Australasia

Australian economy stuck in slow lane as consumers stamp on brakes

04/12 Australia's economy struggled last quarter as cash-strapped consumers refused to spend, even going so far as saving a tax give-away that had been touted by the government as a major fiscal boost.. . .  Full story

Australian banks await key New Zealand decision on lifting capital ratio

04/12 New Zealand's central bank is expected to announce tougher bank capital ratio requirements on Thursday, a move that could tighten credit conditions and hurt the bottom line of the major Australian lenders who dominate. . .  Full story

Australia bans life-insurance telephone sales after inquiry revealed abuses

04/12 Australia's corporate regulator on Wednesday banned telephone sales of life insurance after an inquiry into the financial sector last year found "cold calling" had been abused to get customers to sign up for products. . .  Full story

Australia shares fall as trade optimism collapses

04/12 Australian shares extended losses on Wednesday as a resurgence in concerns about global trade tensions hit Wall Street stocks and weighed on the mining and financials sectors.. . .  Full story

Australia shares likely to extend losses, NZ down

03/12 Australian shares are set to open lower on Wednesday, extending losses amid concerns a deal to end the U.S.-China trade war might not come until after the November 2020 U.S. elections.. . .  Full story

Perth Mint's November gold sales hit one-year peak, silver dips

03/12 The Perth Mint's gold product sales in November rose to their highest in a year, while silver sales dropped from a multi-year peak, the refiner said on Tuesday. Sales of. . .  Full story

Australia shares fall as Trump's Latin America tariffs create trade anxiety

03/12 Australian shares posted their biggest daily fall in two months on Tuesday after U.S. President Donald Trump's surprise move to restore tariffs on imports from Brazil and Argentina.. . .  Full story

Australia's Santos raises forecast for 2025 production by 20%

03/12 Santos Ltd on Tuesday increased its forecast for 2025 production by 20% underpinned by oil and gas projects it plans to develop in Australia and Papua New Guinea.. . .  Full story

Australia's central bank holds rates as it weighs past cuts

03/12 Australia's central bank left interest rates at record lows on Tuesday as it waits for the three cuts already delivered to gain traction in a sluggish economy, though markets are wagering more easing will. . .  Full story

Australian interest rate changes since 1990

03/12 The Reserve Bank of Australia cut its cash rate a quarter point to 1.0% on Tuesday, following its monthly policy meeting. The following is a chronology of the Reserve. . .  Full story

Australia boasts record current account surplus in Q3

03/12 Australia racked up its largest current account surplus on record last quarter as resource exports to Asia defied global trade tensions, producing an influx of cash that fattens company profits and boosts the government's tax. . .  Full story

Australia shares drop on fresh global trade concerns; NZ down

03/12 Australian shares posted their biggest intraday percentage loss in two months on Tuesday, as investor appetite was hit after U.S. President Donald Trump said he would restore import tariffs on steel from Brazil and. . .  Full story

Australia government spending adds to GDP growth in Q3

03/12 Australian government spending on operational items rose 0.9% in the September quarter from the previous quarter to an inflation-adjusted A$93.55 billion ($63.48 billion), the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported on Tuesday.. . .  Full story

Australia shares likely to open lower; NZ slips

02/12 Australian shares are set to decline heavily on Tuesday as fresh trade worries dampened investor appetite after U.S. President Donald Trump said he would restore tariffs on steel imported from Brazil and Argentina.. . .  Full story

Asian shares eke out third straight monthly gain in November

02/12 Asian shares eked out gains in November as hopes of a global economic recovery outweighed a cautious tone surrounding uncertainties about the U.S.-China interim trade deal.. . .  Full story

Australia's Tyro prices shares at top end of forecast range in IPO

02/12 Australia's Tyro Payments Ltd set the price that institutional investors will pay for its shares at A$2.75 each, as it aims to raise up to A$287 million ($195 million) in its initial public offering. . .  Full story

Australia's Woolworths hit with class action for underpaying staff

02/12 A law firm has filed a class action against Woolworths Group for underpaying thousands of supermarket workers, saying Australia's biggest grocery chain should pay more than double its estimate for the shortfall in wages.. . .  Full story

Australian home prices jump most in 16 years, rest of economy lags

02/12 Australian home prices rose at the fastest pace in 16 years in November as record-low interest rates and looser lending standards turned bust into boom, though other economic news out on Monday was not. . .  Full story

Australia shares gain on healthcare, financial stocks; NZ hits record high again

02/12 Australian shares kicked off the month on a positive note on Monday, aided by healthcare and financial stocks, as investors cheered strong domestic home prices data while shrugging off concerns over fresh uncertainty around. . .  Full story

Australia shares set to gain modestly amid lingering trade war worries

01/12 Australian shares are set to open slightly higher on Monday as investors remain cautious amid worries about the China-U.S. trade dispute and ahead of a slew of domestic data this week including Tuesday's monetary. . .  Full story

New Zealand government flags significant infrastructure spending

30/11 The New Zealand government plans a significant increase in infrastructure spending, making use of low borrowing costs to "build" the country, Finance Minister Grant Robertson said on Saturday. Economic output of the Pacific country has. . .  Full story

Australian shares slip on miners, trade worries; NZ up

29/11 Australian shares ended a six-session winning streak on Friday, slipping from record highs hit earlier in the session, dragged by mining stocks and as Hong Kong tensions cast fresh uncertainty over a Sino-U.S. trade. . .  Full story

Drought trims Australia greenhouse gas emissions, offsets jump from gas trade

29/11 Australia's greenhouse gas emissions were roughly unchanged in the 12 months ended June as a long-running drought hit cattle and sheep farming, shrivelling emissions from agriculture and offsetting sharp increases from the natural gas industry.. . .  Full story

Australian, NZ shares hit record highs on upbeat outlook

29/11 Australian shares rose for a sixth straight session on Friday, driven by healthcare stocks and as prospects of local monetary policy easing buoyed risk sentiment.. . .  Full story

Australia shares likely to open higher; NZ rises

28/11 Australian shares were poised to rise for a sixth straight session on Friday after underwhelming domestic economic data fuelled prospects for further monetary policy easing by the central bank.. . .  Full story

CBA's insurance arm convicted for cold calling, fined less than maximum penalty

28/11 Commonwealth Bank of Australia's life insurance arm was convicted of 87 counts of cold-calling offences but fined less than half of the maximum penalty allowed, the country's corporate regulator said on Thursday.. . .  Full story

Trade optimism lifts Australia, NZ shares to record highs

28/11 Australian and New Zealand shares hit an all-time high on Thursday as investors cheered prospects of an initial trade deal between Washington and Beijing, while strong data from the United States assuaged concerns of. . .  Full story

Australian Q3 business investment flatlines as recovery proves elusive

28/11 Australian business investment flatlined last quarter as gains in mining and manufacturing were offset by weakness elsewhere, frustrating hopes for a long-awaited and much-needed pick up in spending.. . .  Full story

Australia shares poised to open stronger; NZ flat

27/11 Australian shares are set to open higher on Thursday as upbeat economic data from the United States is expected to allay concerns of slowing economic growth, while prospects of a trade deal between China. . .  Full story

South Africa's Woolworths posts 2.2% rise in 20-week sales

27/11 South African retailer Woolworths Holdings Ltd reported a 2.2% rise in group sales for the 20 weeks ended Nov. 11, as strong performance in its home market offset weakness at its. . .  Full story

Australian shares end at record high on trade boost; NZ gains

27/11 Australian shares hit their highest close ever on Wednesday, with mining stocks leading the rally, as investors factored in the growing likelihood of an interim China-U.S. trade deal.. . .  Full story

Westpac shareholders call for more heads to roll over money-laundering scandal

27/11 Two of Australia's top shareholder proxy advisers on Wednesday urged investors to vote out more directors of Westpac Banking Corp after a money-laundering scandal claimed the CEO and chairman of the country's No.2 retail bank.. . .  Full story

Five years of Australian finance scandals

27/11 The CEO and chairman of Australia's Westpac Banking Corp are out after financial crime watchdog AUSTRAC accused the bank of 23 million breaches of anti-money laundering laws, including payments related to child exploitation.. . .  Full story

Australia credit rating at risk if govt ramps up spending-S&P

27/11 Australia's triple A credit rating could be at risk if the government were to sharply ramp up spending as a fiscal jolt for a subdued economy, S&P Global Ratings said on Wednesday,. . .  Full story

New Zealand central bank plans to ramp up oversight of banks

27/11 New Zealand's central bank said on Wednesday it was ramping up its scrutiny of banks and insurers ahead of its highly anticipated decision on raising bank capital requirements.. . .  Full story

New Zealand central bank not near to loosening home loan rules

27/11 New Zealand's top central banker on Wednesday said they were not considering loosening loan to valuation restrictions on mortgages, which were working well to contain heat in the housing market.. . .  Full story

Australia shares set to open lower; NZ inches up

26/11 Australian shares are poised to edge lower on Wednesday as investors are likely to keep to the sidelines following a speech by the country's central bank governor late on Tuesday and amid positive comments. . .  Full story

RBNZ says to ramp up oversight on banks, insurers

26/11 The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) said on Wednesday the financial system was facing heightened vulnerability and it would take a more intensive approach to supervising banks and insurers.. . .  Full story

Australia's central bank does not expect to take QE plunge

26/11 Australia's top central banker said on Tuesday that he did not expect to have to use quantitative easing (QE), but if necessary it would take the form of buying government bonds and then only. . .  Full story

Analysts raise Asian firms' 2020 earnings forecasts over the past month

26/11 Analysts have raised their estimates for Asian firms' 2020 earnings, data showed, as hopes of a Sino-U.S. trade deal as well as expected recovery in economic growth backed by central bank easing measures bolstered. . .  Full story

Australian shares rise for third session as Westpac gains on CEO exit

26/11 Australian shares rose for a third session on Tuesday, boosted by a lift in Westpac Banking Corp's stock after its chief executive stepped down amid a money laundering scandal.. . .  Full story

Westpac's money-laundering scandal in quotes

26/11 The chief executive of Australia's Westpac Banking Corp stepped down on Tuesday over a money laundering scandal involving child exploitation, just a day after he told staff it was "not a major issue" and. . .  Full story

CEO of Australia's Westpac exits over money laundering scandal

26/11 The chief executive of Australia's Westpac Banking Corp stepped down on Tuesday over a money laundering scandal involving child exploitation, just a day after he told staff it was "not a major issue" and. . .  Full story

Westpac, oil prices drive Australian stocks higher; NZ up

26/11 Australian shares clocked broad gains on Monday as Sino-U.S. trade deal optimism boosted market sentiment, while Westpac Banking Corp snapped four sessions of declines after the scandal-hit lender's chief executive resigned.. . .  Full story

Australia shares set to open higher, NZ inches up

25/11 Australian shares were poised to climb on Tuesday for a third straight session of gains as rising iron ore and oil prices will likely buoy resource-based stocks. The tech. . .  Full story

Westpac CEO steps down as money-laundering scandal rocks second-biggest Australian bank

25/11 Westpac Banking Corp on Tuesday said Chief Executive Brian Hartzer will be stepping down, as Australia's second-biggest bank faces the country's biggest money-laundering scandal.. . .  Full story

'A free pass to paedophiles': Australian lawmaker slams Westpac

25/11 Australian Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said Westpac Banking Corp must pay the price for giving "a free pass to paedophiles" as the corporate watchdog began investigating the lender over millions of breaches of money. . .  Full story

Australian shares lifted by iron ore miners, but Westpac weighs

25/11 Australian shares advanced on Monday, led by top iron ore miners which found support from higher prices and hopes that a Sino-U.S. trade could be signed by the end of the year.. . .  Full story

China Mengniu Dairy to buy a second Australian dairy firm for $407 mln from Kirin

25/11 China Mengniu Dairy Co Ltd plans to buy the owner of some of Australia's best known milk brands from Japan's Kirin Holdings Co Ltd for A$600 million ($407 million), its second Down Under dairy buyout. . .  Full story

Australia's Westpac to close funds transfer platform, appoint external expert after AUSTRAC issues

24/11 Australia's Westpac Banking Corp said it would close an international funds transfer platform and appoint an external expert to provide independent oversight in response to allegations raised by financial crime watchdog AUSTRAC.. . .  Full story

Australian shares likely to open higher on upbeat trade deal comments; NZ down

24/11 Australian shares were set to rise on Monday as trade deal hopes were revitalised after leaders of the United States and China sent positive messages about an initial pact to end their trade war.. . .  Full story

"Bear" the dog helps find koalas injured in Australian bushfires

22/11 An obsessive compulsive dog who was abandoned as a puppy has a new mission: helping find and save koalas injured in Australia's recent devastating bushfires.. . .  Full story

Australia shares lifted by energy and miners, NZ slips

22/11 Australian shares finished firmer on Friday, helped by energy and mining stock gains but worries about the financial sector weighed after Goldman Sachs cut its target price on Westpac, which faces an explosive lawsuit. . .  Full story

Board of Australia's Westpac 'unreservedly apologises' over money-laundering

22/11 The board of Australia's second largest bank on Friday apologised unreservedly for 23 million breaches of money laundering laws, but stood by management despite pressure from politicians to review its leadership.. . .  Full story

Australian fund cuts Westpac bond exposure on money laundering allegations

22/11 An Australian bond fund has started to divest Westpac bonds following allegations by the country's financial crime regulator of money laundering compliance breaches, some of which related to financing child exploitation.. . .  Full story

Australia housing market revival to continue into 2020

22/11 Australia's housing market revival will carry on into 2020 thanks to a series of interest rate cuts from the Reserve Bank of Australia this year and another expected next year, according to a Reuters. . .  Full story

Australia shares likely to open higher; NZ down

21/11 Australian shares are likely to open higher on Friday, set to snap two sessions of losses, with energy stocks expected to buoy the index, while positive news on the Sino-U.S. trade front may also. . .  Full story

Pressure grows on Westpac CEO after massive Australian money laundering scandal

21/11 Pressure mounted on the chief executive of Westpac Banking Corp on Thursday over the handling of Australia's biggest money laundering scandal, with the prime minister saying the bank's board should reflect deeply on Brian Hartzer's. . .  Full story

Australia shares extend fall on Westpac, trade deal woes; NZ down

21/11 Australian shares closed another session of losses on Thursday, pressured by scandal-hit Westpac Banking Corp, and also a flare-up in tensions surrounding U.S.-China trade negotiations.. . .  Full story

Westpac Banking Corp weighs heavily on Australian shares; NZ up

21/11 Australian shares extended losses on Thursday, pulled down by Westpac Banking Corp as accusations of money laundering breaches against the lender rattled the financial sector, which has been in regulatory crosshairs for nearly two years.. . .  Full story

Australia's Genex Power secures funding for two solar projects

21/11 Australian power generation company Genex Power on Thursday said it received credit approval to fund two of its solar projects in the country.. . .  Full story

Australia shares poised to open lower, NZ up

20/11 Australian shares are expected to open lower on Thursday in line with Wall Street as investors are expected to exercise caution amid renewed concerns of the "phase one" trade deal between U.S. and China. . .  Full story

Australia's Westpac slapped with 23 mln money laundering breaches

20/11 Regulators accused Australia's Westpac Banking Corp of 23 million breaches of anti-money laundering laws, saying the banking giant ignored red flags and for years enabled payments from convicted child sex offenders and "high risk" countries.. . .  Full story

Australia shares tumble on Westpac breach, Sino-U.S. trade rhetoric; NZ up

20/11 Australian shares ended nearly 1.5% lower on Wednesday, dented by losses in financials, and as U.S. President Donald Trump's reluctance to roll back tariffs on Chinese imports assuaged hopes of a trade deal between. . .  Full story

Australia shares weighed by Westpac; NZ buoyed by Metlifecare

20/11 Australian shares fell on Wednesday, with second-biggest lender Westpac Banking Corp weighing heavily on the heavyweight financials sector after regulators accused the bank of serious breaches of anti-money laundering rules.. . .  Full story

Australia shares set to open lower, NZ up

19/11 Australian shares are set to open lower on Wednesday with energy stocks weighing as investors are expected to grow wary amid threats of an escalation in trade tensions. The United. . .  Full story

Australia to fast-track $2.6 bln worth of infrastructure spending in bid to revive economy

19/11 Australia's conservative government will fast-track A$3.8 billion ($2.59 billion) in infrastructure spending, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Wednesday - a fillip to a stalling economy.. . .  Full story

Australia shares end modestly higher on RBA's dovish tone; NZ up

19/11 Australian shares closed modestly higher on Tuesday, after minutes from the country's central bank meeting this month revealed a clear dovish bias, but gains on the benchmark were capped by a decline in technology. . .  Full story

Australia CBA insurance arm pleads guilty to cold-calling offences

19/11 The life insurance arm of Commonwealth Bank of Australia pleaded guilty to 87 counts of breaching a law banning sales staff from making unsolicited calls to sell financial products, the country's corporate regulator said on. . .  Full story

New Zealand to ramp up monitoring of NAB unit over capital calculation errors

19/11 New Zealand's central bank said on Tuesday it was stepping up monitoring of National Australia Bank Ltd (NAB) subsidiary Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) after identifying errors in the lender's risk capital calculation process.. . .  Full story

Australia's RBA nearer to Nov rate cut than first thought

19/11 Australia's central bank came nearer to cutting interest rates this month than first thought, according to a dovish set of minutes that led investors to narrow the odds on future easing.. . .  Full story

Australia's New Hope posts 66% surge in Q1 saleable coal output

19/11 Australian coal producer New Hope Corp Ltd reported on Tuesday a 66% jump in saleable coal production in the first quarter, as output ramped up at its Bengalla mine.. . .  Full story

Australia shares flat as investors seek trade-deal clarity; NZ up

19/11 Australian shares were flat on Tuesday as investors kept to the sidelines awaiting definitive details on the trade-deal negotiations between Washington and Beijing amid a lack of other market-moving catalysts.. . .  Full story

Australia shares set to open little changed; NZ rises

18/11 Australian shares were set to open flat on Tuesday with investors expected to exercise caution ahead of the release of the central bank meeting minutes later in the day.. . .  Full story

Australia shares end lower as markets await clues on trade talks; NZ dips

18/11 Australian shares closed weaker on Monday, with gold and healthcare sectors leading losses, as investors maintained a cautious stance amid a lack of concrete detail in the Sino-U.S. trade negotiations.. . .  Full story

Australia shares drop weighed by gold stocks; NZ down

18/11 Australian shares fell on Monday with gold stocks dragging as investors pull back and await definitive details on the "phase one" trade deal between the United States and China.. . .  Full story

National Australia Bank launches second capital raising in a month

18/11 National Australia Bank said on Monday it was looking to raise A$1.4 billion ($959.70 million) through the issue of medium-term notes, its second capital raising in a month, to help beef up its capital. . .  Full story

Australia shares to open little changed; NZ up

17/11 Australian shares are likely to open little changed on Monday, with rising oil prices expected to buoy energy stocks, while an expected decline in gold stocks, owing to weaker bullion, may cap gains.. . .  Full story

Australia shares hoisted by positive White House comments on trade deal

15/11 Australian shares advanced on Friday, capping a second straight week of gains, as fresh signs of progress in the U.S.-China trade talks brightened the mood for risky assets.. . .  Full story

Australia approves China-government backed buyout of dairy firm Bellamy's

15/11 Australia cleared a dairy producer part-owned by the Chinese government to buy local infant formula maker Bellamy's Australia Ltd for A$1.43 billion ($980.27 million), but imposed several conditions amid a potential backlash.. . .  Full story

Australian mortgage arrears still low, little risk -RBA

15/11 Rates of arrears on home loans are at a decade high in Australia, although the overall rate is still too low to threaten financial stability or bank profit margins, a top central banker said. . .  Full story

Gold, material stocks drive Australian shares higher; NZ up

15/11 Australian shares rose on Friday after a record Wall Street close while the gold mining sector also provided some support as investors sought the safe-haven allure of the precious metal amid uncertainty about a. . .  Full story

RBNZ readying itself in case needs to use unconventional policy tools - governor

15/11 Reserve Bank of New Zealand governor Adrian Orr said on Friday that the bank was preparing in case it had to use unconventional monetary tools as the neutral interest rate fell.. . .  Full story

China Mengniu gets Australian approval for buyout of infant formula maker Bellamy's

14/11 Australia has conditionally approved China Mengniu Dairy Co's A$1.43 billion ($980.27 million) takeover of infant formula maker Bellamy's Australia Ltd, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said on Friday.. . .  Full story

Australia shares poised to open higher; NZ up

14/11 Australian shares are likely to extend gains into a second session at open on Friday, with stronger iron ore and gold prices overnight expected to lend support to the mining stocks.. . .  Full story

China to extend anti-dumping probe into Australian barley by six months - commerce ministry

14/11 China's commerce ministry said on Thursday it will extend an anti-dumping investigation into imports of Australian barley by another six months.. . .  Full story

Australia's Independence Group reviewing Panoramic offer after weak outlook

14/11 Metals miner Independence Group NL on Thursday said it was reviewing its takeover bid of smaller peer Panoramic Resources Ltd after the latter flagged underperformance at a key nickel project and said it would likely. . .  Full story

Australia shares rebound on tech, healthcare gains; NZ up

14/11 Technology and healthcare firms helped the Australian benchmark advance on Thursday, though gains were capped on rising doubts that Washington and Beijing can reach a trade deal soon.. . .  Full story

Australia's corporate regulator says responsible lending doesn't hurt economy

14/11 The Australian corporate regulator on Thursday hit back at claims that its anticipated imposition of tougher responsible lending rules is already hurting the country's sluggish economy.. . .  Full story

Australia shares supported by healthcare, tech firms; NZ up

14/11 Australian shares edged up on Thursday, recouping some of the losses from the previous session on the back of gains for healthcare and tech firms, though activity was subdued on uncertainty around an anticipated. . .  Full story

Australian jobs suffer biggest drop in 3 years, argue for more stimulus

14/11 Australian employment suffered its sharpest fall in three years last month, data showed on Thursday, underlining the need for urgent stimulus to revive economic activity and wages.. . .  Full story

Australia shares likely to inch higher; NZ dips

13/11 Australian shares are expected to edge higher on Thursday as upbeat comments from U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on the U.S. economy is expected to ease worries of a global slowdown, but fears. . .  Full story

Australia shares drop on U.S.-China trade talk uncertainty; NZ down

13/11 Australian shares fell on Wednesday after U.S. President Donald Trump offered no new details on trade talks with China, leaving investors on edge over whether the two sides will be able to reach a. . .  Full story

NZ holds interest rates, clips doves' wings as kiwi soars

13/11 New Zealand's central bank surprised investors by holding interest rates at an all-time low of 1% on Wednesday saying it saw no urgency to ease policy further, sending the kiwi dollar sharply higher.. . .  Full story

Australian shares edge lower on trade uncertainties; NZ up

13/11 Australian shares slipped slightly on Wednesday amid thin volumes as a lack of details on the Sino-U.S. trade deal from U.S. President Donald Trump's much awaited speech overnight kept investors on the sidelines.. . .  Full story

Australian government extends offer to fund Genex's pumped hydro project

13/11 Australian power generation company Genex Power on Wednesday said the government's Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) has extended the date of its offer to fund the company's hydro project until June 30, 2020.. . .  Full story

Australian consumers turn slightly less gloomy in Nov -survey

13/11 Australian consumer sentiment rebounded somewhat in November after a gloomy turn in the previous month, with a key gauge showing a lighter mood on family finances and the economic outlook.. . .  Full story