New Zealand

Major insurers operating in New Zealand including Insurance Australia Group and Suncorp Group have cumulatively received over 9,000 claims so far following severe storms and flooding in and around the biggest city, Auckland, Reuters reported. As of Monday morning, Suncorp's Vero and AA Insurance brands have received about 3,000 claims, while IAG's AMI, State and New Zealand Insurance brands have fielded over 5,000 claims. Tower Ltd on Sunday said it had received over 1,000 claims since Friday, and noted losses were "substantial".
Read more
New Zealand’s economy grew more than twice as much as economists expected in the third quarter, underscoring the difficulty the central bank faces in trying to damp demand to curb inflation, Bloomberg News reported. Gross domestic product jumped 2.0% from the second quarter, when it gained an upwardly revised 1.9%, Statistics New Zealand said Thursday in Wellington. Economists forecast a 0.9% increase. From a year ago, the economy expanded 6.4%, exceeding the median estimate of 5.5%. The data are “stupendously strong,” said Nat Keall, an economist at ASB Bank in Auckland.
Read more
New Zealand's central bank on Wednesday hiked interest rates by a record amount and warned the economy might have to spend an entire year in recession to bring sky-high inflation under control. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) raised the official cash rate (OCR) by 75 basis points to 4.25% and crucially now sees rates peaking at 5.5%, compared with a previous forecast of 4.1%. The central bank's overtly hawkish tone caught some traders off-guard, lifting the local dollar and sending swap rates higher, while its predictions of a recession also surprised.
Read more

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) said on Tuesday the current governor, Adrian Orr, had been reappointed for another five-year term starting in late March next year, Reuters reported. New Zealand finance minister Grant Robertson said the reappointment followed the RBNZ's board unanimous recommendation. “In light of global conditions, this is also a time when stability and continuity are paramount for the bank,” Robertson said. The central bank is dealing with significant macro and local growth headwinds.

Read more
Two of New Zealand's largest ski areas on Tuesday were placed into a type of bankruptcy proceeding following a disastrous winter season with barely any snow, the Associated Press reported. The Tūroa and Whakapapa ski areas, which are both owned by Ruapehu Alpine Lifts, entered what is called voluntary administration. The proceeding is open to failing New Zealand businesses and has some similarities to chapter 11 bankruptcy procedures in the U.S.
Read more
New Zealand's government said on Monday it had transferred Kiwibank's assets to a new state-owned company, since the lender no longer fit within the long-term plans for two state entities that currently own it, Reuters reported. Kiwibank, which is New Zealand fifth-largest retail bank, was owned by state-owned entities New Zealand Post, Accident Compensation Corporation and sovereign wealth fund New Zealand Superannuation Fund.
Read more

New Zealand home prices fell on an annual basis for the first time in 11 years in July, adding to signs of a slowdown for the global economy as central bankers worldwide try to tame inflation, the Wall Street Journal reported. The national median sale price of 810,000 New Zealand dollars, equivalent to $519,000, was 1.8% lower than a year earlier, cooled by higher interest rates and lending restrictions, the country’s real-estate institute said Thursday. It was the first annual fall in prices since July 2011.

Read more
A large creditor of failed Wellington construction company Armstrong Downes Commercial is trying to replace the liquidators with someone with “some teeth” to ensure subcontractors get paid, Stuff.nz reported. Armstrong Downes (ADC) shareholders had appointed David Ruscoe​​ and Russell Moore​​ from Grant Thornton as liquidators. However, Lower Hutt developer Kevin Melville, whose High St Holdings 2020 Ltd was a client, said he wanted to replace them with Damien Grant of Waterstone Insolvency as the new liquidator. ADC had two directors, Doile​ and Taylor​.
Read more
A New Zealand wholefoods shop and education centre is facing an uncertain future. An email sent to customers from Wholegrain Organics on May 13 said the business was entering voluntary insolvency, and it would “review the business to see if there are possibilities to restructure,” Stuff.NZ reported. The email said that any orders in process or refunds due at the time of the notice would still be completed. The non-profit business has a shop, bread mill, distribution centre, cafe and a children’s workshop at its premises on the north side of The Square.
Read more