James Pascoe lifts Warehouse stake to 16.4%, buying Woolworths' shares

James Pascoe, the retail group owned by David and Anne Norman, has lifted its holding in Warehouse Group to 16.4 percent after buying out Australian retailer Woolworths' stake for $87.1 million. James Pascoe acquired 30.55 million shares at $2.85 a piece in an off-market sale, according to substantial shareholder notices posted to the NZX.

  • Entreprenuer looks to inspire women AAP - 26 minutes ago

    Entrepreneur Jo Burston has a simple but powerful motto to share: If she can, I can. The successful Sydney businesswoman who has launched eight companies wants to inspire more women, and young girls, to take the leap and become entrepreneurs. To help them get there she has written a book about Australia's top 50 women entrepreneurs, featuring interviews about how they got started, their ups and downs, and lessons learned along the way. Titled Rare Birds Australia's 50 Influential Women Entrepreneurs, Ms Burston hopes the book will plant a seed in people's minds that becoming an entrepreneur is a legitimate career choice.

  • Aussies overpaid, hard to fire: economist AAP - 56 minutes ago
    Aussies overpaid, hard to fire: economist

    Bob Baur, chief global economist at Principal Global Investors, says the local labour market is in need of reform if the economy is going to shift from its dependance on mining for growth. Dr Baur says Australia needs to start making things again, and exporting its services, like education. "The best thing for Australia would be some significant economic reform in terms of maybe loosening up the labour market and making it easier for businesses to take on workers or let workers go in difficult times," Dr Baur told AAP. Dr Baur said Australia needed to follow the footsteps of the US, where manufacturing was thriving again after having lost six million jobs through the 90s and noughties to the cheaper labour markets of China and India.

  • Jetpack developer soars again AAP - 56 minutes ago

    Investors in jetpack developer Martin Aircraft are on a very wild ride. Shares in New Zealand-based Martin Aircraft, which were listed on the Australian Securities Exchange just one week ago at 40 cents each, hit a high of $3.15 in early trading on Tuesday. At 1255 AEDT, Martin Aircraft was up 40 cents, or 22.86 per cent, at $2.15. Martin Aircraft had announced no news in Tuesday's morning session.

  • Falling Aussie good news for farmers AAP - 1 hour 3 minutes ago

    A falling Australian dollar is good news for farmers. The value of farm exports are estimated to increase by nearly half a billion dollars for every one cent fall in the currency. The fall in the Australian dollar against the US dollar is expected to have a positive affect on farm incomes because close to 65 per cent of agricultural production is exported, and mostly contracted in US dollars. ABARES chief Karen Schneider says the currency's decline is in response to the nation's declining terms of trade and a narrowing differential in interest rates to other countries.

  • Annual report has new clues about Buffett AAP - 1 hour 6 minutes ago

    Billionaire Warren Buffett is proud of what he's built as Berkshire Hathaway's CEO over the past 50 years, but he's also willing to admit making a few costly mistakes along the way. Buffett used his annual shareholder letter to make the case for his conglomerate's future while also offering investing advice. Buffett dropped a few hints about his eventual successor, and though he didn't name names, another key executive did single out two people as strong executives who could lead the company well. Vice Chairman Charlie Munger added his own letter in 2015, and predicted that Berkshire will be fine once he and Buffett are gone because of the management talent it already has.

  • Credit Suisse downgrades Diligent to neutral ahead … BusinessDesk - 1 hour 25 minutes ago

    Diligent Board Member Services's plans to spend up ahead of its new product has seen the governance software developer's stock downgraded by Credit Suisse's local analyst. The stock has been cut to a 'neutral' rating from a previous 'outperform' by First NZ Capital research analyst, James Schofield.

  • $A hovering ahead of RBA decision AAP - 1 hour 26 minutes ago

    The Australian dollar continues to hover as investors wait to see whether the Reserve Bank cuts interest rates to a new record low. At 1200 AEDT on Tuesday, the local currency was trading at 77.65 US cents, down from 77.76 cents on Monday. Commonwealth Bank currency strategist Joseph Capurso said the market was waiting for the RBA's 1430 AEDT rates decision. Commonwealth Bank, ANZ, Westpac and AMP Capital are among those forecasting a March cut, with the general consensus being the RBA tends to deliver reductions in pairs.

  • Weak global demand weighs on New Zealand sheep, cattle … BusinessDesk - 1 hour 29 minutes ago

    Weakening demand in China and Europe, combined with the impact of a nine-month port strike on the US West Coast, have eroded farmgate prices for sheep and cattle, Silver Fern Farms says. Prices for sheep, lambs and bulls are all lower than forecast by New Zealand's largest meat company, chief executive Dean Hamilton told BusinessDesk. Sheepmeat prices have fallen by about a quarter from $3.80 per kilogram in November as demand dropped from China, as Asia's largest economy stepped up processing of its own domestic supply, damping demand for imported meat. China had been a strong growth market, where the meat is used in stews and hotpots.

  • Cyclone Marcia to cost Suncorp up to $150m AAP - 1 hour 38 minutes ago
    Cyclone Marcia to cost Suncorp up to $150m

    Insurance group Suncorp expects to take an up to $150 million hit due to the impact of Tropical Cyclone Marcia. Suncorp said the cost of claims from its policyholders affected by the cyclone, which hit central Queensland on February 20, is expected to run to between $120 million and $150 million. The impact of the cyclone is also expected to push Suncorp's natural hazard expenses to between $690 million and $720 million, ahead of the $595 million the insurer had prepared for. Chief executive Patrick Snowball said the extra expenses of Marcia on top of the Brisbane hail storm in November meant it was unlikely Suncorp could achieve its target for a return on equity of 10 per cent.

  • Carter Holt appeals failed strike-out bid in leaky … BusinessDesk - 1 hour 42 minutes ago

    Carter Holt Harvey, the building products supplier owned by billionaire Graeme Hart, is appealing its failed bid in the High Court to strike out a claim that its cladding contributed to a nationwide problem of leaky school buildings. In the Court of Appeal in Wellington, counsel for Carter Holt, David Goddard QC, told Justices Tony Randerson, Lynton Stevens, and Mark Cooper the company didn't have a duty of care as the manufacturer of the Shadowclad cladding sheets used in school buildings, because the sheets were only one component.

  • Unit blocks fuel building approvals rise AAP - 1 hour 46 minutes ago

    The largest rise in building approvals in three months has been fuelled by another surge in apartments, which should help restrain rising home prices. Approvals for the construction of new homes rose 7.9 per cent in January, beating market expectations, and were up 9.1 per cent in the 12 months to January, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Tuesday. Approvals for private sector houses rose 0.4 per cent in the month, while other dwellings including apartment blocks and townhouses rose 19.6 per cent. The increasing supply of homes in large cities will eventually slow price rises, National Australia Bank senior economist David de Garis said.

  • Banks lead Aust market higher AAP - 1 hour 48 minutes ago

    The Australian share market is trading higher on the back of expectations of another cut to interest rates, but has eased back on its run towards the 6,000 point mark. The benchmark ASX 200 index has not been at 6,000 points since January 2008, during the global financial crisis. Investors are speculating that the Reserve Bank of Australia will cut the cash rate to a new record low of 2.00 per cent in an announcement on Tuesday afternoon. "I suspect there is a little bit of buy the rumour going on - the rumour of the rate cut," OptionsXpress market analyst Ben Le Brun said.

  • Blue Chip's Bryers accused of muddying Talos role BusinessDesk - 1 hour 51 minutes ago

    Former Blue Chip boss Mark Bryers was accused of contriving to present himself as a consultant to Talos Accounting Group, when he was actually running the Australian company in breach of rules covering undischarged bankrupts, New Zealand's Official Assignee said. Bryers this morning ended giving evidence in his application being heard in the High Court at Auckland for discharge from his 5 1/2-year bankruptcy. He was made bankrupt in 2009 owing $230 million and the Official Assignee is seeking an indefinite ban on him running a company in New Zealand again as a condition of any discharge. A banning order in New Zealand wouldn't affect Bryers' activities across the Tasman, should he be discharged from bankruptcy.

  • Stocks to watch at noon on Tuesday AAP - 1 hour 58 minutes ago

    Stocks to watch on the Australian stock exchange at noon on Tuesday: IIN - IINET - up 7.00 cents, or 1.09 per cent, at $6.50 Internet provider iiNet has paid more than $200,000 in fines for failing to ...

  • Former Solid Energy JV partner, GTL, seeks to sell … BusinessDesk - 2 hours 0 minutes ago

    GTL Energy (New Zealand), Solid Energy's former partner in an experimental briquette-making plant in Southland, narrowed its loss in 2014 in a year when it garnered no revenue and began preparing for the sale of the Mataura briquette plant, its biggest asset. The local unit of South Australia-based GTL Energy reviewed options for the plant in the second half of calendar 2014 and began "a programme of disposal to test the market" in January this year. The briquette plant had been a joint venture with Solid Energy, which was seeking to develop low-grade lignite coalfields in Southland, among a range of developments that were jettisoned when slumping global coal prices left the state-owned enterprise with too much debt and derailed former chief executive Don Elder's efforts to build a broad-based energy company. Solid Energy wrote down the $33 million plant by $26.2 million in 2013 and sold its interest to GTL the following year.

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