A review of things you need to know before you go home on Wednesday; more savings account rate cuts, housing market turns grim, thousands apply for mortgage relief, vastly more for wage subsidies, swaps data updated, NZD soft, & more

A review of things you need to know before you go home on Wednesday; more savings account rate cuts, housing market turns grim, thousands apply for mortgage relief, vastly more for wage subsidies, swaps data updated, NZD soft, & more
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Here are the key things you need to know before you leave work today.

None today.

Today ASB joined ANZ, BNZ and Kiwibank who yesterday all reduced their already low savings account rates. NZCU Baywide and NZCU South also made reductions. And ICBC and Bank of Baroda both cut their term deposit offers.

Authorised financial adviser Martin Hawes says he will be running free financial webinars every day starting Wedenesday, April 1, daily at 4pm. The first seminar is: Money and Investment in a time of crisis. The topics for this seminar will include: Investment, KiwiSaver, Taking stock, Income and expenditure, Mortgage and debt. This is not a commercial event and there is no 'sponsor'. You can sign up here. He says topics will change over time and he expects to offer this webinar service during the rest of the lockdown.

QV delivered a grim assessment of the property market after the lockdown ends. Prices and listings on Realestate.co.nz were looking buoyant and then the market was hit by the big freeze and asking prices and the number of listing took a drop.

The Governmnet has received a total of about 387,000 applications for wage subsidies, rising almost +5% in one day. They have paid out $4.28 bln so far according to sources at MSD. And given that there are 2.65 mln people employed in our labour force, so far claims have been made on 15% of them. And that averages a payment of $11,000 per job claimed. It is going to get very, very expensive.

Radio NZ is reporting the ANZ CEO Antonio Watson saying they are processing 7000 mortgage repayment deferral applications so far. She says any deferred home loans are treated as "still performing" by the bank. The Reserve Bank has issued guidance to banks that for borrowers taking advantage of COVID-19 mortgage deferrals, the loans should be treated as performing and not in arrears for capital purposes.

The main defenders and protectors of the RMA now say they don't want "the standard RMA consenting processes to constrain the pace of recovery" when it comes, and they are is looking at ways of unstitching its heavy bureaucratic hand. Just a hopeful promise at this stage; no doubt the Greens will become an issue to move this forward.

Kathmandu is raising $207 mln in new equity to "bolster its balance sheet" ahead of expected stresses. Luckily for them this capital raising is "fully underwritten" - by Credit Suisse, Jarden Partners, Craigs Investment Partners and Forsyth Barr, all of whom will no doubt be "recommending" the scrip to their respective clients. If you are a client, keep an eye out. And Rod Duke, Kathmandu's largest single shareholder has decided this is not for him.

Scepticism was high when we reported yesterday that the official Chinese PMI rose spectacularly to show an expansion.. However today, the private Caixin Markit survey showed basically the same recovery even if just marginally less. Meanwhile, Japan, South Korea and other ASEAN economies all posted rather substantial constractions. The exception was Taiwan which is still expanding although they are also downbeat on immediate prospects.

There are now 708 Covid-19 cases identified in New Zealand, with another 61 new cases today and very similar to the increase yesterday. The number of clusters has halved to seven. One person has now died here. There were nine people in hospital with the disease yesterday but this number has not been updated today yet.

Worldwide, the latest compilation of Covid-19 data is here. The global tally is now 858,000 and up +74,000 from the 784,300 we had this time yesterday. 22% of all cases globally are in the US and they are up +24,000 in one day. Australia has now over 4550 cases, and 20 deaths. Global deaths now exceed 42,100. And the US President now says between 100,00 and 240,000 Americans will likely die from Covid-19 - ah, the cost of ignoring the early warnings from real experts.

The NZX50 Capital Index is up +1.1% today from yesterday. And the ASX200 is up another +3.1% so far. Shanghai has just opened flat, as has Hong Kong. But Tokyo is down about -1% in early trade. In New York earlier today, the S&P500 closed down -1.6%.

Update: The two year is unchanged but the five year slipped -3 bps while the ten year fell -4 bps to a new all-time low of 0.89%. We don't have wholesale swap rates movement details today yet. We will update this later in the day. The 90-day bank bill rate is unchanged at 0.49%. The Aussie Govt 10yr is down rather sharply so far today, down -11 bps to 0.70%. The China Govt 10yr is also lower, down -6 bps at 2.64%. The NZ Govt 10 yr yield is still going against the trend, up again +9 bps to 1.16%. The UST 10yr is back down -4 bps to 0.66%.

The Kiwi dollar has stayed down at 59.5 USc. Against the Aussie we also holding at the lower level of 97.1 AUc. Against the euro we have stayed down at 54 euro cents. That means the TWI-5 is now down to 65.9 and basically back to where it was a week ago.

The price of Bitcoin is softer, down -3% in a day to US$6,327. The bitcoin price is charted in the currency set below.

This soil moisture chart is animated here.

The easiest place to stay up with event risk today is by following our Economic Calendar here ».

Our exchange rate chart (including bitcoin) is here.

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

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Isn't Antonia technically correct? A loan goes into arrears after 30 days and becomes a non-performing loan when payments go 90 days in arrears as stipulated in the original home loan contract. Consequently the home loan holidays in place will not yet be classes as non-performing. That said in reporting the bank will need to make clear what amounts are 'at risk' or depositors will have no clue how close the waterline is getting to their nostrils.

Good to hear the PM is asking questions about why we are not doing more testing. We should be using the capacity we have and increasing that capacity. The number of tests conducted should be viewed as the primary measure of progress at this early stage. "Test, test, test" - WHO.


""Test, test, test" - WHO."
Would this be the same WHO who assured us there was no need for alarm, that the data showed no human to human transmission was possible, and who implored countries not to close their borders?


Test the living bejesus out of everyone, isolate the over 60's/border entry and get back to work. Jacinda and Grant are all borrow and sound bites. "Twenty five billion dollars to test the entire US population. Now suppose the pandemic knocks 5% off US GDP over the next year or two, that’s roughly a trillion dollars lost. Or to put it differently, $3 billion a day. Thus, if mass testing reduces the number of days we are away from work by 9, it pays for itself. Let’s again be conservative and say that testing will also require a $25 billion fixed cost to build the enzyme factories and so forth, for a total cost of $50 billion. 18 days and it’s worth it."

I might have my original comment wrong. The para is updated above now. Sorry.

Good work. As stated it would be appropriate for banks to publish data where home loans are under such arrangement (e.g. $XXXm under 30 day arrangement, $YYYm under 90 day arrangement etc.) for OBR reasons.

Breaking news. Toilet paper coin jumps 1500% in price, with a total market cap even exceeding Bitcoin, as per coinmarketcap.com. The technology is certainly fascinating, using a "proof of bum wipe" to generate new coins and secure the network - each coin redeemable for one roll. Sadly due to extreme investor demand, the coin (TPC) is completely of stock. Rumors has it they have secured a partnership with the bitcoin project called Bitcoin Uranium Mining (BUM).

Where can I Buy some? Asking for a friend....

Is that the spot or physical price?

That will be spot as there is only three rolls of collatoral to every hundred promised. And those 3 have been rehypothecated.

Nice one lonewolf

It's a crap investment

If the NZ housing market for the last decade has taught us anything, investing in a pile of crap isn't neccessarily a crap investment.. so long as you bail out before the crust breaks and you end up neck deep in doodoo.

That would be Bitcoin Uranus Mining. Wouldnt it?

HSBC Holdings Plc plunged in Hong Kong trading after scrapping its dividend and warning revenue and loan losses will be impacted in the first quarter from the virus outbreak that has halted economic activity across large parts of the globe.


As far as I'm concerned, it's important to pay attention to what's going on at HSBC. IMO, the institution is a rotten hive but an important channel to funnel wealth (ill-gotten or earned) from East to West. Personally, I sold gold holdings of which HSBC was custodian about 4 weeks ago.

Also etpmag on asx is another that I would not touch I prefer pmgold over gold as you can convert to physical and is backed by WA goverment if needed. I am watching with interest if gold will take a hammering when next drop hits sharemarket must be close to another bad day.
A lot of money has come back in the last 7 days and if they have stop losses in place it will not be pretty if they get triggered.

ETPMAG is owned by JPM. I hate to say it, but they are the dominant holder of physical. And yes, PMGOLD is good.

I note with some concern that the elderly Printer8 , our FHB guru appears to have returned to the Hawkes Bay.
Even if real estate pricing fell just to January 2016 levels, housing wealth would fall between 120-135 percent of GDP.

Cheers cowpat; glad to see you care for me.
So house values risen by 120 to 135% of GDP since 2016 then. Wow! That much?
Wow! Home owners seen an increase in their asset by $360bn to $420bn in last four years then? And that’s been tax free.
And post 2016 has not been the boom times so really amazing. $360bn you are saying. And all that talk of doom and gloom. Great news. Thanks.
Enjoy your lock down. Keep safe. :)


tell you what happened today...about 150 plus surfers at sumner, another 80 off at Taylors mistake..beach was packed...cars everywhere...just another saturday In CHC...fast turning into a joke of a situation Jacinda. Maybe should let some of these massive companies go back to work, like Fletcher's who about to shaft most of their staff, and a number of other Big construction companies....it's not quite turning out how you thought.

Did you see the images of 50,000 punters at Womad in New Plymouth 2 weeks ago? Couldn't see anyone wearing a mask.


Or, send the police there to arrest the bunch of them. What a bunch of muppets who will essentially ruin for all and make my prison time with the kids pointless.

Agree. I don't mind being home with the kids but I'm not working and I want to get back into it ASAP.

I am kind of over it already. A minimum of 3 weeks to go...

4 weeks is if everything goes to perfection but more like 6-8 weeks and then we still face the problem of letting back expats who may restart spread again.
The only way to stop it is everyone wears masks at supermarket and anyone returning to NZ needs 3-4 weeks in isolation and then you will see a slowdown.
It is a joke to have people in shops with no masks when the virus is airborne.

do you have a source to verify the virus is airborne? Other than via a sneeze of course, hence the distancing.



"Our results indicate that aerosol and fomite transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is plausible, since the virus can remain viable and infectious in aerosols for hours and on surfaces up to days "

This one of many cases where it has infected many people and they did practice what we are doing here but it still spread.
China went into total lockdown which is saying something.

My main point is masks are simple measure and judging by what we see in China everyone has one on now which gives me the impression they must help.

They did not practice what we do here. That was a large social gathering (60+) ... unlikely the chorus all stood 2m from each other. They also were all taking deep breaths.

Point taken re masks, it is easy (if we all get given one. pretty hard to buy nowadays, like TP and flour)

Agree, but the issue the government now has they expected Big corporate's to look after/pay their staff over the 4 week period, as they have with all government employees. Issue is they ain't, they are slowly shafting them, Fletchers is one , I know of three other large civil construction companies doing the same. People feel Labour has thrown them under the bus so they saying up you then we will do what we want....Labour should had a level playing field for all affected by lockdowns, the big private corps are just going to slash and burn their staff. Government forgot that in Private world it is ruthless you cant just rely on tax payers to get your income.They have created the have's and have nots in all of this, so people will rebel.

I hope the government does not award a major contract to FBU because they are treating staff like slaves while keeping the ceo etc on high pay.
This is a chance to restart a government owned infrastructure company and think big.
They can hire all the staff from FBU and move forward and let FBU of load some assets to create more competition.
FBU have lost so much money that they cannot be trusted to perform going forward into a market that is going to be very tough.

Not a fan of their CEO. Smug.

Instead of looking after the boys at the top, why don’t they average out the pay cut % evenly? You can bet the inflated exec salaries would let you average out to a lot more than the 50 and 30% of pay for the workers. There must be some exec’s in head office working harder than ever trying to look busy!

Instant fines are what we need for people to take this seriously.
If not, we're screwed.

Great idea. Whack people in the pocket, then it will get through

Tazor and pepper spray them and cable tie them to a lamp post for a night soaked in water.
Problem solved. I doubt anyone would want a second treatment.

I've been surfing most days, but then there isn't another soul in the water so I I'll take that as qualifying exercise :-) I wonder what Piha or Raglan are like? Some old girl came and tried to tell me yesterday that we've been told not to surf. Poor old dear sitting in her bach, probably spoon fed MSM, and freaking out about dying. Waste of time trying to lay that crap on me, in fact I found her approach to me quite offensive. She kept saying to me "but they said". "I kept asking her back I don't care what they say, what do you think?" Was lost on her.

When you are surfing, you are on your own. In fact I've seen a couple of rescues in my time where surfers were first on the scene to help. Seems odd to antagonise them by trying to stop them going out.


You are a selfish idiot
Who do you expect to take the risk to come to your rescue when you get dumped on and cant get back in

It is so remote there won't be rescue. And didn't you read my post, when you are surfing you are on your own. Lockdown is for stupid people that can't think for themselves anyway.


Thanks for validating his comment with your last sentence. It's people like you.

If you have followed my posts on here over the years you will know that I practice personal responsibility for my health. Living healthy is living I won't catch the virus, for those that do it is self-inflicted. I recommended to people on here in early February that's they take a vitamin C. China and France are both now using this treatment. It is better as a preventative. Take your fear mongering and ignorance to someone who cares, I'll keep surfing and keeping fit as part of my preventative medicine thanks.

That must rate as one of the stupidest posts I have read here! Well that’s solves everything if you can imagine yourself virus resistant.

Perhaps he should test his theory by licking an infected lollipop.

Surf away at your own risk as always.
Screw the haters.

troll much?
What a self centred view of the world you have mate. You seriously saying that anyone that gets it is self-inflicted. OMG

Scarfie can't grasp the point. Incapable. Isolation is not really about looking after you own health.
It's about looking after everybody elses health.


"Lockdown is for stupid people that can't think for themselves anyway". A revealing comment. It strongly indicates sociopathic tendencies. There is insufficient evidence to say if you are a fully fledged sociopath, but you clearly lack empathy and exhibit a degree of arrogance and these traits are strongly suggestive of full-blown sociopathy.
If so, I feel sorry for those who must deal with you on a daily basis.


I don't think you can stop this crash, im having to face some pretty serious consequences to my business.

I had some rain but the ground is still dry, my crop is starting to germinate but desperately in need of more rain.

Sad to hear Andrew. I'm sure you are one of the more prudent ones, I it must be going to bite a lot of others. I suspect the area isn't going to do so well either, I'm out in the countryside each day (to go surfing, hehe) and while there is a bit of green showing now, it isn't much.

But I also suspect we were on tipping point regardless, and the government is swimming with this one. They'll throw money at it, but realise in 6 months even they can't sell enough debt to cover all the hands out.

Totally agree scarfie. Government just starting to realise they about to have triple their original forecast of unemployed. Would like media start reporting domestic violence, suicides and mental health cases in relation to this. They forget we don't all work for government departments. Going to be a lot of hurt in three months....by way surf going be epic on banks pen tomorrow

Wow, another Nat Party China lover!
Bet he sings 'China Girl' in the shower every morning

I was quite surprised but when you think about there is only China as a destination for much of what we produce.


From the article ...

"It is ridiculous to suggest China is a danger to the free democratic social and political values that we subscribe to."

Err....tell that to the folks in Tibet and Xinjiang.

Treasonous. Must be another Gnat corrupted by Chinese influences.

Written by Philip Burdon, night of well of come straight from National propaganda office.

It annoys me when public servants, and our PM, litter their announcements with bureaucratic code and jargon.
Just saying.

This is where things start to go wonky..
Harvey Norman saying it wont pay rent..

Wow. Seems very adversarial. Maybe their leases allow it?

Fritz. It'd be unlikely they'd try it on if their leases don't allow it. Try dealing with some in the property management industry to experience adversarial and you might change your view. We lease buildings from individual investors who are mostly great to deal with but there are also wilson parking type property management people whom we will screw as hard as we can because that is how they do business.

A short email "Not agreed, open to dialog" should suffice.

I'd be interested how badly it may backfire if they do have limited access.

Send in the bailiffs, plenty to take

$11000 per claim?
David, I thought the maximum was $7000.
Did you include people still working in essential services?
Remember they won't be making a claim.


FT economic activity index for China is around 65 with 100 being the ref pt for start of Jan so their indicators, although not as all encompassing as the Caixin, disagree on any significant bounce. There is the caveat that the Caixin is more up to date.

Power plant coal consumption down 24%
Container traffic down 34%.

Lot of info at that site dated 30th March

Re RMA. I think that's much more than a wishful promise. Gotta keep the bureaucrats busy, they will be writing things up as we speak.
Likely to be highly targetted to infrastructure and perhaps Kainga Ora. Councils will be much less busy so they should be able to cooperate in fast tracking consents.

Ye cannae use the words "Council" and "fast" and "tracking" in the one sentence. Unless it's a 1 April larf....

I've predicted this angle. I made comment the other day that this depression will finish off the insurance industry. What is that going to do for house prices when they are uninsurable? Actually it isn't the house that is uninsurable, it is the leverage that is no longer insurable.

About a month back I questioned how much exposure the insurance industry had to this. The answer is probably very little as they never payout anyway.
Mortgage insurance, business interruption, flight insurance?

It is more their exposure to stockmarkets where the risk lies.

burn them down

Of note because. Lenders have been laying off good lending practise, prudentent lending measures laying them off risk wise to the LMI types (borrower pays the premium).

See these lenders were never that brave bunch of high fiving folk we thought. How hard is it to underwrite a loan, when you don't, the credit is the LMIers problem!

Before LMI, lending was to a Trustee Margin. 66% if lucky.

Call it a high wage trick.

This points to variability in practise. Imagine if this test rigor this applied to Auckland.


PM has said The Government was considering stopping people from entering the district, Ardern said. So while some on this site write off the high number of cases of COVID in the SDHB area at least the govt has taken notice of the high case:population ratio.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Wednesday that the Government had been looking into the issue in the Southern District and said the situation demonstrated the impact of what happened when there was an outbreak.
A small handful of events, a conference and a wedding, had "led to a proliferation of cases ... that demonstrates why being in [alert] level 4 helps us get that under control for where we have outbreaks like that in the community," she said.
The Government was considering stopping people from entering the district, Ardern said.
Residents returning from overseas may be kept on the North Island to relieve the pressure on the Southern DHB, she said.
Queenstown's hospital would reopen after the hospital's 83 staff were tested in response to two nurses testing positive, Fleming said.


What's stopping our government from making masks compulsory, like in Czech rep. and Austria? Get people sewing if there is a shortage, heck even a folded bandana is better than nothing. Anything is better than destroying our economy with lockdown. I'm sure I'm missing something bc it's too obvious to me.

No masks. No masks are stopping it.

You are right though, there should be a show a mask for freedom social movement she can seed.

I dunno this guy sounds pretty convincing https://youtu.be/yN3BWaEH3tY

What a disgrace. Plenty of business deals with risk far greater than C19. Let the orchardists put together an isolation plan and get on with it. The 4 week lockdown is a cop out for leadership that is dazzled in the headlights and can't follow the lead of Taiwan, Singapore, S Korea, Germany, Sweden...

They want to put their hands in your pocket

What's so "grim" about the housing market?

Do we call boxing day or black friday sales grim?

Correct it's bloody awesome. I'll be lined up the night before ready to go.

"...This unintended experiment in coronavirus spread will help researchers estimate the number of fatalities that would occur in a fully infected population, Levitt said. For instance, the Diamond Princess data allowed him to estimate that being exposed to the new coronavirus doubles a person’s risk of dying in the next two months. Most people have an extremely low risk of death in a two-month period, so that risk remains extremely low even when doubled.
…But he also blames the media for causing unnecessary panic by focusing on the relentless increase in the cumulative number of cases and spotlighting celebrities who contract the virus. By contrast, the flu has sickened 36 million Americans since September and killed an estimated 22,000, according to the CDC, but those deaths are largely unreported.
He fears the public health measures that have shut down large swaths of the economy could cause their own health catastrophe, as lost jobs lead to poverty and hopelessness. Time and again, researchers have seen that suicide rates go up when the economy spirals down.


Education and jobs! #Findawaytorestarteconomy

Absolutely, Profile. "Save lives" slogan is deceitful. We are simply " Deferring Death" and when by far the largest group mortally affected are >80 years then this is no longer like World Wars when the young men were the prize. The truth of the war campaign is folded under the blanket of keeping public compliance with the politics of it all and the smiles of leadership. Now it will be the young men off to the prisoner of war camps in debt.

David, perhaps you could have someone from RBNZ write a piece or offer comment about the goals of QE.

If we look at the NZ govt yields at the long end (I.e. over 10 years) these have dislocated from tracking the US curve and are now higher than they were 3 weeks ago. Compare that to USTs were the 10 yield is roughly 50bps lower.

We all know the govt bond yields drive swaps rates and hence Corp borrowing rates. Surely RBNZ must look at addressing the steepness at the long end of the curve so businesses can borrow long term at favourable rates.

Ardern has been telling us every day that the virus is imported by people entering the country from overseas (and now we have community spread).
What game is she playing??




The nurse, who similarly spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the ministry had told clinical leaders there were not enough swabs and the labs did not have enough reagents to test everyone with symptoms.

"We are seeing many people with coronavirus symptoms who we cannot test."

Is this a way to run a ballroom.

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