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The latest from South Island correspondent Paul McBeth

Paul leads BusinessDesk's South Island coverage, based in Queenstown. He joined the business in its first year in 2008. In that time, he's covered monetary policy, the collapse of the country’s mezzanine finance sector, restructuring of the telecommunications sector and financial markets law. Through BusinessDesk, he's been published in the Dominion Post, NZ Herald, the Independent Business Weekly and the Listener. You can follow him on Twitter @pbmcbeth or connect with him on LinkedIn here.

NZ dollar slips vs. Australian dollar after RBA gives no hint of lowering interest rates
Paul McBeth | Tue, 06 Oct 2015

By Paul McBeth Oct. 6 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand dollar dipped against its trans-Tasman counterpart after the Reserve Bank of Australia disappointed traders looking for hints of another rate cut, keeping the target cash rate unchanged and saying data will inform future m...

NZ govt lifts target speeds for rural broadband in drive to lift ICT investment
Paul McBeth | Tue, 06 Oct 2015

By Paul McBeth Oct. 6 (BusinessDesk) - The government has lifted its expectations on faster broadband speeds for rural New Zealand as it targets increased spending on research and development in the country's information and communications technology sector, which it sees as a...

Mercer to sell unprofitable medical division for $2mln
Paul McBeth | Mon, 05 Oct 2015

By Paul McBeth Oct. 6 (BusinessDesk) - Mercer Group, the stainless steel fabricator and manufacturer, has agreed to sell its unprofitable medical division for $2.03 million, kicking off an asset sale programme signalled in August when the company wrote off $6 million from the...

Sanford appoints Rob McLeod to board, seeks tie-up with Maori fisheries
Paul McBeth | Mon, 05 Oct 2015

By Paul McBeth Oct. 6 (BusinessDesk) - Sanford, New Zealand's largest listed fishing group, will add Ernst & Young chairman Rob McLeod to its board next year as it seeks to get closer with Maori fishing firms in a bid to lift the industry's performance against foreign rivals....

Business lobbies, wine growers, meat sector welcome TPP
Paul McBeth | Mon, 05 Oct 2015

By Paul McBeth Oct. 6 (BusinessDesk) - Business lobbies, wine growers and the country's meat sector have welcomed the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade and investment agreement, which left Fonterra Cooperative Group cold after prolonged negotiations wrung only small, slow access...

NZ dollar rises to five-week high as weaker US, UK data seen keeping interest rates low
Paul McBeth | Mon, 05 Oct 2015

By Paul McBeth Oct. 6 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand dollar rose to a five-week high as weaker-than-expected service sector indicators in the US and UK raised questions about how quickly those two economies will return to normal monetary policy, and stoked investors' appetit...

CORRECT: Westpac keeps core government transactions contract, other banks get peripheral services
Paul McBeth | Mon, 05 Oct 2015

(Fixes govt savings in 4th graph) By Paul McBeth Oct. 5 (BusinessDesk) - The local arm of Westpac Banking Corp has kept its contract with the New Zealand government to provide core transactions, but will have to share peripheral services with its rivals. Finance Minister...

NZ dollar gains as traders digest weak US employment numbers
Paul McBeth | Mon, 05 Oct 2015

By Paul McBeth Oct. 5 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand dollar gained in local trading as investors weighed up the impact of weaker-than-expected US employment figures and what that means for the Federal Reserve's track to raise interest rates. The kiwi traded at 64.65 US ce...

NZ govt science plan seeks to double private sector R&D by 2025
Paul McBeth | Mon, 05 Oct 2015

By Paul McBeth Oct. 5 (BusinessDesk) - The government is ready to spend more on direct research grants to businesses to meet an "aspirational" target of doubling private sector research and development spending over the next 10 years, despite feedback from the business communi...

NZX share trading value climbs 22% in September as NZX 50 rounds out weak quarter
Paul McBeth | Sun, 04 Oct 2015

By Paul McBeth Oct. 5 (BusinessDesk) - The value of share trading on New Zealand's stock exchange climbed 23 percent in September, rounding out a quarter when the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index posted its biggest three-month decline in more than three years. The total value of...

NZ dollar little changed on the week as US payrolls loom
Paul McBeth | Fri, 02 Oct 2015

By Paul McBeth Oct. 2 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand dollar is largely unchanged against the greenback this week as improving local outlook eases fears of slowing growth, and as traders wait for US employment data, which will help them weigh up the timing and pace of looming...

NZ commodity prices rise in September, snapping five-month decline
Paul McBeth | Fri, 02 Oct 2015

By Paul McBeth Oct. 2 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand commodity prices rose in September, following the sharp rebound in dairy prices, and snapping a five-month decline for locally produced raw materials. The ANZ Commodity Price Index rose 5.5 percent to 239.5 last month, matc...

Rocket Lab to target moon in new contract
Paul McBeth | Thu, 01 Oct 2015

By Paul McBeth Oct. 2 (BusinessDesk) - Rocket Lab, which develops small launch rockets providing a cheaper alternative to send small payloads into space, has signed a contract with San Francisco-based Moon Express to send three robotic spacecraft to the moon, starting in 2017....

TruScreen trims annual sales forecast on delayed product launch
Paul McBeth | Thu, 01 Oct 2015

By Paul McBeth Oct. 2 (BusinessDesk) - TruScreen, the NZAX-listed cervical cancer test developer, says annual sales won't be as big as previously forecast due to a delay in the commercial launch of an upgraded screening device. The hold-up in rolling out its TruScreen Ultra...

NZ dollar holds near 64 cts as soft US manufacturing counters China optimism; payrolls loom
Paul McBeth | Thu, 01 Oct 2015

By Paul McBeth Oct. 2 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand dollar was little changed after a weaker-than-expected US manufacturing gauge eroded and better-than-forecast Chinese industrial production data, as traders await US payrolls data which will feed into the Federal Reserve's...

ComCom keeps red flag over potential collusion through industry associations
Paul McBeth | Thu, 01 Oct 2015

By Paul McBeth Oct. 1 (BusinessDesk) - The Commerce Commission is still wary about potential collusion through industry associations, which provides an avenue for rival firms to talk about the issues they collectively face and may lead to anti-competitive behaviour. Partici...

Bath Street Capital will 'robustly defend' Pyne Gould's $22 mln claim, considering counterclaim
Paul McBeth | Thu, 01 Oct 2015

By Paul McBeth Oct. 1 (BusinessDesk) - Bath Street Capital, which has been building a local trustee firm, will "robustly defend" a $22 million claim by Pyne Gould Corp over the sale of Perpetual Trust, and is considering filing a counter-suit against the asset manager. The...

Infratil follows Z exit with $150 mln bond offer as it targets Pacific Hydro
Paul McBeth | Wed, 30 Sep 2015

By Paul McBeth Oct. 1 (BusinessDesk) - Infratil, the Wellington-based infrastructure investor, has followed its exit from Z Energy with a bond issue to raise as much as $150 million as it looks to buy Australian renewable energy firm Pacific Hydro. The investment firm, mana...

CORRECT: Pushpay tops 2,000 merchants, beating forecast at end of September
Paul McBeth | Wed, 30 Sep 2015

(Fixes placement price in 3rd graph) By Paul McBeth Oct. 1 (BusinessDesk) - Pushpay Holdings, which yesterday raised $18.7 million in a private placement to fund its global expansion, more than doubled its customer numbers over the past six months, beating its forecast by a...

NZ dollar gains as investors start new quarter on upbeat note
Paul McBeth | Wed, 30 Sep 2015

By Paul McBeth Oct. 1 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand dollar gained as investors began the new quarter on a positive note, as equity markets in Europe and the US. The kiwi rose to 63.90 US cents at 8am in Wellington from 63.65 cents yesterday. The trade-weighted index adva...

Pyne Gould sues Andrew Barnes, Bath Street for at least $22M over Perpetual sale
Paul McBeth | Wed, 30 Sep 2015

By Paul McBeth Sept. 30 (BusinessDesk) - Pyne Gould Corp, which today blamed its auditor for the late filing of its annual report, is suing Bath Street Capital and Andrew Barnes for at least $22 million that it claims is an unpaid bill from the sale of Perpetual Trust. In a...

NZ business confidence snaps five-month decline as firms get less gloomy
Paul McBeth | Wed, 30 Sep 2015

By Paul McBeth Sept. 30 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand businesses grew less gloomy about the economy's prospects in September, snapping five months of declining confidence, in a period when dairy prices rallied from their lows, soothing concerns about the strength of the nation'...

MYOB buys NZ payroll provider Information Management Services for up to $9.7M
Paul McBeth | Tue, 29 Sep 2015

By Paul McBeth Sept. 30 (BusinessDesk) - MYOB, the Australian payment solutions software developer, has bought Hastings-based payroll provider Information Management Services for as much as $9.7 million, its fourth New Zealand acquisition in recent years. The Melbourne-base...


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