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The Independent, 17 May

The Independent, 17 May

Lion - Telecom - NZBR - RBNZ - INL and Sky - Spectrum - Flying Pig - Sausage Software - Airways Corp

Front page:

- Lion snaffles 15% of Montana Wines before lunch on Tuesday at $2.30 per share, but chairman Peter Masfen says he won't sell his 20% because the offer "significantly undervalues" the company. Analysts suggest the move is defensive, as Foster's had been rumoured to be a Montana buyer in previous weeks;

- Telecom share price falls to as low as $8.15 from $8.28 on Monday following ho-hum profit of $611 million for nine months to March 2000, and failure to give timetable for group split intentions;

- NZ Business Roundtable-commissioned report by Bond University professor Ian McEwin advocates stripping the NZ Law Society of its statutory monopoly to control and regulate the profession;

- economists and business groups see RBNZ's OCR decision as finely balanced between inflationary impact of the weak Kiwi dollar and the plethora indicators, including falling business confidence and weaker economic statistics that inflation should stay low;

- INL and Sky TV quash Business Herald speculation of a merger between the two;

- spectrum auction: merchant banking analysts doubt that a telco will be able to do a deal with the to-be-created Maori trust with discounted rights to 25% of the 2Ghz spectrum on offer from July 10 because it doesn't yet have a name, charter, or board of trustees;

- Flying Pig preparing to become a parallel book importer into Australia if parallel importing continues to be legal here, or to move to Australia if it is banned since NZ book prices will rise with such a ban;

- Sausage Software shopping for a NZ e-commerce business

- Airways Corp fears its partnership with Lockheed Martin will sour because of political imbroglio over its executives involvement in the bid for UK air traffic controller, NATS, and the pay-out to former corporate counsel Ezequiel Trumper


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