Top Stories

  • NAB lags on business customer ratings AAP - 12 hours ago
    NAB lags on business customer ratings

    National Australia Bank continues to lag behind its major rivals when it comes to business customer satisfaction, despite a slight improvement. NAB, Australia's biggest business lender, had an average customer satisfaction rating of 7.0 out of 10 in March, which lagged behind ANZ, Commonwealth Bank and Westpac, which all scored 7.4. But according to the monthly DBM Consultants Business Financial Services Monitor (BFSM), NAB has improved its standing among small and medium sized business.

  • Listening could be the success of NZ business Newstalk ZB - 15 hours ago

    Being willing to listen, learn and follow through could be behind the success of many New Zealand business owners and managers.

  • China car show opens with fanfare AAP - Sun, Apr 20, 2014 9:50 PM NZST
    China car show opens with fanfare

    Leading car makers have gathered in Beijing for China's biggest car show, expressing confidence in the world's largest car market although lacklustre growth and environmental restrictions have thrown uncertainty into the mix. More than 1100 vehicles are on show at the Beijing International Automotive Exhibition in the capital's suburbs, which opens on Monday. General Motors, Toyota, Volkswagen and Hyundai are among the manufacturers taking part, along with SAIC and Dongfeng, China's top two domestic automakers. At Ford's display, president and CEO Alan Mulally arrived in a bright red Mustang, the latest incarnation of the iconic model celebrating its 50th year.

  • Documents detail another delayed GM recall AAP - Sun, Apr 20, 2014 3:37 PM NZST
    Documents detail another delayed GM recall

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the government's auto safety watchdog, also didn't seek a recall of the compact car from the 2004 through 2007 model years even though it opened an investigation more than two years ago and found 12 crashes and two injuries caused by the problem. The documents, posted on the agency's website on Saturday, show yet another delay by GM in recalling unsafe vehicles and point to another example of government safety regulators reacting slowly to a safety problem despite being alerted by consumers and through warranty data submitted by the company. Both GM and NHTSA have been criticised by safety advocates and lawmakers for their slow responses to a deadly ignition switch problem in 2.6 million GM small cars. GM admitted knowing about the problem for more than a decade, yet didn't start recalling the cars until February.

  • Beijing auto show opens AAP - Sun, Apr 20, 2014 2:43 PM NZST
    Beijing auto show opens

    Global and Chinese automakers are looking to the Beijing auto show to help boost sales in a slowing, intensely competitive market. Brands from General Motors Co to Chinese SUV maker Great Wall Motors are unveiling new and restyled sedans, sport utility vehicles and other models at Auto China 2014 this week. China is the world's biggest auto market, with 17.9 million vehicles sold last year. Ambitious domestic brands such as Chery Ltd are losing ground to foreign rivals.

  • Dire predictions about the future of NZ economy Newstalk ZB - Sat, Apr 19, 2014 12:38 PM NZST

    There's dire predictions about the future of the New Zealand economy from heavyweight financial analysts.

  • Facebook users to 'spot' friends AAP - Fri, Apr 18, 2014 12:48 PM NZST
    Facebook users to 'spot' friends

    US Facebook users will soon be able to see which of their friends are in close proximity using a new feature the company is launching. Nearby Friends is an optional tool, and will only be available to people who choose to turn it on. The feature uses a smartphone's GPS system to tell a person's Facebook friends they are nearby - provided they have the feature turned on. Facebook said the Nearby Friends feature will be turned off by default, so users shouldn't expect to broadcast their location unknowingly to their Facebook friends and acquaintances.

  • From the Farm: Ruataniwha a mixed bag BusinessDesk - Fri, Apr 18, 2014 7:46 AM NZST

    Professor Angus McIntosh mourns the impact the Ruataniwha irrigation dam will have on New Zealand’s highly threatened native fish fauna as a “serious further blow.”

  • Economists strain to see rebalancing AAP - Thu, Apr 17, 2014 8:39 PM NZST

    Economists continued their efforts this week to identify signs that the economy was weaning itself off the mining investment boom. "The domestic economy is gradually making the transition away from being mainly driven by resources investment," Commonwealth Bank economists Michael Workman and Diana Mousina said in a report, echoing the RBA's sentiment. Through 2013 the economy's output of goods and services, measured by gross domestic product, grew by 2.8 per cent, a bit below what's needed to bring unemployment down over time, with consumer price inflation at 2.7 per cent. "We believe that in coming months it will be clearer that real GDP growth will be near three per cent in 2014, inflation above three per cent and the unemployment rate past its peak in this cycle," the Commonwealth Bank economists said.

  • Flight Centre appeals $11m fine AAP - Thu, Apr 17, 2014 7:55 PM NZST
    Flight Centre appeals $11m fine

    Travel agency Flight Centre has appealed an $11 million fine for anti-competitive behaviour. Federal Court judge John Logan imposed the fine in March after the court ruled in December that Flight Centre had threatened to stop selling flights on several airlines in order to offer the lowest fares. In a case brought by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Flight Centre was found to have induced Singapore Airlines, Malaysia Airlines and Emirates to stop offering international airfares that were lower than fares offered by the travel agency. The court found Flight Centre had broken the law on five occasions between 2005 and 2009.

  • IBM posts lower 1Q earnings, revenue AAP - Thu, Apr 17, 2014 7:37 PM NZST
    IBM posts lower 1Q earnings, revenue

    IBM says its first-quarter earnings have fallen because of a large charge related to reorganising its work force. Revenue has fallen amid an ongoing decline in its hardware business. IBM Corp on Wednesday ...

  • $A loses momentum ahead of Easter break AAP - Thu, Apr 17, 2014 7:37 PM NZST

    The Australian dollar has drifted lower as a boost from speculation of stimulus measures in China wore off, while activity was low ahead of the Easter holiday. The Australian dollar started the day higher following media reports from China about measures to support growth there, Westpac senior currency strategist Sean Callow said. "That seemed to be the reason we rallied to 93.91 US cents," Mr Callow said. Mr Callow said it would be a quiet week ahead for the Australian dollar until Wednesday when consumer price index figures are released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

  • Packer, Murdoch stump up $40m for One.Tel AAP - Thu, Apr 17, 2014 7:35 PM NZST

    James Packer and Lachlan Murdoch have paid $40 million to settle a long running dispute with creditors of the failed telco One.Tel. One.Tel liquidator Stephen Parbery said entities associated with Mr Murdoch and Mr Packer had resolved all litigation arising from the collapse of the dot-com company in May 2001. As part of the settlement agreement, Consolidated Press Holdings will pay $14.93 million, Crown Resorts will pay $11.77 million and News Ltd will pay $13.3 million to One.Tel. "Resolution was successfully reached following a confidential and informal process," Mr Parbery said in a statement.

  • Third straight day of gains on market AAP - Thu, Apr 17, 2014 7:24 PM NZST

    The share market heads into the Easter break with three consecutive days of gains and one per cent off a post-GFC high. After a heavy fall to start the week, the market rebounded as positive earnings reports from US companies and strong US industrial production numbers boosted global sentiment. CMC Markets chief market strategist Michael McCarthy said the "circuit breaker" was a strong profit performance and outlook from IT company Intel earlier in the week, which had slowed the sell-off of tech stocks. Rival Wesfarmers was only up in line with the overall market, by 25 cents, or 0.6 per cent, to $42.98.

  • Santos LNG projects nearly complete AAP - Thu, Apr 17, 2014 7:13 PM NZST

    Australia's biggest domestic gas producer Santos is likely to be exporting more than it supplies for local use by 2015. The company's two massive liquefied natural gas projects in Queensland and Papua New Guinea, built to produce higher priced exports, are on track to be operating within the next year. The good news about its growth projects and prospects overshadowed a flat first quarter production and sales performance that missed estimates. Chief executive David Knox said on Thursday the Santos-operated $US18.5 billion Gorgon coal seam gas project (GNLG) was 80 per cent complete - up from 75 per cent in February - and on track for first LNG in 2015.

  • Aust bonds rise ahead of Easter weekend AAP - Thu, Apr 17, 2014 6:52 PM NZST

    Australian bond futures prices are higher as investors square their positions ahead of the Easter long weekend. It was a strong day for the Australian bond market, despite a rise in equity markets, UBS interest rate strategist Matthew Johnson said. "The stock market had a good open and a firm day and normally, if you have a good day for equities, you expect bond prices to go down but we haven't seen that," Mr Johnson said. At 1630 AEST on Thursday, the June 2014 10-year bond futures contract was trading at 96.040 (implying a yield of 3.960 per cent), up from 96.015 (3.985 per cent) on Wednesday.

  • Stocks to watch at close on Thursday AAP - Thu, Apr 17, 2014 6:27 PM NZST

    Stocks to watch on the Australian stock exchange at the close on Thursday: API - AUSTRALIAN PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRIES - steady at 56.5 cents Australian Pharmaceutical Industries is writing down the value ...

  • Solid beginnings for Genesis Energy Newstalk ZB - Thu, Apr 17, 2014 6:26 PM NZST

    Shares in Genesis Energy have closed at $1.81 after the power company was listed on the NZX today.

  • Govt appoints banks for Medibank sale AAP - Thu, Apr 17, 2014 5:47 PM NZST
    Govt appoints banks for Medibank sale

    The federal government has appointed three banks to manage the sale of health insurer Medibank Private. After receiving 11 bids through a tender process, the government says the joint lead managers will be Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs and Macquarie Capital. Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said on Thursday that each bank brings a substantial mix of experience in Australian and global capital markets, privatisations, equity offers and the ability to project manage large capital market transactions. The precise timing and structure of the Medibank Private sale has yet to be determined, although it will be in the 2014/15 financial year.

  • MARKET CLOSE NZ shares rise as Genesis debut sparks energy rally; Meridian, MRP, Contact gain BusinessDesk - Thu, Apr 17, 2014 5:36 PM NZST

    New Zealand stock rose after shares in the partially privatised Genesis Energy soared as much as 18 percent in its debut listing on the NZX, buoying other listed energy companies in the process. Meridian Energy, MightyRiverPower, Contact Energy and TrustPower paced gains.

  • Landmark Supreme Court decision protects ‘outstanding landscapes’ BusinessDesk - Thu, Apr 17, 2014 5:19 PM NZST

    The Supreme Court has upheld resource consents for three salmon farms to be developed in the Marlborough Sounds by the King Salmon company, but in an important win for the protection of "outstanding landscapes", it has ruled against a fourth site. The decision gives a major victory to the Environmental Defence Society, which took its appeal against the resource consent granted for a salmon farm at Paparua, Port Gore, because it believed the decision had failed to uphold important principles in the Coastal Policy Statement, which has legal force under the Resource Management Act. "This is an incredibly important decision," said EDS coastal policy expert Raewyn Peart. "I've been working on the RMA since it came into force in 1991 and this is the first time this issue has gone to the Supreme Court.

  • NZ dollar heads for 0.8 percent fall in short week as RBNZ rate review looms BusinessDesk - Thu, Apr 17, 2014 5:02 PM NZST

    The New Zealand dollar is heading for a 0.8 percent fall in a shortened week ahead of the Reserve Bank's rate review next Thursday. The kiwi dropped to 86.16 US cents at 5pm in Wellington from 86.86 cents on Friday in New York, and from 86.27 cents at 8am and 85.87 cents yesterday. A BusinessDesk survey of 10 traders and strategists on Monday predicted the kiwi would trade between 85.30 US cents and 87.80 cents in the short week. Four predicted the kiwi would fall this week, while one expected it to gain and five saw it largely unchanged.

  • Save money by energy cuts AAP - Thu, Apr 17, 2014 5:01 PM NZST

    Saving energy saves money as well as the planet. Older models, particularly top-loading ones that are seven or more years old, use two to three times as much energy and water as newer, front-loading ones.

  • Dick Smith says turnaround is working AAP - Thu, Apr 17, 2014 4:59 PM NZST
    Dick Smith says turnaround is working

    The head of electronics retailer Dick Smith says the company is continuing its turnaround, with stronger sales and earnings on the horizon, even though shareholders are yet to see any benefit. The company's share price has traded around or below its $2.20 list price for most of its first four months on the market, but chief executive Nick Abboud says the company's turnaround strategy is working. "This result hopefully demonstrates the momentum we've got within the business," Mr Abboud said. "I can't control the share price, all I can do is deliver the result to the market.

  • Air New Zealand says claims withdrawn as other airlines settle over cargo cartel, seeks costs BusinessDesk - Thu, Apr 17, 2014 4:49 PM NZST

    Air New Zealand says claims against it as part of a class action lawsuit in Australia over alleged price fixing on freight have been withdrawn and the airline won't be contributing to an A$38 million settlement by other airlines. The suit, which began in 2007 against Air NZ, Qantas, Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, British Airways and Lufthansa Cargo related to alleged price fixing on international freight services starting in 2000. Customers of the air freight services had sought damages of A$200 million for losses suffered as a result of the airlines' alleged behaviour including in setting fuel and security surcharges for cargo crossing Australia's borders.

  • NZX boss hails stellar year Newstalk ZB - Thu, Apr 17, 2014 4:43 PM NZST

    The New Zealand Stock Exchange has had what its boss calls a phenomenal year.

  • Woodside could move quickly in Canada AAP - Thu, Apr 17, 2014 4:27 PM NZST
    Woodside could move quickly in Canada

    Woodside Petroleum could be forced to move quickly on a growth project in Canada after agreeing a three-year land use deal. The company has signed a land access agreement with the British Columbia government to conduct feasibility studies to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility at Grassy Point on the northwest coast of Canada. "The agreement is for three years and is subject to Woodside meeting milestones, including making annual payments, obtaining an export licence and commencing environmental approvals processes," Woodside said in a statement on Thursday. The company is still assessing the feasibility of building an LNG plant in Canada, a year after submitting an expression of interest.

  • Inflation expected to rise past 3% AAP - Thu, Apr 17, 2014 4:23 PM NZST

    Inflation is expected have risen above the Reserve Bank of Australia's target range in the first months of 2014 but that alone won't spark an interest rate rise. The consumer price index (CPI), the key measure of inflation, is forecast to have risen by 0.8 per cent in the March quarter, for an annual rate of 3.2 per cent, an AAP survey of 12 economists shows. That is above the RBA's two to three per cent target range. The Australian Bureau of Statistics will release the inflation figures on Wednesday.

  • Govt workers in decline even before budget AAP - Thu, Apr 17, 2014 4:21 PM NZST

    New figures suggest that many already may have cleared their desks faced with the prospect of a coalition government that was swept to power in September on a ticket of cutting spending and slashing public service numbers. The Australian Public Service Commission says there were 163,716 employed in the public service as of December 2013.

  • Why high oil prices are good for airlines AAP - Thu, Apr 17, 2014 4:01 PM NZST

    These changes, along with high oil prices, have created an insurmountable roadblock to startup airlines that hope to undercut established carriers. Last year, they paid an average of $US3.03 a gallon, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. High oil prices forced the major airlines to do business differently. Now - since fuel is such a great expense - that doesn't happen, said Scott Kirby, president of American Airlines, at a recent aviation symposium in Phoenix.

  • Samsung looks to life beyond smartphone AAP - Thu, Apr 17, 2014 4:01 PM NZST

    After years of record profit growth, tech giant Samsung Electronics looks to be at a commercial crossroads as it searches for a new growth driver to counter slowing sales of its phenomenally successful smartphones. Alarm bells have been sounding for a while over Samsung's reliance on smartphone sales in increasingly mature markets such as Europe and the United States, and increasingly competitive emerging markets like China. The world's largest smartphone maker has a diverse product line ranging from memory chips to home appliances, but more than half its profits are generated by mobile devices. Last week, Samsung said it was on track for a second consecutive quarter of year-on-year profit decline, and its stock price fell nearly 10 per cent in 2013 -- the first annual drop in five years.

  • Air cargo class action nears settlement AAP - Thu, Apr 17, 2014 3:58 PM NZST
    Air cargo class action nears settlement

    Several airlines including Qantas have agreed to a $38 million settlement of a class action related to price fixing. The settlement agreement, which still needs court approval, comes seven years after the law suit relating to alleged cartel conduct in air freight services began. The class action against Qantas, Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Air New Zealand, British Airways and Lufthansa Cargo relates to alleged price fixing on international freight services since January 1, 2000.

  • Genesis Energy soars on debut AAP - Thu, Apr 17, 2014 3:54 PM NZST

    Shares in the partially-privatised Genesis Energy have soared 18 per cent at their debut listing on the NZX, buoying other listed energy companies in the process. Heavy public interest in the last chapter of the government's partial privatisation program briefly crashed the NZX website within half an hour of the listing. Fellow state-controlled power companies Meridian Energy and Mighty River Power also advanced after the listing, rising 1.7 per cent to $NZ1.175 and 0.9 per cent to $NZ2.205, respectively. Contact Energy, which was fully privatised in 1999, gained 1.6 per cent to $NZ5.59 while Infratil-controlled TrustPower gained 0.5 per cent to $NZ6.48.

  • Dollar returns to December levels Newstalk ZB - Thu, Apr 17, 2014 3:33 PM NZST

    Growth numbers of New Zealand's biggest trading partner China have come out slightly better than the market was expecting.

  • Pharmacy operator to take $131m hit AAP - Thu, Apr 17, 2014 3:30 PM NZST
    Pharmacy operator to take $131m hit

    Australian Pharmaceutical Industries is writing down the value of some of its assets by $131 million. The owner of the Priceline, Soul Pattinson and Pharmacist Advice brands says the one-off impairment is mainly related to changes to the value of its loans to pharmacies, and a review of the expected growth of its retail network. "Priceline and Priceline Pharmacy recorded reported sales growth of 11.5 per cent, with comparable retail sales growth of 5.3 per cent," chief executive Stephen Roche said.