New Zealand Oil & Gas has secured a 50.01 per cent holding in its subsidiary, ASX-listed Cue Energy Resources.
“Our controlling interest in Cue provides diversified exposure to Cue's production and exploration interests in Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia,” New Zealand Oil & Gas Chief Executive Andrew Jefferies said.
Cue has production from its interest in the Maari oil field off Taranaki, and from the Sampang PSC in East Java, Indonesia.
It has a portfolio of exploration including the substantial Ironbark prospect in the Carnarvon basin off West Australia, and in Indonesia. “Cue has cut costs significantly, and refined its strategy. All of its shareholders benefit from these changes, which provide a positive reason to increase our holding to over 50 per cent,” Andrew Jefferies said.
New Zealand Oil & Gas acquired 13,514,462 Cue shares in the current financial year at an average cost of 8.32 cents, increasing its interest from 48.11 to 50.01 per cent. The total cost was AU$1,124,338.44.
The Reserve Bank has appointed Klarissa Plimmer as Chief Information Officer and Patrick Hoerler as Head of Risk Assessment and Assurance.
As Chief Information Officer, Klarissa Plimmer is responsible for the Bank's information management and technology. Ms Plimmer was previously the Director ICT Solution Delivery at the New Zealand Defence Force, and has worked in a number of ICT leadership roles at the BNZ for 13 years.
Patrick Hoerler heads the Bank's Risk Assessment and Assurance unit, which is responsible for ensuring that financial, operational, and reputational risks faced by the Bank are identified, monitored and managed in line with best practice. The unit includes the Bank's internal audit function and legal services.
Before joining the Bank Mr Hoerler was the Risk Assurance Officer for Mercury (formerly Mighty River Power and Mercury Energy) and was previously their treasurer. Mr Hoerler has a background in international banking, working with Credit Suisse and Zurich Kantonalbank in the US and Asia before migrating to New Zealand to work as treasurer for ENZA and in banking with HSBC.
Comvita, the manuka honey products company, has sold its Medihoney brand to US partner Derma Sciences for about $19 million, and will reap a further $11 million selling Derma shares in a takeover offer of the Nasdaq-listed company.
The gross proceeds of the Medihoney deal will amount to US$13.25 million, with a US$5 million earnout payable on sales milestones being achieved, Comvita said in a statement to the NZX. Comvita also owns 1.1 million shares in Derma Sciences, which announced on Jan. 10 that it will be acquired by Nasdaq-listed Integra LifeSciences for US$7 per share by the end of March. That values Comvita's stake at about $11 million, it said.
Derma Sciences already held the exclusive global rights to Medihoney wound care products, and in 2016 paid $2.1 million to Comvita in royalties for the use of the brand and trademarks. Those royalties will stop when the sale is completed.
Comvita will retain the use of the brand to develop its over-the-counter business, particularly for products to treat eczema, while Derma Sciences will hold the regulatory approvals to make products to European and US medical device quality standards. The deal also includes a 10-year honey supply agreement between the two.
The Te Puke-based company told shareholders in October that it expects to post a loss for its first half, ended Dec. 31, after tough trading and significantly lower sales in the first quarter due to the impact of regulatory changes in China. It expects a full-year profit of $17.1 million, entirely produced in the second half. In August 2016, Comvita posted a 15-month profit of $18.5 million after changing its balance date. Comvita previously reported a profit of $17.2 million in the 12 months ended March 31, 2016.
In 2013, Comvita raised about $9 million selling about 2.3 million new shares to Derma at $3.90 apiece, a 3.7 percent discount at the time, giving Derma a 7.3 percent stake while its chief executive Edward Quilty joined the Comvita board. Derma ceased to have a substantial shareholding in Comvita in May 2016, selling down to 4.7 percent of the company at $12.06 per share.
Comvita shares last traded at $8, up 0.9 percent today. They have declined 7.6 percent in the past year, having peaked at a record $12.85 in May 2016, after the company joined the NZX50 Index in April, but falling back over the remainder of the year. Derma shares last traded at US$6.95, up 33 percent this year having disclosed their acquisition by Integra.
The New Zealand Bankers’ Association announced today that the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (New Zealand) Ltd has joined the association, bringing the total number of member banks to 16.
New Zealand Bankers’ Association chief executive Karen Scott-Howman says: “We are delighted to welcome ICBC to the Bankers’ Association. China is one of New Zealand’s top trading partners. Having Chinese banks here helps take that important relationship to another level.
“ICBC’s participation in the New Zealand banking industry further enhances competition and diversity in the sector”, adds Scott-Howman.
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (New Zealand) chief executive Qian Hou says: “ICBC’s aim is to strengthen trade opportunities between China and New Zealand, and also to contribute to the New Zealand economy by investing in infrastructure projects.”
ICBC was the first Chinese bank to gain a licence to operate in New Zealand. The bank offers its clients comprehensive corporate and retail services with a focus on boosting the bilateral economic and trade relationship between New Zealand and China.
| A bankers Association release | January 11, 2017 |
HNA Group bought Ingram Micro last year in a US$6 billion deal which closed in December and which makes Ingram Micro a subsidiary of HNA’s Tianjin Tianhai logistics, supply chain and financial services company.
HNA, which has a financial arm which operates a diverse set of businesses in equipment leasing, insurance and credit services, will pay $660 million for UDC Finance with the deal expected to close in the second half of 2017, subject to approvals.
UDC provides specialist asset-based finance to Kiwi businesses for plant, vehicles and equipment.
Adam Tan, HNA Group vice chairman and chief executive, says UDC’s highly diversified portfolio offers significant growth opportunities in Australasia and supports the company’s strategy of expanding its core tourism, logistics and financial services businesses.
David Hisco, ANZ New Zealand chief executive, says the sale followed a strategic review and was in line with ANZ’s strategy to simplify its business and focus on its core banking activities.
“UDC Finance is a great business which is performing well,” Hisco says.
“We’re extremely proud of what our teams have achieved over the years providing specialist asset-based finance to New Zealand businesses for plant, vehicles and equipment.
He says the purchase is a ‘significant’ vote of confidence in the New Zealand economy.
“HNA is well placed to invest in specialist asset finance products and systems which will help UDC expand further in the future.”
HNA will maintain UDC’s operations, with all existing staff retained and existing customer lending maintained.
HNA Group has been ramping up its presence in Australia and New Zealand in recent months. As well as the purchase of the Ingram Micro global business, it invested in Virgin Australia - to the tune of AU$159 million - in June.
ANZ today announced an agreement to sell UDC Finance, the asset finance business of its wholly owned subsidiary ANZ Bank New Zealand, to HNA Group, a global company focused on tourism, logistics and financial services.
The sale reflects a continued focus by ANZ on simplifying its business and capital efficiency.
ANZ New Zealand CEO David Hisco said: "The sale of UDC is consistent with our strategy to simplify the bank and is a good outcome for customers and staff. HNA Group is one of the world's largest asset finance and leasing companies, and it intends to preserve UDC's operations including offering continued employment to all staff."UDC Transaction and Financial Summary
L’Affaire Tapie now engulfing Francis Fillon campaign
IMF managing director Christine Lagarde’s exit from the Paris court room with only the charge of “negligence” attached to her has served only to intensify the anger in France over the porosity between their country’s judiciary and it politicians, writes our European correspondent.
The gathering storm is of interest to New Zealand because of a widespread impression that former prime minister John Key is in line to succeed her as chief of the International Monetary Fund, an economic stabilising agency that had its origins in Bretton Woods.
The possibility initially arose when Mr Key was still serving as prime minister and Miss Lagarde’s five year tenure came up for renewal amid the re-convening of a high level investigation into what is known as the Tapie Affair.
In the event Miss Lagarde toughed it out and signed on at the IMF for another five years.
This seemed to close off the opportunity for Mr Key.
But with the presidential election looming in France the burner keeps getting turned up on the Tapie Affair.
The reason is that the episode was ignited during the tenure of the previous president Nicolas Sarkozy whose minister of finance was Miss Lagarde.
It was she who signed off on the pivot of the whole affair which was to submit the Tapie Affair to special external arbitration rather than run it through the standard judicial process.
The recent Paris trial revealed that her advisers had recommended that Miss Lagarde do exactly this—turn the matter over to the standard judicial process.
In the event the finance minister, Miss Lagarde, handed the matter over to an ad-hoc collection of arbitrators.
The upshot of this was that the external arbitrators now proceeded to award to the sometime politician-impresario-speculator Bernard Tapie considerably in excess of half a billion dollars of taxpayer money.
This was in compensation for a Barnard Tapie business deal that went wrong.
This was the famed Adidas deal.
It remains a deal for which most French taxpayers still cannot work out how in the first place they became involved in, let alone how they became liable for it.
In France the affair is often described as an “arnaque par l’etat contre l’etat,” a swindle by the state against the state.
An extraordinary insight during the recently-completed proceedings into the French politico-judicial relationship was that a big slice of this half billion dollar compensation was awarded directly to the Tapie family and tax free.
This it turned out was because of the stress that the Tapie family were considered to have endured during the family’s efforts to claim the compensation.
Even by Latin standards of the spoils system, this was considered a bit much
The unspoken inference hovering over the affair was to the effect that the appointed independent arbitrators in arriving at their generous compensation had somehow and personally been accessed during their deliberations.
By forces favourable to the litigant.
Back now to Mr Key.
He is the logical replacement to Miss Lagarde for a number of reasons.
There cannot be a third IMF managing director from France because the last two have figured so prominently in court proceedings.
There was Dominique Strauss-Kahn who was Miss Lagarde’s predecessor. He figured in a New York courtroom. Then, just days ago, and in Paris now, there was Miss Lagarde herself.
The tradition has always been that the head of the World Bank comes from the United States and that the International Monetary Fund chief comes from Europe.
The World Bank swerved away from this. It was felt that that the IMF would follow.
When it looked as if Miss Lagarde might have to stand down there was mooted an idea to recruit someone to fill the IMF role from a developing nation.
The problem is that developing nations are highly suspicious of the IMF and its motives. So a candidate from an emerging economy, should they be made available, is likely to be regarded as part of a wider conspiracy perpetrated by the United States.
Even so, it is the United States that has in effect the casting vote on the appointment of the IMF managing director.
President Obama is something of a soul brother with Mr Key and if public indignation were to mount to boiling point in France there is still time for Mr Key’s name to go forward.
The reason the Tapie Affair will stay on the burner is that front-runner to become the next president of France is Francis Fillon.
He was prime minister during the previous Sarkozy presidency.
It was during Mr Fillon’s watch as prime minister that the Tapie deal was so surprisingly routed through arbitration instead of the judicial process.
The endless Tapie Affair is now lapping around his presidential campaign.
More recently still there are signs that a president Donald Trump might be favourable to the appointment of the New Zealander to head what he regards as a chaotic and even dangerous agency, the IMF.
Mr Key (pictured above with Chrstine Lagarde) is said in Europe to be grateful to be out of the political epicentre to a large extent because of the way in which in the Westminster sphere such as New Zealand, a prime minister assumes a show business status in which every aspect of their life, private and public, becomes part of the national entertainment.
Curiously under the republican modus operandi in France this is forbidden by statute and the way in which media can cover the lives of elected official is drastically curtailed.
The belief therefore is that if Mr Key with his solid Wall Street and international political careers was to be called, that he would serve.
| From the MSCNewsWire reporters desk | saturday 24 december 2016 |
The New Zealand economy continued to grow solidly in the September quarter, posting a higher than expected 1.1 per cent growth rate for the quarter and 3.5 per cent over the last year, Finance Minister Steven Joyce says.
“New Zealand’s focus on developing a strong and open economy is delivering good results for Kiwi families, especially relative to most of the rest of the developed world,” Mr Joyce says.
New Zealand’s economic growth in the year to September was the fifth strongest in the OECD ahead of Australia (1.8 per cent), the USA (1.6 per cent), Canada (1.3 per cent) and the Euro Area (1.7 per cent).
“We are starting to see the benefits of a clear and stable focus on economic fundamentals coupled with a determination to build a competitive environment from which Kiwi companies can succeed on the world stage.”
Growth in the quarter was strong across 13 of 16 industries, including:
Business services (up 2.0 per cent
Transport, postal, and warehousing (up 3.7 per cent)
Construction (up 2.1 per cent)
Manufacturing (up 1.2 per cent)
“It’s hard to overstate the importance of key service sector exports like tourism and education in New Zealand’s economic success in recent years. They have taken up a lot of the shortfall as the dairy sector went through its downturn. Other food sectors and hi-tech exports have also contributed significantly,” Mr Joyce says.
The Current Account deficit was unchanged at 2.9 per cent for the year, well below the long-run average. New Zealand’s external debt was 58 per cent of GDP, compared with 83.8 per cent of GDP back before the GFC in 2008.
Treasury’s half-yearly Fiscal Update predicts growth to average 3 per cent per year out to 2021, with a further 150,000 jobs expected to be added to the New Zealand economy over the same period.
“The future is looking positive for New Zealand, but these are of course just forecasts. The world remains an uncertain place and it is important that the Government, businesses and households collectively keep our feet on the ground and not go crazy with the credit card. If we work hard, maintain our economic programme and increase our competitiveness we can continue to improve the outcomes for Kiwi families,” Mr Joyce says.
Transport Minister Simon Bridges has made some appointments to the Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) Board.
Commercial law partner, Kylie van Heerden, has been appointed as a new member.
“Ms van Heerden has experience advising clients on corporate and commercial matters, including company compliance and governance. Her appointment will bring commercial legal skills and an injection of fresh energy to this Board,” Mr Bridges says.
Mr Bridges has also reappointed Belinda Vernon who has been a member since May 2013 and chairs its Audit and Risk Committee.
“Ms Vernon’s reappointment will provide continuity, and she brings financial and business skills in addition to her shipping industry experience,” Mr Bridges says.
Maritime New Zealand is a Crown entity established under the Maritime Transport Act 1994 for the safety, security and environmental protection of New Zealand’s coastal and inland waterways.
Its Board has five members appointed by the Minister of Transport.