Top Stories

  • Air NZ's new fuel efficient fleet may mean cheaper flights Newstalk ZB - Fri, Apr 24, 2015 8:53 PM NZST

    Air New Zealand has announced a new fuel-efficient engine to power its new aircraft fleet, which could mean cheaper airfares.

  • CWC boosts NZ travel figures by 87,000 Newstalk ZB - Fri, Apr 24, 2015 8:08 PM NZST

    The Cricket World Cup boosted international passenger numbers last month.

  • NZD loses furth ground against the Aussie Newstalk ZB - Fri, Apr 24, 2015 7:56 PM NZST

    The New Zealand dollar has lost further ground against the Aussie.

  • Another WA uranium mine plan approved AAP - Fri, Apr 24, 2015 7:40 PM NZST

    Canadian uranium producer Cameco has secured federal environmental approval for its Kintyre project in remote Western Australia. It comes a month after WA Environment Minister Albert Jacob granted the company conditional approval to develop the remote east Pilbara project, 260km northeast of Newman. Cameco, which produces 16 per cent of global uranium output, bought the Kintyre deposit in 2008 with joint venture partner Mitsubishi. It also has the Yeelirrie deposit, WA's biggest uranium project, which it bought from BHP Billiton for $430 million in 2012.

  • $A rises above 78 US cents AAP - Fri, Apr 24, 2015 7:25 PM NZST

    The Australian dollar has risen above 78 US cents as weak US data dented the greenback, while the New Zealand currency slipped. The domestic currency was worth 78.10 cents by 1700 AEST, up from 77.28 cents on Thursday, reaching a four day high late in the local session. "That did take a bit of a bite out of the US dollar generally," National Australia Bank global co-head of FX strategy Ray Attrill said. The Australian dollar also benefited from further weakness in the New Zealand currency, sparked by Reserve Bank of New Zealand deputy governor John McDermott's hint on Thursday that an interest rate cut may be needed.

  • Suspension of NSW CSG licence overturned AAP - Fri, Apr 24, 2015 7:17 PM NZST
    Suspension of NSW CSG licence overturned

    Coal seam gas explorer Metgasco will seek compensation from the NSW government after winning its legal battle over the suspension of its drilling licence. The company said its successful challenge of the suspension proved a landmark decision for the NSW resources industry. Metgasco's licence to drill the Rosella well near Lismore in northern NSW was suspended by Resources and Energy Minister Anthony Roberts in May 2014, on the grounds the company hadn't properly consulted the community about its exploration. Notice of the suspension "came as a bolt from the blue to Metgasco", Justice Richard Button ruled, and procedural fairness was not implemented.

  • Bonds weaken on rate cut expectations AAP - Fri, Apr 24, 2015 7:15 PM NZST

    The bond market has weakened as expectations of a May interest rate cut continue to be eroded. A May rate cut is now seen as a 50-50 chance, which contributed to a sell-off in Australian bonds on Friday ...

  • $A firms to finish above 78 US cents AAP - Fri, Apr 24, 2015 7:14 PM NZST

    The Australian dollar has risen above 78 US cents as weak US data dents the greenback and the New Zealand currency slips. The domestic currency was worth 78.10 cents by 1700 AEST, up from 77.28 cents on ...

  • Aust shares higher on iron ore rally AAP - Fri, Apr 24, 2015 7:06 PM NZST

    The Australian sharemarket ended the week strongly, with gains on the back of a rally in iron ore prices from decade lows. A 1.5 per cent gain on the ASX200 on Friday meant it ended the week 0.9 per cent ...

  • Xero shares punished as loss doubles AAP - Fri, Apr 24, 2015 6:28 PM NZST

    Shares in cloud-based accounting software business Xero have dropped 10 per cent after the company's full year loss almost doubled. Xero, which provides accounting software for small businesses, made a full year loss of $NZ69.5 million ($A67.9 million) in the year to March 31, up from a $NZ35.5 million loss a year ago, despite lifting operating revenue from $NZ70 million to $NZ123 million. The New Zealand based company, dubbed "the Apple of accounting" by Credit Suisse, has been a market darling in recent years, with its market value stretching beyond $A3 billion despite never posting a profit.

  • Stocks to watch at close on Friday AAP - Fri, Apr 24, 2015 6:18 PM NZST

    Stocks to watch on the Australian stock exchange at close on Friday: APO - APN OUTDOOR - steady at $3.24 Billboard owner APN Outdoor has reaffirmed its prospectus forecasts of eight per cent growth in ...

  • Aust shares close higher AAP - Fri, Apr 24, 2015 6:16 PM NZST

    The Australian share market has closed higher, with gains across all sectors. At the close on Friday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was 88.5 points, or 1.51 per cent, higher at 5,933.3, while the broader ...

  • BHP breaks ranks on iron ore AAP - Fri, Apr 24, 2015 6:08 PM NZST

    A significant split occurred between Australia's iron ore giants this week when BHP Billiton said publicly that it was slowing down its expansion. It was only two sentences in a quarterly report, but was a major break from BHP and Rio Tinto's controversial narrative of unrelenting growth no matter the effect on prices - as long as you are making money. Highlighting how far iron ore prices have fallen, the estimated $US500 million project was a cheaper replacement adopted in 2012 instead of an abandoned new outer harbour that would have cost up to $US20 billion. Rio, the world's second largest iron ore miner, in contrast defied its critics on Tuesday by keeping its forecasts unchanged for a 17 per cent increase in annual shipments to nearly 350 million tonnes.

  • MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares rise; Spark, Meridian gain; Xero drops as FY loss widens BusinessDesk - Fri, Apr 24, 2015 5:37 PM NZST

    New Zealand shares rose, paced by Spark New Zealand and Meridian Energy, as investors sought dividend paying stocks. Xero dropped after it reported its full year loss nearly doubled. Yesterday, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand's assistant governor John McDermott said it isn't considering an increase in interest rates at present and is watching for any signs of weakening demand and domestic inflationary pressures that could warrant a rate cut. Meridian Energy, the partially privatised company, rose 1.1 percent to $1.90.

  • NZ dollar heads for 1.7% weekly decline after RBNZ rules out rate rises BusinessDesk - Fri, Apr 24, 2015 5:28 PM NZST

    The New Zealand dollar is heading for a 1.7 percent decline this week after Reserve Bank assistant governor John McDermott ruled out interest rate hikes ahead of the central bank's official cash rate review next week. At the start of the week, five currency advisers in a BusinessDesk survey said the kiwi could fall, five said it could gain and three said it would likely remain largely unchanged. The trade-weighted index, the broader measure of the currency preferred by the Reserve Bank, is headed for a 1.7 percent weekly decline after touching a nine-month high of 80.53 during the week. The New Zealand dollar oscillated during the week, hitting a record against the euro and stoking speculation of parity with the Aussie before taking a dive yesterday after McDermott told a business lunch in Hamilton that the Reserve Bank isn't considering an increase in interest rates at present and is watching for any signs of weakening demand and domestic inflationary pressures that could warrant a rate cut.

  • Low-lying dams drown hundreds AAP - Fri, Apr 24, 2015 4:01 PM NZST

    "The builders of these dams have created a very elegant trap for human beings," said Nate Hoogeveen, who heads river programs for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Since the 1950s, at least 441 people have died at 235 low-head dams in 38 states, according to researchers at Brigham Young University. More than one-third of the deaths have occurred in Iowa, Minnesota and Pennsylvania.

  • Ford to lay off 700 workers at US factory AAP - Fri, Apr 24, 2015 3:50 PM NZST
    Ford to lay off 700 workers at US factory

    Ford is laying off 700 workers at a US assembly plant because of slow sales of the small cars and hybrids it makes. Ford said 675 assembly line workers and 25 salaried workers are affected. Ford expects most will find jobs at other Michigan Ford plants by the northern spring. This is the first plant shift Ford has cut since 2009.

  • Age discrimination happening earlier AAP - Fri, Apr 24, 2015 3:37 PM NZST

    National Seniors Australia chief executive Michael O'Neill says age discrimination is tending to affect people in their 50s, and in some sectors those aged in their early rather than late 50s. "The age at which discrimination may arise I think is likely to be falling rather than applying to people later in their lives," Mr O'Neill told AAP. A national survey found widespread discrimination in the workplace against people over 50, with a third of those discriminated against giving up job hunting as a result. "That is never going to be good for the economy or for the individual, whose financial security, family life and mental health can be severely impacted," Mr O'Neill said.

  • Chinese demand drives NZ lamb wool price rises to 6-week high BusinessDesk - Fri, Apr 24, 2015 3:32 PM NZST

    New Zealand lamb wool prices rose to a six-week high at auction yesterday on increased demand from China for the apparel fibre. Lamb wool rose 4.8 percent to $6.60 per kilogram at yesterday's South Island auction compared with last week's North Island auction, its highest level since it touched a four-year high of $6.65/kg on March 12, according to AgriHQ. The average price for 35-micron wool, a benchmark for crossbred wool used for carpets and accounting for the majority of New Zealand's production, was unchanged at $5.35/kg. New Zealand lamb wool prices have been buoyant this year, outpacing demand for other wool types.

  • What has been learnt from the BP spill AAP - Fri, Apr 24, 2015 3:01 PM NZST

    As oil gushed from BP's ruptured well five years ago and public outrage built by the day, the Obama administration issued a six month moratorium on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. When the well was finally capped after nearly three months, political and industry pressure mounted on the White House to lift the ban, which it did about a month earlier than planned. Since then, oil and gas drilling in the Gulf has bounced back strongly and the number of deepwater drilling rigs has actually increased from 35 to about 48. Elsewhere, the Obama administration has pushed to open up offshore waters in Alaska and along the Atlantic coast to drilling.

  • $A benefiting from $US and $NZ weakness AAP - Fri, Apr 24, 2015 2:51 PM NZST

    The Australian dollar is higher, getting support from weak US housing and manufacturing data and a falling New Zealand dollar. The Australian dollar was worth 77.74 US cents at 1200 AEST on Friday, up ...

  • $A benefitting from $US and $NZ weakness AAP - Fri, Apr 24, 2015 2:50 PM NZST

    The Australian dollar is higher, getting support from weak US housing and manufacturing data and a falling New Zealand dollar. The Australian dollar was worth 77.74 US cents at 1200 AEST on Friday, up ...

  • Resources stocks lead ASX higher AAP - Fri, Apr 24, 2015 2:32 PM NZST

    Gains among Australia's biggest miners have pushed the Australian sharemarket higher at noon. The local bourse is more than one per cent stronger as optimism about commodities offsets a lacklustre lead from overseas, Options Xpress analyst Ben LeBrun said. "We're looking to finish the week at a commanding level based on the commodities price action overnight," Mr LeBrun said. Higher commodities prices have helped mining stocks after BHP Billiton's announcement this week that it will defer some port works, which investors hope will help ease the global supply glut for iron ore.

  • Spark's market cap slips, as investors weigh increased competition BusinessDesk - Fri, Apr 24, 2015 2:32 PM NZST

    Spark New Zealand, formerly Telecom Corp, has slipped from being the country's largest listed company, as investors mull its transformation away from telecommunications and the risk of increased competition. Spark has fallen from being the NZX's largest listed company by market capitalisation, valued at $6.51 billion in February, to the third largest at $5.17 billion today. Fletcher Building has the largest market cap, at $5.65 billion, followed by Auckland International Airport, at $5.45 billion. Spark is chasing earnings growth in a shift away from its bread and butter land line and telecommunications service to focus on data, mobility and cloud services.

  • Fonterra reshuffles management team to speed up value-add strategy BusinessDesk - Fri, Apr 24, 2015 2:19 PM NZST

    Fonterra Cooperative Group, the world's largest dairy exporter, has changed two senior management roles in a bid to push its value-add strategy harder in the wake of shareholder criticism over its weak half-year financial results and lower forecast dairy payout. Jacqueline Chow, who is currently managing director global brands and nutrition, is stepping into a newly-created role of chief operating officer velocity, from June 1, where she'll work with the management team to boost performance across the cooperative. Prior to joining Fonterra in 2013, Jacqueline was Australia and New Zealand general manager for Arnott's, one of Asia Pacific's largest food companies. The V3 strategy unveiled in 2012 involves volume, value and velocity: increasing milk production volumes to ensure Fonterra maintains its share of the growing dairy market, driving more value from its milk through higher value products, and doing so at speed.

  • UPDATE: Xero annual loss widens as it ramps up investment for future growth BusinessDesk - Fri, Apr 24, 2015 2:12 PM NZST

    Xero, the cloud-based accounting software firm, said its annual loss widened even as sales rose, after it increased investment in product development, sales and marketing for future growth. The net loss expanded to $69.5 million, or 55 cents per share, in the year ended March 31, from $35.5 million, or 29 cents, in the year earlier period, Wellington-based Xero said in a statement. Xero is foregoing profits and dividends as it invests in expanding its accounting software service to overseas markets. Xero added 403 staff in the past year, taking its total staff to 1,161.

  • Stocks to watch on Friday AAP - Fri, Apr 24, 2015 2:07 PM NZST

    Stocks to watch on the Australian stock exchange at noon on Friday: APO - APN OUTDOOR - steady at $3.24 Billboard owner APN Outdoor has reaffirmed its prospectus forecasts of eight per cent growth in revenue ...

  • US lets in Thai fish caught by slaves AAP - Fri, Apr 24, 2015 2:01 PM NZST

    More than a decade after the US criticised Thailand as a hub for labour abuse, seafood caught by slaves on Thai boats is still slipping into the supply chains of major American stores and supermarkets. The US has not enforced a law banning the import of goods made with forced labour since 2000 because of significant loopholes, The Associated Press has found. It has also spared Thailand from sanctions slapped on other countries with weak records in human trafficking because of a complex political relationship that includes cooperation against terrorism. While officials at federal agencies would not directly answer why the law and sanctions are not applied, they pointed out that the US State Department last year blacklisted Thailand as among the worst offenders in its report on trafficking in people worldwide.

  • Macmahon to shed 40 jobs and alter rosters AAP - Fri, Apr 24, 2015 1:58 PM NZST

    Loss making mining services contractor Macmahon will cut another 40 staff and alter its corporate rosters to cut costs. Macmahon, which slumped to a $112 million loss in the half year to December, confirmed it will continue with its redundancy program. Macmahon's workforce currently stands at 2000, after already cutting 140 roles. The spokesman said most of the upcoming redundancies were corporate roles rather than project roles.

  • From the Farm: The stinkbug hitchhiker and other unwanted pests BusinessDesk - Fri, Apr 24, 2015 1:40 PM NZST

    The discovery last year in Temuka of a single unmated yellow spotted stink bug – known as a hitchhiker pest because it can travel in containers or unwanted cargo and used machinery and vehicles – sparked the first response under the Government Industry Agreement approach to joint biosecurity.

  • The week in numbers to April 24 AAP - Fri, Apr 24, 2015 1:39 PM NZST

    The big and small numbers that grabbed attention - or should have - in the business world over the past week. Monday: 6447 - Struggling streaming service Quickflix is enjoying the flow-on from interest ...

  • NSW Labor warns of two-speed economy AAP - Fri, Apr 24, 2015 1:15 PM NZST
    NSW Labor warns of two-speed economy

    A two-speed economy is emerging in NSW, the state's opposition has warned, as jobless figures show regional towns are lagging behind Sydney. Unemployment across regional NSW has risen from 5.9 in March 2011 to 8.3 per cent, and there are a record 17,000 people out of work in the Hunter Valley communities outside Newcastle, Labor says. "There is a two-speed economy in NSW - those parts of Sydney that Mike Baird can see directly out of his suite in Governor Macquarie Tower and the vast bulk of the state that he thinks about once in a blue moon," Labor's Regional Development spokesman David Harris said on Friday.

  • Shipping industry SOS over Med migrants AAP - Fri, Apr 24, 2015 1:01 PM NZST

    Bound by the laws of the sea to help vessels in distress, shipping companies say Europe's migration crisis has placed unreasonable demands on their crews to act as lifesavers in the Mediterranean. All too often merchant ships are diverted to help in large-scale rescue operations they are not properly equipped to handle safely, because European governments haven't deployed enough resources to deal with the escalating problem, shipping officials say. We shouldn't be doing the rescuing in any case," said Dimitrios Banas of the European Community Shipowners' Associations. Thousands of desperate migrants have perished in recent years trying reach European shores in overcrowded and unseaworthy vessels, including as many as 1,300 in the past week.

  • From the Farm: Putting lipstick on the pig BusinessDesk - Fri, Apr 24, 2015 12:53 PM NZST
    From the Farm: Putting lipstick on the pig

    New Zealand’s pig farmers have a problem, one their industry organisation NZ Pork says is one of perception rather than reality. But can it put lipstick on the pig?

  • Aust shares higher led by resources AAP - Fri, Apr 24, 2015 12:45 PM NZST

    The Australian sharemarket has opened higher as investors pile into resources stocks. Both the S&P/ASX200 and All Ordinaries are up around one per cent as optimism about a possible turnaround for commodities offsets a lacklustre lead from overseas. CMC Markets chief market strategist Michael McCarthy said indications the People's Bank of China was committed to keep the world's second largest economy growing by seven per cent a year had helped improve sentiment in the resources sector. He said mining stocks were also being helped by BHP Billiton's announcement this week that it will defer some port works, which investors hope will help ease the global supply glut for iron ore.