Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson is refusing to relinquish his role as the country’s number one cheer-leader, even as economists see dark clouds gathering, inflation hits levels not seen for 30 years, and consumer confidence slumps.
As Finance Minister, he sees his role as being the leader of the band in singing the praises of New Zealand’s “hard workers”, thriving businesses, and general economic well-being. Not for him the dirges of some of his predecessors about falling productivity, the need to tighten our belts, roll up our sleeves, create new jobs and raise living standards.
Here he was yesterday answering another patsy from who else but Dr Duncan Webb (was he elected expressly for this job?):
Hansard records the exchange: Continue reading “Finance cheer-leader is looking after us – keeping Govt pressure on Russia to bring down oil prices is among his assurances”
For New Zealanders whose lives have been dominated for 18 months by Covid-19, Dunedin’s renaissance may not have registered on their radar. Yet quietly the southern city has sprouted some of NZ’s fastest-growing hi-tech businesses.
Once a city that was home to some of the country’s biggest companies, Dunedin had several decades during which many of its brightest and best migrated north and its life appeared to revolve, as the rest of NZ saw it, about its university (and the Highlanders).
Whereas once it had been the country’s financial capital, home to the head offices of many of the NZ’s leading companies, it ceded that title first to Wellington and then to Auckland.
But almost mysteriously, it has found a new life and suddenly the rest of NZ has woken to the new era which is enveloping the city. It is somewhat like the gold rush which promoted it to be at the front edge of NZ’s first wave of prosperity more than 150 years ago.
Just last week global investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts announced it is acquiring a majority stake in Dunedin-based tech company Education Perfect, in a deal that values the enterprise at $435m.
A month previously cloud software firm Timely was sold for a sum reported to have topped $100m. Timely offers cloud software services for appointment management, often used by those in the beauty or fitness industries. Continue reading “Dunedin’s modern-day gold rush – and business resurgence – has been triggered by a swathe of high-tech developments”
While small- and medium-sized enterprises (and many others) were grappling with the massive implications of the Climate Change Commission’s report, more agreeable news has emerged from the Beehive.
The government has granted a licence to a new share trading market, Catalist Markets Ltd, which has been described as a stock exchange for smaller companies. It is expected to provide a simpler and more affordable ‘stepping stone’ for SMEs to raise capital.
Catalist chief executive Colin Magee told Stuff the NZX was only economic for larger companies, not the high-potential smaller companies Catalist would be trying to attract with an initial value of $6million to $60m.
In the first five years Catalist was aiming to get up to 200 companies, Magee said.
In time, he hoped, a portion of some KiwiSaver funds would be invested in shares in companies on the Catalist market. Continue reading “Covid-19 gets into most Beehive spin these days, including the Catalist Market, climate change and predator eradication”
Boom or bubble? There is a growing divide in the investment world between those who think the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic will add extra impetus to stock markets and those who think bubbles are inflating to bursting point.
At the beginning of the year global stock market indices hit new highs, adding another chapter, as one commentator noted, to 12 months of apparent defiance of economic gravity. The surge prompted the London “Economist” to ruminate on what it called the “crazy upward march in stock prices” and why it might just continue.
In assessing why markets could persist in “melting up” the Economist pointed to several factors driving the gains: an end to the Covid-19 pandemic is in sight; rich-world governments are rediscovering the joys of fiscal pump-priming; and real interest rates are so low as to make sky-high stocks look cheap. It noted, too, that markets had been looking beyond the damage from Covid-19 to the post-pandemic recovery. Continue reading “Half-year reports will enable investors to work out for themselves if surge is about to become bust”
In its Thursday editorial the NZ Herald speaks an important truth: “Investment important to stay on track”. This won’t have startled its more literate readers but in its text it notes the strong result in the latest Global Dairy Trade auction, which prompted Westpac to raise its forecast for dairy giant Fonterra’s payout to its farmers to $7.50kg/MS this season.
“If this turns out to be correct, it will represent the highest payout in seven years for a sector of the economy that is arguably still NZ’s most important, even before international tourism was effectively suspended by Covid-19”.
The Herald editorial goes on to make the case that despite the buoyant mood, the only realistic way for NZ to remain in such solid shape in the post-Covid era is through stronger business investment.
This is the theme which Point of Order set out earlier this week when it contended Fonterra should go hard with this seasons’s payout to encourage investment by its farmer-shareholders in expanding production. Continue reading “Stronger business investment – by farmers, too – is essential for NZ’s post-Covid recovery”
Critics have long lambasted successive governments for their failure to reverse NZ’s woefully poor long-term economic performance.
So Point of Order found something positive to address this in legislation – given a third reading in Parliament last week – that will establish a $300m Venture Capital Fund.
It’s the brainchild of Associate Finance Minister David Parker who in an earlier life in Dunedin had something to do with the establishment of A2 Milk, now one of the top capitalised firms on the NZX.
Parker reckons the fund will play an important role in building a more productive, inclusive and sustainable economy. As he puts it, NZ needs fast-growing businesses operating in a healthy, well-capitalised venture capital market. Continue reading “Nats support govt’s establishment of a venture capital fund to fill financing gap for high-tech companies”