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Independent Financial Review - 6 September 2006

Independent Financial Review - 6 September 2006

A quick preview of what's running in today's (Wednesday 6 Sept.) Independent Financial Review.

Eric Watson's $300 mln blunder in Britain

Figures disclosed quietly to the stock exchange show that multi-millionaire Eric Watson has lost $300 million through his disastrous foray with PRG into British electrical goods chain Powerhouse. This is $100 million more than he has previously revealed and comes on top of news that PRG has had to give back $18.5 million as a refund to GE Finance over the sale of 80,000 small loans to the American giant. Denise McNabb reports

Government set to soften controversial foreign investment tax

The select committee considering the government's controversial foreign investment tax is set to water down the plan, sources tell the Independent Financial Review. The committee is likely to recommend a much softer 3% tax on average investment values rather than an 85% tax on unrealised capital gains. Tim Donoghue reports.

Commerce Commission to lose control over power lines companies

The government is considering shifting price control of Transpower and lines companies such as Vector to the Electricity Commission from the Commerce Commission. This would be a slap in the face for Paula Rebstock's Commission just weeks after she outraged Vector and shareholders by taking price control of Vector. The Electricity Commission must carry out government policy encouraging investment, while the more independent Commerce Commission only has to "give regard to" government policy. Nick Stride reports.

Elsewhere, Jenni McManus criticises the Securities Commission over its Feltex investigation and Denise McNabb explains what the latest finance sector regulatory shakeup means for investors. We editorialise that the government is not doing enough to toughen up our slack securities regulation and we detail how telecoms firms here are dealing with the threat - or opportunity - of mobile porn.

ENDS

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