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The latest from Senior Journalist Rebecca Howard

Rebecca is a business journalist with more than 25 years’ experience, including more than a decade in Peru covering everything from politics, terrorism, human rights, and the war on drugs. She has worked for the Associated Press, Dow Jones, the Wall Street Journal and Reuters. Her work in NZ has included macroeconomics, listed companies and extensive coverage of the dairy sector. You can follow her on Twitter @FarroHoward or connect with her on LinkedIn here.

'Cautious' Joyce seeks cost-benefit on debt-to-income lending rules
Rebecca Howard | Wed, 08 Feb 2017

By Rebecca Howard Feb. 8 (BusinessDesk) - Finance Minister Steven Joyce wants a full cost-benefit analysis on proposed debt-to-income home lending limits and public consultation will be conducted by the Reserve Bank before any decision is made on the potential use of the addit...

Infratil upbeat about US renewable energy despite Trump uncertainty
Rebecca Howard | Tue, 07 Feb 2017

By Rebecca Howard Feb. 8 (BusinessDesk) - Infrastructure investor Infratil is still upbeat about its investment in US renewable energy development company Longroad Energy Holdings, despite President Donald Trump's election promises to boost coal. While Infratil said the com...

NZ Commerce Commission files charges against Bunnings
Rebecca Howard | Tue, 07 Feb 2017

By Rebecca Howard Feb. 8 (BusinessDesk) - The Commerce Commission has filed 45 charges in the Auckland District Court against Bunnings New Zealand, alleging the building supplies retailer misled consumers by advertising the prices of its goods as being the lowest in the market...

New Zealand dollar gains as inflation expectations push higher
Rebecca Howard | Tue, 07 Feb 2017

By Rebecca Howard Feb. 7 (BusinessDesk) -  The New Zealand dollar rose after a central bank survey that showed inflation expectations are on the rise. The kiwi dollar traded at 73.58  as at 5:15 pm in Wellington from 73.20 cents in Asia yesterday.  The kiwi rose to 95.93 Au...

NZ inflation expectations push higher, may give RBNZ pause for thought
Rebecca Howard | Tue, 07 Feb 2017

By Rebecca Howard Feb. 7 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand inflation expectations for the next two years have increased, a Reserve Bank survey shows, likely adding to the view that the central bank may lift its projected track for interest rates in Thursday's monetary policy statem...

Kathmandu says first half profit slightly stronger on increased Australian sales
Rebecca Howard | Mon, 06 Feb 2017

By Rebecca Howard Feb. 7 (BusinessDesk) - Kathmandu Holdings said first-half profit was slightly higher from a year earlier, partly bolstered by solid same store sales growth. The Christchurch-based outdoor equipment chain said net profit was $9.9 million on year in the six...

NZ dollar falls as rally runs out of puff ahead of payrolls data
Rebecca Howard | Fri, 03 Feb 2017

By Rebecca Howard Feb. 3 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand dollar continued to ease back Friday ahead of a three-day weekend on signs that a recent rally may be running out of steam. The kiwi dollar fell to 72.73 US cents as at 5 pm from 72.85 at 8 am and 72.98 US cents late...

RBNZ likely on hold, all eyes will be on its interest rate forecasts
Rebecca Howard | Fri, 03 Feb 2017

By Rebecca Howard Feb. 3 (BusinessDesk) - The Reserve Bank's view on where interest rates might go down the track will be the focus of attention at next Thursday's rate review, given it's widely expected to keep rates on hold at a record low 1.75 percent.  All 10 economist...

Plexure Group raises $1.6 mln through issue of convertible notes
Rebecca Howard | Fri, 03 Feb 2017

By Rebecca Howard Feb. 3 (BusinessDesk) - Plexure Group, the digital advertising firm formerly known as VMob, raised $1.6 million through an issue of convertible notes and the funds will be used to support ongoing operations. The notes have a face value of $1 per note and a...

Strike action to continue at Lyttelton Port over Waitangi weekend
Rebecca Howard | Fri, 03 Feb 2017

By Rebecca Howard Feb. 3 (BusinessDesk) - A strike at Lyttelton Port Co's container terminal will go ahead this weekend despite positive talks with the Maritime Union of New Zealand.  The planned industrial action for Feb. 11 and Feb. 12 will proceed, and the Maritime Union...

UPDATE: Metro Glass shares tumble after weaker-than-expected guidance
Rebecca Howard | Fri, 03 Feb 2017

(Updates to add share price, comment from fund manager and company conference call)  By Rebecca Howard Feb. 3 (BusinessDesk) - Metro Performance Glass shares dropped 17.5 percent after the company said annual profit was likely to be similar or lower than the prior year as c...

Metro Glass warns annual profit may drop as expected NZ sales don't eventuate
Rebecca Howard | Thu, 02 Feb 2017

By Rebecca Howard Feb. 3 (BusinessDesk) - Metro Performance Glass, which has more than half the country's glass processing market, said annual net profit was likely to be similar or even lower than the prior year as local sales lagged behind expectations with dwindling work in...

NZ dollar falls vs Aussie after Australia posts record trade surplus
Rebecca Howard | Thu, 02 Feb 2017

By Rebecca Howard Feb. 2 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand dollar fell against the Aussie dollar after Australia posted a record trade surplus in December, stoking optimism about the outlook for economic growth across the Tasman. The kiwi dollar fell to 95.52 Australian cent...

NZ's largest telcos lag field in customer satisfaction says Consumer NZ
Rebecca Howard | Wed, 01 Feb 2017

By Rebecca Howard Feb. 2 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand's two largest telecommunications retailers, Spark New Zealand and Vodafone New Zealand, lagged the field for customer satisfaction in the latest telco survey from Consumer NZ. Out of seven internet companies included in...

NZ dollar falls after unexpected rise in unemployment in fourth quarter
Rebecca Howard | Wed, 01 Feb 2017

By Rebecca Howard Feb. 1 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand dollar fell after figures showed the jobless rate unexpectedly rose in the fourth quarter while wage inflation remained tepid, detracting from the case for Reserve Bank rate hikes starting this year. The New Zealand...

UPDATE: Rise in NZ unemployment won't ruffle central bank feathers
Rebecca Howard | Tue, 31 Jan 2017

(Recasts and adds economists' comments) By Rebecca Howard Feb. 1 (BusinessDesk) –  New Zealand’s unemployment rate pushed back above 5 percent on the back of an ongoing surge in net migration but the news is unlikely to ruffle any feathers at the central bank as the labour...

NZ's jobless rate unexpectedly rises to 5.2% in 4th qtr; kiwi drops
Rebecca Howard | Tue, 31 Jan 2017

By Rebecca Howard Feb. 1 (BusinessDesk) - A large number of people entering New Zealand's workforce pushed the unemployment rate back above 5 percent but also meant the labour force participation rate reached an all-time high, data from Statistics New Zealand shows.  The un...

NZ dollar gains as Trump's policy moves weigh on greenback
Rebecca Howard | Tue, 31 Jan 2017

By Rebecca Howard Jan. 31 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand dollar gained as US President Donald Trump's latest policy decisions unsettled markets and weighed on the greenback. The kiwi rose to 72.86 US cents as at 5 pm in Wellington from 72.65 cents late yesterday. The trad...

Aussie homecare services firm cleared to buy 40% of Healthcare of NZ
Rebecca Howard | Tue, 31 Jan 2017

By Rebecca Howard Jan. 31 (BusinessDesk) - The Overseas Investment Office has given Australian-controlled Home Care BidCo Pty a green light to buy up to 40 percent of leading home health and disability services provider Healthcare of New Zealand Holdings in a deal worth more t...

Strike action still looming at Lyttelton Port, talks to continue Friday
Rebecca Howard | Thu, 26 Jan 2017

Jan. 26 (BusinessDesk) - Strike action is still looming at Lyttelton Port Co's container terminal after further mediation failed to reach a settlement although talks are continuing Friday, the port said in an emailed customer notice.  "The current strike notices have not been...

New Zealand dollar pushes higher on CPI but profit-taking tempers gains
Rebecca Howard | Thu, 26 Jan 2017

By Rebecca Howard Jan. 26 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand dollar gained Thursday as investors were cheered by stronger-than-expected inflation data although some profit-taking capped gains.  The kiwi rose to 72.84 US cents from 72.47 US cents as at 8 am in Wellington and 7...


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