Fonterra ponders new bond offer for institutions and retail investors

Fonterra Cooperative Group, the world's largest dairy exporter, is looking at raising an disclosed amount of new capital through a bond offer. The Auckland-based dairy cooperative is considering offering senior bonds to institutional and New Zealand retail investors, it said in a statement, but didn't disclose how much it would be looking to raise via the debt securities. The news comes after Fo…

  • Swan accuses govt of manipulating numbers AAP - 10 minutes ago
    Swan accuses govt of manipulating numbers

    Wayne Swan has launched a savage attack on the government's economic management, accusing it of manipulating debt and deficit figures for its own ideological purposes. Mr Swan said Labor left office with the economy growing strongly and a deficit of $30.1 billion, or 1.9 per cent of GDP - one of the lowest in the developed world. Mr Swan said Australia had a revenue rather than a spending problem. Mr Swan was speaking as the latest intergenerational report was being released.

  • Govt overreached, still needs cuts: Hockey AAP - 17 minutes ago

    Treasurer Joe Hockey says last year's budget tried to do 40 years of work in one year. Mr Hockey released the Intergenerational Report on Thursday, a five-yearly review that sets out the budget and economic challenges to 2055. Mr Hockey told reporters in Canberra that last year's budget "did bite off too much". Asked whether the same savings outlined in the 2014/15 budget were still needed, he said: "Yes".

  • Small 4WDs, sports cars dominate show AAP - 29 minutes ago

    Small four-wheel drives for families and powerful sports cars for the rich are the big things this year at the Geneva International Motor Show. Analysts say this show is more about the search for hit vehicles than new technology, since carmakers are trying to boost sales as Europe slowly recovers from its debt crisis. Car registrations in the 28-country European Union increased 5.4 per cent in 2014 to 12.5 million, but remain woefully below their peak of around 16 million in 2007. On the other side of the ledger, expensive new luxury and sports cars will cater to demands from buyers in the recovering US economy and China.

  • Vector chair Stiassny calls for regulatory change to … BusinessDesk - 29 minutes ago

    Michael Stiassny, chairman of Auckland lines company Vector, says current regulation doesn't incentivise the electricity sector to foster new technology into the market. In a speech to the Downstream energy sector conference in Auckland today, Stiassny said utility companies like Vector are "now in the grip of an innovation avalanche". They're dealing with the rise of distributed generation, customer-owned distributed energy resources (DERs) such as solar PV, demand response and energy storage, as well as the opportunities provided by new smarter distribution grid technology and analytics which led to new models for electricity delivery and consumption.

  • $A flat as data meets expectations AAP - 32 minutes ago

    The Australian dollar remains above 78 US cents as new retail spending numbers met expectations. At 1200 AEDT on Thursday, the local currency was trading at 78.20 US cents, down from 78.23 cents on Wednesday. Retail spending growth in January of 0.4 per cent and a widening of Australia's trade deficit was in line with expectations and had little impact on the currency, Westpac senior currency strategist Sean Callow said. The Australian dollar was at 103.04 New Zealand cents, up from the record low of 102.96 NZ cents it hit earlier on Thursday.

  • Cadbury funding announcement expected AAP - 35 minutes ago

    The operators of Hobart's Cadbury chocolate factory are due to make an announcement about its future. The factory, operated by Mondelez International, was promised a $16 million funding injection by Prime Minister Tony Abbott during his 2013 election campaign, and Thursday's announcement is expected to relate to the pledge. Mr Abbott told parliament in February his government had received a business case from Mondelez, and it was being considered. Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman told state parliament on Thursday he knew of the impending announcement but did not give details.

  • Need to break reform gridlock: business AAP - 36 minutes ago

    Business believes a snapshot of Australia in 2055 shows the urgent need to end reform gridlock. The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry says the findings of the intergenerational report reveal ...

  • NZ could reap $190M/year benefit becoming first nation … BusinessDesk - 37 minutes ago

    Allowing drones to operate beyond the operator's line of sight could provide economic gains of up to $190 million a year to New Zealand's farming, forestry and energy sectors, according to a report commissioned by Callaghan Innovation. New Zealand may become the first in the world to have a regulatory framework that lets beyond line of sight (BLOS) flights on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), with the Civil Aviation Authority aiming to get sign off for a new rule from the Transport Minister later this month.

  • Low rates helping the economy: RBA AAP - 47 minutes ago

    The Reserve Bank is confident that record low interest rates, a weaker Australian dollar and a housing boom are having a positive effect on the economy. Deputy governor Philip Lowe says the RBA's surprise decision to cut rates in February was not because "things had turned for the worse", but because of a lack of compelling signs of a pick-up in economic growth. Dr Lowe said there were signs the weaker Australian dollar was giving the economy a boost, with businesses telling the RBA it was opening up new opportunities. He added that the boost housing construction was getting from low interest rates was helping employment growth in that industry and lifting the sale of homewares and related items.

  • Report finds climate change benefits AAP - 51 minutes ago

    Climate change could have economic spin-offs, a new government report says. The Intergenerational Report released on Thursday includes a chapter on "managing the environment", which has been a feature of previous versions of the five-yearly economic and budget update.

  • Big miners weigh on the share market AAP - 56 minutes ago

    Fears of a fall in iron ore prices are hitting the big miners and weighing on the share market. Shares in BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto are almost two per cent lower as the World Bank predicts an iron ore glut will last another two years. "I would say that is the biggest driver," Morgans private client adviser Alistair McCorquodale said. Rio Tinto was down $1.13 at $61.27 and BHP had dropped 51.5 cents to $32.795.

  • Australia's glass ceiling still strong AAP - 1 hour 0 minutes ago

    Currently, 22 per cent of senior leadership roles are occupied by women, a figure that has not changed since 2004, according to a report by accounting group Grant Thornton. Eastern Europe, in fact, is the best place to be a businesswoman, especially Russia where 40 per cent of senior roles are occupied by women. "Clearly, there is no magic wand, but Australia can learn a lot from Eastern Europe," Grant Thornton head of diversity Nicole Bradley said. Just 13 per cent of senior roles are occupied by women in developed economies in the region, though the average is weighed down by Japan where the figure is only eight per cent, while 53 per cent of businesses have no women in senior roles at all.

  • Stocks to watch at noon on Thursday AAP - 1 hour 10 minutes ago
    Stocks to watch at noon on Thursday

    Stocks to watch on the Australian stock exchange at noon on Thursday: FMG - FORTESCUE METALS GROUP - up 3.00 cents, or 1.31 per cent, at $2.32 Iron ore miner Fortescue is shoring up its balance sheet by ...

  • Spending rises as petrol prices fall AAP - 1 hour 15 minutes ago

    Cheaper petrol has given Australians more cash to splash, delivering a boost to retail spending in January. It was the sixth straight month of growth in retail spending, and the Reserve Bank's February rate cut will provide extra support in the months ahead, National Australia Bank senior economist David de Garis said. JP Morgan economist Tom Kennedy said the figures also showed weakness in the food sector, which includes supermarkets.

  • Spain seeks to attract China tourists AAP - 1 hour 29 minutes ago

    Spanish five-star hotels are serving up white rice for breakfast as Spain offers quicker visas and seeks more direct flights from China to tap into the surging wave of Chinese tourists. When Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy visited China in September, he announced that visa applications from the country's travellers would be processed within 48 hours. The government is also in talks with Asian airlines to boost traffic through Madrid's underused airport by offering reduced fees and promoting Spain as a hub for travel to Latin America. So far, only one airline, Air China, offers direct flights between Spain and China seven times a week.

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  • McDonald's to use chicken without human antibiotics Associated Press - 10 hours ago
    McDonald's to use chicken without human antibiotics

    McDonald's says it plans to start using chicken raised without antibiotics important to human health and milk from cows that are not treated with the artificial growth hormone rbST. The company says the ...

  • Honey, we shrunk the SUV _ and Europe loves it Associated Press - 16 hours ago
    Honey, we shrunk the SUV _ and Europe loves it

    In Europe, SUV now stands for: Shrunken Utility Vehicle. An array of ever-smaller sport-utility vehicles and SUV crossovers is going on display this week at the Geneva Auto Show. Automakers are piling ...

  • Popeyes CEO on rivals, why deep-fried wins on menus Associated Press - Wed, Mar 4, 2015 11:15 AM NZDT
    Popeyes CEO on rivals, why deep-fried wins on menus

    Popeyes CEO Cheryl Bachelder isn't shy about sharing her opinion of competitors' chicken. The 58-year-old executive's frankness isn't surprising considering Popeyes turnaround during her tenure represents ...

  • Target to cut thousands of jobs in restructuring CNBC - Wed, Mar 4, 2015 9:46 AM NZDT
    Target to cut thousands of jobs in restructuring

    Target's chief executive said Tuesday the company will cut several thousand jobs within the next two years as part of a $2 billion cost-savings plan.

  • GENEVA AUTO SHOW PHOTO GALLERY: Speed and luxury dominate Associated Press - Wed, Mar 4, 2015 6:19 AM NZDT
    GENEVA AUTO SHOW PHOTO GALLERY: Speed and luxury dominate

    These cars may come with outrageous price tags, but it doesn't cost to goggle. Here's a look at some of the models showcased at the car show in Geneva, where automakers focused on powerful sports cars ...

  • WIRELESS SHOW PHOTO GALLERY: Gadget fans in Barcelona Associated Press - Wed, Mar 4, 2015 5:44 AM NZDT
    WIRELESS SHOW PHOTO GALLERY: Gadget fans in Barcelona

    Gadget lovers from around the world are in Barcelona to view the latest in handheld and wireless technology. Here's a look at the event, where BlackBerry unveiled its new Leap, which has a five-inch display ...

  • Game Developers Conference offers creators a sporting chance Associated Press - Wed, Mar 4, 2015 5:16 AM NZDT
    Game Developers Conference offers creators a sporting chance

    With tens of millions of gamers now regularly spectating video games online and in real-world arenas, game developers looking to create the next "StarCraft" or "League of Legends" might ...

  • New FDA official inherits raft of projects, challenges Associated Press - Tue, Mar 3, 2015 11:28 AM NZDT
    New FDA official inherits raft of projects, challenges

    One of the nation's leading medical researchers joined the Food and Drug Administration on Monday, taking on the agency's No. 2 leadership job at a critical juncture for prescription drugs, medical devices ...

  • France wants companies to make appliances that last longer Associated Press - Tue, Mar 3, 2015 5:36 AM NZDT
    France wants companies to make appliances that last longer

    France is ordering manufacturers to inform consumers how long they can expect their TV, cell phone or other appliance to last — before they buy it. A new French government decree that came into effect ...

  • First Look: Samsung gets a lot right with new S6 phones Associated Press - Tue, Mar 3, 2015 12:43 AM NZDT
    First Look: Samsung gets a lot right with new S6 phones

    Samsung's new Galaxy smartphones improve in two major areas: design and picture quality. Samsung ramped up its camera technology in last fall's Galaxy Note 4, and the camera is even better in the Galaxy ...