Here are the key things you need to know before you leave work today.
TODAY'S MORTGAGE RATE CHANGES
Kiwibank offered a surprise cut to its three year fixed rate today, pitching it at a market leading 4.29% (the same as it 2 year rate and below all rivals).
TODAY'S DEPOSIT RATE CHANGES
There have been a raft of changes today. Two credit unions (ACU and NZCU South) cut most rates although NZCU South raised its 3 year rate to 3.60%. TSB Bank cut rates for its tiered Premier Cheque account, slicing -5 to -15 off three of their tiers. They also cut rates for Childrens accounts. And Kiwibank cut -5 to -20 bps off some rates of 1 year and less, although they did raise 4 month rates by +20 bps to 3.20%.
MOODY'S RETAINS STABLE OUTLOOK ON NZ BANKING SYSTEM
Credit rating agency Moody's has retained its stable outlook on the New Zealand banking sector in a new report entitled Fundamentals Intact, Despite Dairy Sector Distress, Higher Household Leverage. Moody's says the stable outlook reflects NZ banks' "robust capitalization and strong structural profitability," which it sees providing a solid buffer for the banks to withstand a potentially more challenging operating environment over the next 12-18 months, and higher credit costs. Moody's has Aa3 ratings on ANZ NZ, ASB, BNZ, Westpac and Kiwibank with stable outlooks. Moody's outlook on NZ’s banking system has been stable since September 2010.
"THE COALITION FOR MORE HOMES"
A new ginger group has sprung up in Auckland to encourage the Auckland Council to pass the proposed Unitary Plan. It includes a broad set of members from the social housing sector through to the Property Council and architects.
IMPROVED EARNINGS, BUT NOT MILK PRICE
Fonterra advised today that it is holding its new season payout estimate at $4.25/kgMS. In addition it says says earnings per share this season may be in the 50c to 60c range, up from 45c to 55c in the past season.
HARMONEY MISLED, SAYS COMCOM
The Commerce Commission says P2P lender Harmoney will be pleading guilty to misleading consumers into believing they had been pre-approved for a personal loan. Further charges are possible.
HSBC NZ CREATES NEW EXECUTIVE ROLE
HSBC New Zealand has carved out a new executive role, appointing Rob Roughan its head of commercial banking. Roughan joins from a corporate banking role at Barclays Bank in Ireland. The job as head of commercial banking at HSBC NZ is a new role, which was previously covered by the CEO.
CLAYTON WAKEFIELD JOINS CO-OP BANK BOARD, MUSICAL CHAIRS AT WESTPAC
The Co-operative Bank has appointed Clayton Wakefield as a director, subject to Reserve Bank approval, to succeed the retiring Samuel Robinson. Among other things, Wakefield is a former head of technology operations and cards at ASB.
Westpac Banking Corp's chief financial officer Peter King has been appointed as a director of subsidiary Westpac New Zealand. He's succeeding Phil Coffey, Westpac Banking Corp's deputy chief executive.
THE FINANCIAL STING FROM HONEYBEE LOSS
According to two Lincoln University professors, New Zealand agriculture stands to lose $295-728 million annually if the local honeybee population continues to decline. This is based on their study into the economic consequences of a decline in pollination rates.
SWAP RATES FALL, FLATTEN
Wholesale rates fell by -1 and -2 bps for all terms 1 to 10 years, pushing to new all-time lows for all terms to 5 years. The key two year swap rate is now only 4 bps away from breaching the 2% level. NZ swap rates are here. The 90-day bank bill rate fell even more, down -3 bps today to 2.25%. Five of the seven NZGB issues we monitor are now yielding less than 2%.
NZ DOLLAR HIGHER
Even though the financial markets are pricing in a rate cut next week, the currency markets are giving no signal that that will drop the currency. Actually, they are indicating exactly the opposite. The NZD is currently up at 72.3 USc, 95 AUc, and 64.7 euro cents. These are levels way above what the RBNZ would like to see and a rate cut will have zero impact on the Kiwi dollar. The TWI-5 is now at 75.5. Check our real-time charts here.
You can now see an animation of this chart. Click on it, or click here.