Rob Whitfield leaves Westpac

Rob Whitfield leaves Westpac

The head of Westpac's institutional arm, Rob Whitfield, has stepped down after more than 30 years with the lender. Mr Whitfield, who was said to be a contender to replace Gail Kelly as chief executive but missed out to Brian Hartzer, has decided to leave the bank in search of new opportunities. Westpac has appointed Commonwealth Bank executive Lyn Cobley as his replacement.

  • UPDATE: Tower shares gain on souped-up dividend, 1H … BusinessDesk - 8 minutes ago

    Tower shares rose to a month-high after the general insurer hiked its interim dividend and confirmed an on-market share buyback after lifting first-half earnings 36 percent on rising premiums and fewer claims. Chairman Michael Stiassny today confirmed plans to implement an on-market share buyback of up to $34 million, or 10 percent of Tower's stock, which he said will commence shortly. The board declared an unimputed interim dividend of 8.5 cents per share, payable on June 30 with a June 12 record date.

  • Northeast marinas scramble to repair damag AAP - 20 minutes ago

    The deep freeze that gripped the US northeast last winter dealt a severe blow to marinas and yacht clubs. After a scramble to get ready for the all important Memorial Day weekend, most marinas are back in business, although many are behind schedule and still in need of costly repairs to operate at full capacity. The marina was destroyed," said Mindy Kahl, co-owner of Birbarie Marine on a river in Branford, Connecticut.

  • Aussie shares open higher AAP - 24 minutes ago

    The Australian share market has opened higher, with most sectors in the green despite quiet overseas trade amid a flurry of holidays. Trading volumes are low with investors lacking leads from overseas markets closed for public holidays, including the US Memorial Day and holidays in Germany, the UK and Hong Kong. A two per cent rise in the iron ore price overnight has helped resource stocks, while the banks continue to make ground following recent falls, CommSec market analyst Steven Daghlian said.

  • New plane engines close in on delivery AAP - 50 minutes ago

    If there's one key selling point that aerospace giants Airbus and Boeing have both been using in marketing their new aircraft, it is fuel efficiency. It is in fact largely down to French company Safran and GE, whose joint venture CFM International is making the LEAP motors that will power most of the next generation of the planes which will be the future workhorses of airlines. The promise of 15 to 20 per cent fuel savings moved closer as LEAP engines made their first flight tests that are a key step for the Airbus320neo to enter service next year and Boeing's B737 MAX in 2017 as planned.

  • MIDDAY UPDATE: Tower posts first-half loss on increased … BusinessDesk - 1 hour 0 minutes ago

    Tower, the general insurer, reported a loss in the first half as the cost of earthquake claims from the Canterbury earthquakes rose, exceeding its reinsurance cap for the February 2011 event, even as underlying earnings rose in line with expectations.

  • Aust shares open higher AAP - 1 hour 4 minutes ago
    Aust shares open higher

    The Australian share market has opened higher, helped by gains in banking and mining stocks. At 1015 AEST on Tuesday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 22.8 points, or 0.4 per cent, at 5,744.3, while ...

  • AGL plans $1b worth of asset sales AAP - 1 hour 11 minutes ago

    AGL says it will divest underperforming assets and cut its working capital by the end of the 2016/17 financial year in an effort to boost earnings in a competitive energy market. It also says its full year underlying profit for 2014/15 will likely be at in the top half of its $575 million to $635 million guidance range, up from $562 million last year.

  • Budget confidence bounce eases AAP - 1 hour 43 minutes ago

    The lift in consumer confidence from the federal budget has eased off but sentiment is still in much better shape than it was after last year's unpopular budget. Consumer confidence fell one per cent last week, according to research from ANZ and Roy Morgan, partly reversing the 3.6 per cent gain made the week after the May 12 federal budget. ANZ chief economist Warren Hogan said consumers have reacted more positively to this year's budget but the sustainability of this lift will be reliant on the budget measures getting passed and the economy improving.

  • Aristocrat profit up more than 35% AAP - 1 hour 43 minutes ago

    Poker machine supplier Aristocrat Leisure's first half profit has jumped more than 35 per cent thanks in part to strong growth from its Australian and US operations. Aristocrat made a net profit of $77.6 ...

  • Djibouti dreams of becoming new Dubai AAP - 1 hour 50 minutes ago

    For years the Horn of Africa nation Djibouti was seen by foreign powers as a far flung military outpost overlooking the Gulf of Aden. Djibouti offers an African base across from the Arabian Peninsula at the crossroads for cargo traffic between Asia and Europe. It may be a tiny country of around 850,000 people, but it has a bold ambition to become the commercial hub of eastern Africa, building on its role as the main port for landlocked Ethiopia, Africa's second most populous country.

  • OzForex profit up more than 50% AAP - 1 hour 59 minutes ago

    OzForex has lifted its full year profit by 52 per cent thanks to increase in the number of customers and transactions. The currency trader made a net profit of $24.3 million for the year to March 31, up from $16 million a year ago. OzForex increased its number of active clients 18 per cent to 142,500, while there was a 21 per cent increase in the number of transactions it processed.

  • Orion Health reports $61M full-year loss, beats prospectus … BusinessDesk - 2 hours 8 minutes ago

    Orion Health, the healthcare system software developer, reported a $60.8 million loss for the year to March 31, in line with its strategy to grow revenues before becoming profitable, and beat its prospectus forecast for annualised revenue growth. The result was the first announced to the NZX since Orion's listing on the NZX on Nov. 26, in a $125 million capital-raising to assist the 22-year-old company to grow in global markets.

  • Family needs first before super top-up AAP - 2 hours 20 minutes ago

    Adelaide woman Michelle Roberts would love to top up her superannuation but the family's financial needs come first. Ms Roberts says she and husband Peter have discussed what they'll need to retire. REST Industry Super's `Super Mum Index' shows one in 10 Australian mums say they neglect to save more actively for retirement due to the guilt associated with taking money away from the family for their immediate needs.

  • Tips for help save for retirement AAP - 2 hours 20 minutes ago

    "You save for a home, you save for a holiday, you plan to get married, you plan to have children," Westpac director of women's markets Larke Riemer says. Ms Riemer says women can take small steps, starting from when they start working, to ensure they are on track for a comfortable retirement. It's said that you need $1 million to $1.5 million to be able to retire, which Ms Riemer says is not hard to do if you start early.

  • Lessons for women about retirement saving AAP - 2 hours 20 minutes ago

    Larke Riemer knows firsthand the ups and downs of saving for retirement. "I can do this because for the last 20 years I've been really concentrating heavily on getting myself to this spot," Westpac's director of women's markets said. After selling her house and putting everything into a pub venture with her ex-husband which failed, Ms Riemer returned to work at the bank at 43.

New Zealand Markets

Company Finances

  • Uniroyal celebrates 50th anniversary of giant tire Associated Press - Thu, May 21, 2015 11:48 AM NZST
    Uniroyal celebrates 50th anniversary of giant tire

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  • House panel votes to repeal country-origin meat labeling law Associated Press - Thu, May 21, 2015 8:35 AM NZST
    House panel votes to repeal country-origin meat labeling law

    A House committee has voted to get rid of labels on packages of meat that say where the animals were born, raised and slaughtered. The House Agriculture Committee voted 38-6 to repeal a "country-of-origin" ...

  • What you need to know about the Takata air bag recall Associated Press - Thu, May 21, 2015 8:34 AM NZST
    What you need to know about the Takata air bag recall

    A recall of air bags made by Japanese auto parts supplier Takata Corp. now has the dubious distinction of being the largest in U.S. history. The number of vehicles in the U.S. being recalled because of ...

  • This New Virtual Reality Headset Tracks Your Eye Movements Entrepreneur - Thu, May 21, 2015 7:50 AM NZST
    This New Virtual Reality Headset Tracks Your Eye Movements

    FOVE has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund production and manufacturing of its headset.

  • Target beating Wal-Mart in race for turnaround Associated Press - Thu, May 21, 2015 5:58 AM NZST
    Target beating Wal-Mart in race for turnaround

    Target is beating Wal-Mart in the race to beef up sales. Target Corp. on Wednesday reported a nearly 52 percent surge in its first-quarter profit on strong sales of more profitable items like fashion and ...

  • Toyota recalls 181,000 cars AAP - Wed, May 20, 2015 8:13 PM NZST
    Toyota recalls 181,000 cars

    Toyota Australia has ordered the recall of 181,000 cars after an airbag fault linked to five deaths worldwide. The decision is part of a global recall of more than five million Toyotas which have been fitted with airbags from one of the world's biggest air-bag companies, Takata. Toyota Australia says its recall will affect vehicles built between 2003 and 2007 and includes its Yaris, Corolla, Avensis Verso, Echo and Rav4 models.

  • House to consider repeal of meat labeling law Associated Press - Wed, May 20, 2015 7:29 PM NZST
    House to consider repeal of meat labeling law

    A House committee is moving swiftly to get rid of labels on packages of meat that say where the animals were born, raised and slaughtered. The House Agriculture Committee will consider a bill to repeal ...

  • Takata air bag recall doubles to nearly 34 million Associated Press - Wed, May 20, 2015 2:37 PM NZST
    Takata air bag recall doubles to nearly 34 million

    Under pressure from U.S. safety regulators, Takata Corp. has agreed to declare 33.8 million air bags defective, a move that will double the number of cars and trucks included in what is now the largest ...

  • US investigation of 2007 peanut butter recall wraps up Associated Press - Wed, May 20, 2015 2:16 PM NZST
    US investigation of 2007 peanut butter recall wraps up

    ConAgra Foods is likely to face a criminal charge now that the U.S. government has completed its investigation of the company's 2007 peanut butter recall. A spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's office in ...

  • Illinois Supreme Court hears $10B Phillip Morris appeal Associated Press - Wed, May 20, 2015 8:49 AM NZST
    Illinois Supreme Court hears $10B Phillip Morris appeal

    The fate of a $10.1 billion class-action judgment against the nation's largest cigarette maker is in the hands of justices at the Illinois Supreme Court, who heard oral arguments Tuesday in Phillip Morris ...