Landcorp bid for Crafar Farms?; Euro bank rescue fund; Mining tax backdown?
Bernard Hickey details the key news overnight in 90 seconds at 9 am in association with the BNZ, including news from the Dominion Post that Landcorp Chairman Jim Sutton, a former Labour Agriculture Minister, has confirmed that the state-owned farming company is doing due diligence for a bid to buy the 16 Crafar farms being sold by the receivers. If successful, such a bid would trump that by Chinese-backed UBNZ and May Wang.
Meanwhile in the United States, renewed signs of economic recovery emerged with stronger than expected durable goods orders and better new home sales. But these figures covered the period before the onset of the European Sovereign Debt crisis and worries over the euro zone continue to drag on sentiment in global markets. The Dow is down in late trade and may close under 10,000 on talk that China would cut its holdings of European bonds, Bloomberg reported.
In Europe, the European Commission announced a plan overnight to create a fund or series of funds to deal with banking collapses in Europe, the BBC reported. The funds could have up to US$120 billion and be funded by a levy on the banks themselves.
Meanwhile in Australia, there is talk that Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is trying to water down his proposal for a 40% 'Super-tax' on mining, The Australian reports. There is speculation he could change a threshold for the tax, although miners say it is just tinkering at the edges and have renewed their warnings that the tax could stop A$100 billion worth of mining developments and cost 30,000 jobs.
The credit stress in Europe will eventually filter through to us in the form of higher interest rates and tighter lending criteria as our banks find it that little bit harder to get cheap overseas funding. This is good news for depositors however as the banks will have to try even hard to raise funds from Mums and Dads in New Zealand.
America is the world's largest economy and it's positive seeing signs of recovery there, but the problems in Europe could cause a double dip recession, particularly if it turns into a full blown financial crisis with the collapses of European banks. The Eurozone is also the third largest buyer of New Zealand's exports so an economic recession there makes life more difficult for our exporters.
The Australian mining tax debate is worth following. Australia is our largest trading partner and those mines are our connection with the growth in China. Remember, Australia is a province of China and New Zealand is a suburb of Australia. Those mines are also partly staffed by New Zealanders, so a slump in mining employment is a double edged sword in that it releases some of the migration pressure here in New Zealand.
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