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‘Not in national interest’: Ministers block foreigners from buying 4500ha of farmland

In a rare rejection of an Overseas Investment Office application, Canadians have been barred from buying more than 4500ha of South Island farmland. Mercury Agriculture LP, 92 per cent controlled by Canadian interests, cannot buy more than 2000ha of South Canterbury and Otago land because it is not in New Zealand’s interests, according to the office decision. Mercury wanted to ... Read More »

Business confidence rebounds – ‘the vibe is changing’

Business confidence has rebounded in November and “it appears the vibe is changing”, says ANZ chief economist Sharon Zollner. The latest ANZ Business Outlook Survey is much stronger across the board, offering further signs that the current economic slowdown may be reaching its trough. Headline business confidence jumped 16 points to a net 26 per cent of respondents reporting that ... Read More »

Kiwi Property half-year profit drops 24% to $36m

New Zealand’s biggest listed landlord, Kiwi Property Group, has delivered a $36.7m net profit after tax for the latest half-year, down 24 per cent on the previous $48m due to a combination of factors including falling interest rates. Net rental income fell due to the sale of North City in Porirua, funds from operations fell reflecting the impact of one-off ... Read More »

NZ house prices set a new record, topping $600,000: Six fastest-rising areas revealed

New Zealand house prices set a new annual record, up 8.2 per cent from a median $561,500 to $607,500. Latest Real Estate Institute data showed that was the first time this country’s house prices had gone above $600,000. Auckland house prices rose by a median $7000 annually, from $861,000 a year ago to $868,000 last month which REINZ said was ... Read More »

Who are New Zealand’s 40 most powerful property people?

Bosses running big businesses in construction, development, investment, land ownership and retirement hold big sway in New Zealand. Yet many are not household names – and they like it that way. So who’s really in charge? Who are those controlling billions of dollars worth of investment, making decisions which affect our lives – where and how we live and work? ... Read More »

The threat and the promise of digital money

What is the future of money in a digital age? This was the subject of an event at the Peterson Institute for International Economics last week. This seminar was the intellectual high point of my time at the annual meetings of the IMF and World Bank in Washington. The first answer to that big question is: “It is complicated.” The ... Read More »

NZ-born banker admits pocketing $70m in bribes

A former Credit Suisse Group banker told a federal jury in New York that he alone pocketed at least US$45 million (NZ$70 million) in a massive kickback scheme and named other ex-employees of the bank he says made millions of their own. Testifying on Wednesday, New Zealand-born Andrew Pearse recited the illicit payments he took for his role in arranging ... Read More »

$4m penalty for Auckland money shop under anti-money laundering laws

An Auckland-based money remitter has been penalised $4 million for failure to comply with recently introduced anti-money laundering laws. Justice Mark Woolford decided Jin Yuan Finance should pay $4 million following a lawsuit from the Department of Internal Affairs. The penalty compares with $5.29 million awarded against Ping An Finance and $356,000 against Qian DuoDuo, which were both also accused ... Read More »

Green Rush: Foreign forestry companies NZ’s biggest landowners

Despite a clampdown on some overseas investment, including a ban on residential sales to offshore buyers, the Labour-led government has actively encouraged further foreign purchases of land for forestry through a stream-lined ‘special forestry test’. Since the government was formed, the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) has approved more than $2.3 billion of forestry-related land sales – about 31,000 hectares of ... Read More »

Feltex court saga: Insurance, costs issues arise

The complexities of administering class actions are coming to the fore in the Feltex litigation, as its lead plaintiff goes uninsured and security for costs remains unpaid. Eric Houghton’s $185 million claim on behalf of more than 3,000 Feltex Carpets investors is now at the valuation or quantum stage after the Supreme Court ruled last year the carpet-maker’s 2004 prospectus ... Read More »

Fonterra posts $605m loss, turns business upside down

Fonterra has posted a net loss of $605 million for the July year, slightly better than expected, on asset writedowns of $826m, mainly on its offshore businesses. This follows the previous year’s loss of $196m and has sparked a billion dollars worth of asset sales and a significant change in direction for the dairy giant. New Zealand’s biggest company is ... Read More »

Government introduces a tax incentive scheme for small business to encourage investment

The Government will make sweeping changes to New Zealand business tax rules by creating new tax incentives scheme for small businesses and startups. This comes as part of the Government’s economic plan, unveiled by Finance Minister Grant Robertson this morning. At the moment, the costs of looking into a potential business investment – such as buying a new asset or ... Read More »

Oil prices jump 19% in early morning trading

Crude oil prices have surged more than 19 per cent after a drone strike on a Saudi Arabian oil facility wiped out about 5 per cent of global supplies. Brent prices jumped as much as $11.73 to $71.95 a barrel in early trading in Singapore. State energy producer Saudi Aramco lost about 5.7 million barrels per day of output after ... Read More »

Entrust to pay $375 to Vector customers

More than 336,000 Vector customers will get a $375 payout this year. Entrust, 75 per cent owner of Vector, today announced its annual dividend will be $360, stemming from its shareholding in the listed energy company. This year in addition to the $360 Entrust dividend payment, a further payment of $15 from Vector which is customers’ share of a credit ... Read More »

As stocks teeter, bonds show it pays to be boring

For stock investors, the trade war has been nothing but trouble. For bond investors, it’s been a dream. Unable to stomach turbulence driven by the escalating conflict between China and the United States, and leery of a darkening outlook for the economy, investors have been pulling money out of the stock market and buying bonds, the traditional place to park ... Read More »

NZX opens nearly 1% down on fresh trade war fears

The New Zealand sharemarket fell 1.5 per cent in early trading after trade war fears drove Wall Street down sharply. By 11.30am, the NZX-50 index was down by 157.2 points or 1.46 per cent at 10,469. Wall Streets Dow Jones Index finished 2.4 per cent lower on Friday and futures market pricing is pointing to more weakness in the US ... Read More »

China’s top live streamer Viya sells $30 million worth of New Zealand product in hours

China’s top livestreaming celebrity Viya generated close to $30 million in sales of New Zealand product in four-and-a-half hours on Friday evening. Viya, a livestreamer on internet giant Alibaba’s online shopping website Taobao, holds a record of selling $66 million worth of product in a single day. On Friday, during a livestream from Auckland that kicked off at midnight (8 ... Read More »

Sugartree apartment buyer decries $60k deposit loss, developer says ‘hard lesson to learn’

An apartment buyer in Auckland is decrying her loss of a $60,000 deposit, but the developer says it isn’t liable to pay it back. Bridie Campbell, 24, a student, said she used an inheritance from her father who died two years ago to put down a $60,000 deposit on a unit in the apartment complex between Union St and Nelson ... Read More »

NZ dollar treads water ahead of central bank rate-cutting actions

The New Zealand dollar was treading water, awaiting expected central bank rate-cutting action later this week and next. The kiwi was trading at 66.28 US cents at 5pm in Wellington from 66.30 cents at 7:55am. The trade-weighted index was at 72.92 points from 72.93. The US Federal Reserve is expected to cut interest rates early Thursday, New Zealand time, by ... Read More »

Small business confidence still down, growth prospects show signs of improvement

The latest ANZ data on small business sentiment shows confidence is still down but growth prospects are showing early signs of improvement. New Zealand’s largest bank’s composite growth measure – which takes into account small firms’ views on growth indicators including activity, hiring, profit and lagged investment intentions, and is a proxy for GDP growth – improved in all regions ... Read More »