MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares fall on Greek worries; A2, Xero, Fletcher decline

![CDATA[ By Suze Metherell July 3 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand shares fell as uncertainty over Greece's debt default sapped risk appetite and demand for equities. A2 Milk Co, Xero and Fletcher Building ...

  • Childcare operators in $162m takeover bid AAP - 47 minutes ago

    Australia's largest commercial childcare operator G8 Education is making a $162 million bid for rival Affinity Education as it continues a rapid expansion. G8 Education chair Jenny Hutson described the offer as "compelling value" for Affinity shareholders.

  • Economists sift through patchy data AAP - 59 minutes ago

    Economic figures this week were patchy, leaving economists to weigh up the pluses and minuses facing the Australian economy. The headline of their analysis - "Housing boom bigger, but capex cliff steeper" - highlighted the Reserve Bank of Australia's dilemma. The number of visitor arrivals is growing more rapidly than resident departures from Australia, in part because of increasing numbers of visitors from China.

  • NZ dollar heads for 1.8% weekly decline as Greek referendum … BusinessDesk - 1 hour 0 minutes ago

    The New Zealand dollar is heading for a 1.8 percent weekly decline as financial markets remain volatile ahead of Greece's referendum on whether to accept a bailout package from its European creditors, and as the wheels start coming off the local economy. The trade-weighted rose to 70.57 from 70.31 yesterday, and is heading for a 1.8 percent weekly decline. A BusinessDesk survey of 13 currency advisers on Monday predicted the kiwi would trade between 66 US cents and 70.50 cents this week.

  • Budget, rate cut fails to boost spending AAP - 1 hour 4 minutes ago

    The May interest rate cut and federal budget measures to loosen small business pursestrings failed to provide a significant boost to retail spending in the month. Australian retail spending rose 0.3 per cent in May, official figures show, short of economists' expectations of a 0.5 per cent rise. Commonwealth Bank of Australia economist Diana Mousina said the retail figures have been disappointing over the past few months despite what should have been positive influences for consumers.

  • Qantas staff get $90m windfall AAP - 1 hour 22 minutes ago

    Qantas is sharing the spoils of its estimated $1.6 billion dollar turnaround by paying $90 million in bonuses to staff who've taken an 18-month pay freeze. The airline will gift a one-off payment to up to 28,000 staff, equal to five per cent of their salary, in recognition of the significant improvement in its fortunes. Qantas is spending about $90 million on the bonuses, which equates to an average of $3,200 per employee.

  • Greek voters perplexed over referendum AAP - 2 hours 42 minutes ago

    As Greek banks and markets on Friday remained closed for a fourth day, rival campaigns scrambled to roll out their messages. "Our efforts are focused on overcoming the crisis as fast as possible - with a solution that preserves the dignity and sovereignty of our people," Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said. The popular 40-year-old prime minister is gambling his government on a call to voters to reject austerity measures demanded by bailout lenders, despite coming close to a deal last week.

  • UPDATE: Beingmate slides further in Shenzhen tumbl … BusinessDesk - 2 hours 57 minutes ago

    Beingmate Baby & Child Food Co shares have more than halved in value on the Shenzhen stock exchange over the past three weeks, pushing their price 21 percent below what Fonterra Cooperative Group paid for its 18.8 percent stake in the Chinese infant formula maker. The partnership will create a fully integrated global supply chain from the farm gate direct to China's consumers, using Fonterra's milk pools and manufacturing sites in New Zealand, Australia, and Europe.

  • Fannie, Freddie CEOs get big pay rises AAP - 3 hours ago

    The chief executives of US government-backed mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are getting large raises, to about $US4 million ($A5.23 million) a year, as the government relaxes rules that were imposed on the companies after they suffered big losses and were bailed out. In forms filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the companies disclosed that Fannie Mae CEO Timothy Mayopoulos and Freddie Mac CEO Donald Layton will get annual base salaries of $US750,000 each, $US2.1 million in fixed deferred compensation and $US1.2 million in at-risk deferred salary. The Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees the companies, said the new plans take CEO performance into account and defer compensation so the executives stay with the companies.

  • KFC sets foot in Myanmar AAP - 3 hours ago

    Fried chicken aficionados have queued for hours at Myanmar's first KFC restaurant, as the chain became the latest big foreign brand to open an outlet in the long cloistered nation. KFC is the first major US fast food chain to open in the country as reforms and the removal of most sanctions since the end of outright junta rule tempt investors to a market of millions of prospective consumers. Soon after the doors opened a lunchtime crush developed at the new branch in the commercial hub of Yangon.

  • $A falls below 76 US cents AAP - 3 hours ago

    The Australian dollar hit a two and a half month low after the release of weaker than expected retail sales numbers. At 1200 AEST on Friday, the local unit was trading at 75.96 US cents, down from 76.34 ...

  • Retail spending disappoints in May AAP - 3 hours ago

    Weak retail figures have continued into May, with spending in department stores, cafes and restaurants suffering falls. Australian retail spending rose 0.3 per cent in May, official figures show, short of economists' expectations of a 0.5 per cent rise. JP Morgan economist Stephen Walters said the figures were disappointing, considering there was an interest rate cut from the Reserve Bank earlier in the month as well as support the federal budget's measures for small business.

  • The week in numbers to July 3 AAP - 3 hours ago

    The big and small numbers that grabbed attention - or should have - in the business world over the past week. Monday: $35 billion - The share market plunged by around 2.2 per cent, wiping more than $35 ...

  • Aust shares fall on Greek vote uncertainty AAP - 3 hours ago

    The Australian share market has fallen more than one per cent ahead of Greece's referendum on bailout conditions. The share market has pulled back from three consecutive days of gains as investors worry about the potential consequences of Sunday's Greek vote, CommSec market analyst Steven Daghlian said. At 1200 AEST, BHP Billiton dropped 47 cents to $26.53, Fortescue Metals lost 8.25 cents to $1.8275 while Rio Tinto shed 62 cents to $52.41.

  • Murray Goulburn trust makes positive debut AAP - 3 hours ago

    A special purpose funding vehicle linked to Australia's largest dairy company, Murray Goulburn, has had a positive start to trading on the Australian share market. At 1207 AEST, MG Unit Trust was at $2.19, with 3.4 million units traded. The MG Unit Trust is a special purpose funding vehicle that will allow external, non-farmer investors to invest in Murray Goulburn.

  • BAT NZ sucks up excise tax hike as annual earnings … BusinessDesk - 3 hours ago

    British American Tobacco Holdings (New Zealand), the nation's largest cigarette company, reported a 3.9 percent decline in annual profit as it absorbed the government's latest hike in excise tax. The local arm of British American Tobacco, whose brands include Pall Mall, Benson & Hedges and Dunhill, reported net profit of $126.5 million in calendar 2014, down from $131.6 million a year earlier, according to financial statements lodged with the Companies Office. Revenue increased 1.5 percent to $1.23 billion, slower than the 4.3 percent increase in excise tax to $945 million.

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  • FDA weighs new restrictions on liquid nicotine products Associated Press - Wed, Jul 1, 2015 7:58 AM NZST
    FDA weighs new restrictions on liquid nicotine products

    Federal health officials are considering whether to require new warnings and child-resistant packaging on liquid nicotine formulas used with e-cigarettes and other emerging tobacco products. The Food and ...

  • The Legal Lowdown on Starting a Brewery or Distillery Entrepreneur - Wed, Jul 1, 2015 3:30 AM NZST
    The Legal Lowdown on Starting a Brewery or Distillery

    Find out what legal hoops you'll need to jump through in your state before starting a craft alcoholic beverage business.

  • What's driving Detroit's manufacturing turnaround? CNBC - Tue, Jun 30, 2015 3:45 AM NZST
    What's driving Detroit's manufacturing turnaround?

    No longer in bankruptcy, Motor City is busy nurturing 1,400 next-gen advanced manufacturers to rekindle its legacy as a production hub.

  • Discovery secures European Olympic TV rights through 2024 Associated Press - Tue, Jun 30, 2015 2:14 AM NZST
    Discovery secures European Olympic TV rights through 2024

    U.S.-based media giant Discovery Communications Inc. secured the European broadcast rights for four Olympics through 2024 on Monday in a landmark deal worth 1.3 billion euros ($1.45 billion). The parent ...

  • Number of 'American-made' autos drops to new low CNBC - Mon, Jun 29, 2015 4:30 PM NZST
    Number of 'American-made' autos drops to new low

    It's getting tougher to find cars and trucks built in the U.S. that meet an industry index measuring which vehicles are the most "American-made".

  • Many options, no single solution to nation's traffic snarls Associated Press - Sun, Jun 28, 2015 3:52 AM NZST
    Many options, no single solution to nation's traffic snarls

    The problem is clear: Traffic congestion will become significantly worse and more widespread without big changes in how people and products get around. Build more roads. Build more public transit. Rely ...

  • USDA proposes healthier fare for child, adult day cares Associated Press - Sun, Jun 28, 2015 2:46 AM NZST
    USDA proposes healthier fare for child, adult day cares

    As teachers lament seeing toddlers too large to fit in playground swings, a federal program that feeds millions of low-income children may be overhauled for the first time in almost 50 years, aiming to ...

  • You face on your espresso? Highlights from tech show Associated Press - Sun, Jun 28, 2015 2:20 AM NZST
    You face on your espresso? Highlights from tech show

    Imagine staring deep into the foam of your favorite espresso drink and seeing a face looking back at you. Or how about using the charge in your fingers to clean your teeth? At the CE Week gadget show in ...

  • To Improve Productivity Tell Your Team to Go Take a Hike Entrepreneur - Sat, Jun 27, 2015 1:15 AM NZST
    To Improve Productivity Tell Your Team to Go Take a Hike

    Giving employees exercise breaks benefits their wellbeing and your bottom line.

  • Group gets green light for Vic wind farm AAP - Fri, Jun 26, 2015 2:05 PM NZST
    Group gets green light for Vic wind farm

    A deal has been struck to construct a $450 million wind farm in Victoria, just days after the renewable energy target finally passed parliament. A consortium of five companies, including America's GE and Australian contractor Downer EDI, has agreed to finance and build the 75-turbine Ararat wind farm in southwest Victoria. Project leader Renewable Energy Systems says the wind farm will be the country's third largest when construction is completed in 2017.