Sept. 21 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand's short-term arrivals rose last month from a year earlier, as more Australians and Chinese visitors trumped last year's pick-up from the Rugby World Cup.
Some 175,900 people came to New Zealand for a short-term visit in August, according to Statistics New Zealand. That's up 1 percent from August 2011 when visitor numbers were boosted by 4,400 arrivals for the RWC.
On an annual basis, short-term visitors rose 5 percent to 2.6 million. Any inflation from last year's sporting event was offset by the Christchurch earthquake in February and disruption to air travel in June because of ash from Chile's Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcano, Statistics NZ said.
New Zealanders continued to quit the country for Australia in June, with 3,400 kiwis packing their bags for across the ditch.
NZ dollar gains as GDP growth swells appeal
The New Zealand dollar gained as growth in the domestic economy partly offset weaker offshore news, including continued contraction in Chinese and Europe-wide manufacturing.
The kiwi dollar was little changed on 82.87 US cents from 82.86 cents at 8am up from 82.44 cents at 5pm yesterday.
The domestic economy grew 0.6 percent in the second quarter, twice the forecast pace, driven by record milk production and increased building activity. The kiwi weakened again after the HSBC Flash Chinese PMI gave a reading of 47.8 on a scale where below 50 signals a contraction. The European composite PMI, meantime, was at 45.9.
“The kiwi continues to draw support from the fact the NZ economy remains in better shape than most,” said Mike Jones, currency strategist at Bank of New Zealand. “We believe positive relative growth and interest rate differentials will support the NZD through to mid-2013.”
Hubbard’s Southbury assets worth just $700k, liquidator says
Southbury Group, the primary holding company for the empire of deceased Timaru businessman Allan Hubbard, has just $700,000 in cash, according to the first liquidator’s report.
Liquidators John Fisk and David Bridgman of PwC said the group’s investments in other companies and loans with a book value of $195 million are “likely to be of negligible value,” in their first report on Southbury. The group owes some $83 million to the now-defunct South Canterbury Finance, referred to as FCS Loans.
“The company was placed into liquidation as the final step in the insolvency process of the South Canterbury Finance group of companies,” the liquidators said.
They were appointed last month after satisfying the High Court that a potential conflict of interest, where Jean Hubbard, Allan Hubbard’s widow, engaged PwC for advice, wouldn’t be a problem.