July 21, 2013

Worst score ever (or should that be yet?) – only 2/9 in NBR’s Biz Quiz.

Red + Green poisonous mix

July 19, 2013

Wee parties generally do worse after they’ve been in coalition with a bigger one here, but in Australia the Green Party has tainted Labor.

An alliance with the Greens could be fatal for the already-struggling Labour Party, a leading Australian commentator warns.

The Australian’s chief opinion editor Nick Cater, who visited New Zealand this week to promote his book The Lucky Culture, warns an alliance with the Greens has been disastrous for Australia’s Labor Party, as socially-conservative middle and working class voters have abandoned their traditional support.

Of the Greens, he says: “They are absolutists and are rigid about man’s role in the environment and on earning a living.” . . *

Labour will almost certainly need Green Party support in some form, whether it’s as a coalition partner or just an agreement on confidence and supply, if it’s to form a government.

The bigger party is doing its best to sabotage itself with its internal woes and it’s being further undermined by its potential partner.

The radical left agenda of the Greens scares many moderate voters.

Labour couldn’t govern without them but fear of what would happen if it tried to govern with them is scaring voters who think rightly think Green + red would be a poisonous mix.

* Today’s NBR print edition has more on this.


June 29, 2013

6/9 in NBR’s Biz Quiz.


June 23, 2013

Worst score yet in NBR’s Biz Quiz, only 3/9.


June 9, 2013

Only 4/9 in the NBR’s Biz Quiz.


May 20, 2013

6/9 in NBR’s Biz Quiz.


May 12, 2013

6/10 in NBR’s Biz Quiz.

MRP shares to list at $2.50

May 9, 2013

The government has announced the listing price for Mighty River Power shares:

113,000 New Zealanders will become shareholders in Mighty River Power following a successful share offer, Finance Minister Bill English and State Owned Enterprises Minister Tony Ryall say.

The final price will be $2.50 per share.

Of the shares issued, 86.5 per cent will be New Zealand owned: 26.9 per cent by New Zealand retail investors, 8.6 per cent by New Zealand institutions and with the Crown retaining a majority 51 per cent shareholding. That leaves 13.5 per cent for overseas institutions.

“This is an outstanding result and fulfils our commitment to ensuring at least 85-90 per cent New Zealand ownership of the company,” Mr English says.

“The share offer will raise $1.7 billion, which is a very good return for New Zealand taxpayers. Those proceeds will go into the Future Investment Fund, allowing the Government to control debt while continuing to invest in public assets. More details will be announced in next week’s Budget.

“The Government has achieved all of its objectives for the Mighty River Power share offer, so the company will list on Friday.

“Given the strong response to the share offer, and the price we have set, Mighty River Power will have a market capitalisation of $3.5 billion.

“And with over 110,000 New Zealand shareholders, it will have the largest share register – by some margin – of any New Zealand company on the exchange.”

Mr Ryall says that due to the strong level of demand, some scaling has been necessary.

“We have decided to apply progressive scaling, which means that larger applications are scaled more than smaller ones,” Mr Ryall says.

“That means that more than 80 per cent New Zealanders will get what they applied for.”

More details of the allocation and scaling decisions are attached.

“While most New Zealand investors will be able to work out from this announcement what their share allocation is, they will also be able to get confirmation of their individual allocation from Friday – by checking the website or calling 0800 90 30 90. We will also be emailing or writing to all applicants to confirm their allocation,” Mr Ryall says.

“The demand from institutional investors was strong, and bids from both New Zealand and offshore institutions were scaled considerably. Institutions will be advised of their allocations shortly, after which a settlement process commences.

“Mighty River Power will list on the NZX at 12.30pm this Friday.

“We are delighted to get to this stage, and look forward to a healthy aftermarket and a positive experience for New Zealand investors, particularly those who are investing in shares for the first time,” Mr Ryall says.

The price might well have been higher had it not been for the LabourGreen sabotage.

If they can cost the country millions in opposition they’ll do even more damage in government.

The NBR has the numbers:

Mighty River Power share offer – at a glance

Share Price:  $2.50
Proceeds of share offer: $1.7 billion
Total NZ ownership (incl 51% Crown):  86.5%

New Zealand retail investors
Individual New Zealand shareholders: 113,857 (provisional)
Retail investors: $943m
Proportion of shares: 26.9%
Average shareholding for New Zealand retail: $8,220
Applicants who pre-registered:  91%
Applicants without CSNs:  68%
Withdrawal after Labour/Green policy:  1,783 applicants ($25m)

New Zealand institutional investors

NZ institutions:  $300m
Proportion of shares: 8.6%

International institutions                                                                                                               
Offshore institutions: $472m
Proportion of shares: 13.5%

The 68% of applicants without a CSN are almost certainly first-time buyers. That indicates the partial float has succeeded in encouraging new investors.

7/10, 2/10

April 15, 2013

Only 7/10 in the Herald’s politics quiz.

A red-faced 2/10 in NBR’s Biz Quiz (which proves random guesses don’t always work).



April 7, 2013

6/10 in NBR’s Biz Quiz.


March 17, 2013

7/10 in the NBR’s Biz Quiz.


March 3, 2013

It’s been a busy week and it shows – only 4/10 in NBR’s Biz Quiz.

Another reason to sell

February 26, 2013

The NBR provides another argument in favour of the sale of State Owned Assets.

Like other state-owned enterprises under the former Labour government, Solid Energy was encouraged to diversify its core business and take advantage of subsidies encouraging investment in renewable resources and technologies.

To try to put the blame for the company’s plight on National and its assets sales programme is turning reality on its head.

The same goes for Meridian and Mighty River Power having to sell out of similar forays after closer inspection by the Treasury and other as part of the government’s selldown policy.

That has included MRP withdrawing from a project in the US that was driven by government renewable energy subsidies there. . .

Meridian’s decision to withdraw from the Project Hayes wind farm also looked like a proposal driven by politics that didn’t stand up to financial scrutiny.

One good reason for partial privatisation is more financial rigor in the management of these companies.

Business prefers four year term

February 19, 2013

An NBR poll of subscribers shows strong support for a four year parliamentary term.

A decisive majority – 88% were in favour of an extra year between elections and only 12% were against the proposal.

That’s not surprising.

NBR subscribers are likely to be involved in business and business doesn’t like uncertainty that comes in election year.

But it’s not only businesses who get frustrated.

A friend who manages a trust which gets public funding to provide social services says the election year hiatus is very frustrating, disrupts services and stalls progress.


February 17, 2013

7/10 in the NBR’s Biz Quiz.


February 10, 2013

9/10 in NBR’s Biz Quiz.


January 27, 2013

9/10 in the NBR’s Biz Quiz.

2013 business outlook better

December 27, 2012

Will the outlook for business be better next year?

Subscribers to the NBR think so:

Sixty two percent of respondents to its Business Pulse poll said business would be better, 25% thought it would be much the same and only 13% were pessimistic.

Given the NBR’s readership is more likely to be involved in business that is encouraging.



December 23, 2012

17/25 in NBR’s bumper holiday Biz Quiz.


December 8, 2012

9/10 in the NBR’s Biz Quiz.

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