael Hill International, the listed jewellery retailer, said first-quarter sales rose 9.9 percent, driven by a combination of new store openings and increased revenue from existing stores. Sales rose to A$112.5 million in the...

ACC's 14.5% investment return beats benchmark as NZ, global bonds and equities outperform
Jonathan Underhill | Wed, 07 Oct 2015

By Jonathan Underhill Oct. 7 (BusinessDesk) - Accident Compensation Corp continued a two-decade run of beating benchmarks with its investment returns, as the the state-owned accident insurer squeezed more profit from its holdings of New Zealand and global bonds and stocks....

RBA sees regulatory measures helping contain risks in Sydney, Melbourne housing markets
Jonathan Underhill | Tue, 06 Oct 2015

By Jonathan Underhill Oct. 6 (BusinessDesk) - The Reserve Bank of Australia kept its cash rate unchanged at 2 percent, as expected, and indicated it has become slightly less concerned about volatility in financial markets and the overheated housing market in Sydney and Melbour...

Affinity's Tegel may be heading for NZX 50 as fund managers warm to chicken business
Jonathan Underhill | Tue, 06 Oct 2015

By Jonathan Underhill Oct. 6 (BusinessDesk) - Tegel Foods may be headed for the NZX 50 Index in an initial public offering that could value Affinity Equity Partners' New Zealand poultry business at about $800 million, although there is a question mark about whether the sale co...

CORRECT: NZ's biggest companies may face 'enormous compliance burden' from OECD tax dragnet
Jonathan Underhill | Mon, 05 Oct 2015

(Fixes spelling of Todd McClay in 16th paragraph) By Jonathan Underhill Oct. 6 (BusinessDesk) - Fonterra Cooperative Group is likely to be among some 20 New Zealand companies left dealing with increased red tape to comply with wide-ranging reforms to corporate tax rules pro...

Orion shares jump 9% after Leidos syndicate wins US defence contract
Jonathan Underhill | Mon, 05 Oct 2015

By Jonathan Underhill Oct. 6 (BusinessDesk) - Orion Health shares jumped 9 percent after the listed healthcare system software developer said it was part of a group that won a US Department of Defense contract to help modernise the department's healthcare data system. Orion...

Funding no-shows frustrate mining junior New Talisman
Jonathan Underhill | Mon, 05 Oct 2015

By Jonathan Underhill Oct. 5 (BusinessDesk) - New Talisman Gold Mines, which is scraping up cash to begin bulk sampling work at its Talisman gold mine project in New Zealand’s Hauraki district, is frustrated that a second potential investor has failed to come up with promised...


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