Oceania

Software company Wynyard Group has been put in voluntary administration. KordaMentha partners Neale Jackson and Grant Graham have been appointed administrators of the company, which creates security software for use by companies and law enforcement agencies. It's been a difficult year for Wynyard, with its board warning in August that the company's future was in question and signalling uncertainty underlying its assumptions about cash-flow and future sales.
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Overseas graduates declaring themselves penniless are among the 483 debtors whose $18 million in students loans have been wiped by bankruptcies, Stuff.co.nz reported. Inland Revenue has revealed the latest figures as the amount owed by student loan defaulters tips over the $1 billion mark. The 10 biggest overseas debtors owe more than $300,000 each. Some are dying in debt. Ministry of Education figures show that, in the year to June 2015, $19m of student loan debt was written off because of the death of the borrower. That compared with $16m written off because of bankruptcy.
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Australia marked 25 years without a recession in the second quarter, another step closer to the Dutch record for the longest developed-economy expansion of recent decades, The Wall Street Journal reported. The economy grew 0.5% in the second quarter from the first and by 3.3% from a year earlier—the fastest pace in four years, pushed by spending on housing and public investment, government data showed Wednesday. The data also show, though, that growth increasingly relies on policy makers’ pulling out all the stops as the economy tries to reinvent itself.
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A breakdown in Clive Palmer’s relationship with administrators of his Queensland Nickel business was evident around the time a dispute flared over a private jet, the company’s former financial chief has told the federal court, The Guardian reported. The court hearing by liquidators into the collapse of Queensland Nickel was shown an email stating that FTI Consulting’s John Park had “upset Clive P on the phone this evening” during a conversation about the administrator’s seizure of a Cessna Citation aircraft.
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A plan to regulate the insolvency sector and shut down unscrupulous operators is being welcomed by an industry body, Radio New Zealand reported. The government has released the first part of a review into insolvency laws, which recommends licensing for practitioners and steps to improve protection for creditors in voluntary liquidations. The working group's report said current regulation fell short of ensuring creditors could have confidence that practitioners handling corporate insolvency are qualified and bound by an acceptable code of ethics.
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New Zealand's insolvency practitioners look likely to face a new licensing regime after a report to Commerce Minister Paul Goldsmith found that gaps in existing rules enable dishonesty and incompetence, The New Zealand Herald reported. The public has until Oct. 7 to make submissions on a review of insolvency law, which Goldsmith says is primarily to find what the minimum level of entry should be for the specialists tasked with winding down companies.
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The owners of the Mater Private hospital, who recently pulled a sale of the business for the second time in 14 months, have secured a €300 million refinancing deal led by Australian bank Macquarie. The Sydney-based bank’s Macquarie Lending unit in London said it acted as lead arranger and finance partner for the hospital group. The transaction will refinance the Mater Private’s existing debt and includes a “tailored” capital expenditure facility to support growth and development of the hospital, it said.
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When Woolworths reports its full-year results on Thursday, expect to see a loss of about $1 billion, analysts say, after restructuring costs and its exit from the disastrous Masters hardware business, The Sydney Morning Herald reported. Credit Suisse analysts say that with a restructuring charge of $960 million and its exit from the Masters Home Improvement business being treated as a "discontinued operation", total impairments could hit $2.7 billion. That could leave Woolies with a statutory loss of around $1 billion.
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BHP Billiton reported a record $6.4 billion annual loss on Tuesday, hammered by a bad bet on shale, a dam disaster in Brazil and a commodities slump, but said it expects its free cash flow to more than double this year. “While commodity prices are expected to remain low and volatile in the short to medium term, we are confident in the long-term outlook for our commodities, particularly oil and copper,” chief executive Andrew Mackenzie said in a statement.
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The Australian Tax Office and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission have conducted raids on 13 businesses and residences across the country in a bid to crack down on “pre-insolvency” firms that advise clients on how to avoid tax, SmartCompany.com.au reported. Some 120 ATO officers teamed up with their ASIC counterparts on Thursday to collect documents and records from the Melbourne and Gold Coast properties, which are linked to two advice firms that authorities allege are encouraging and facilitating tax avoidance, GST evasion, and “phoenix” activity.
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