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The Independent, 14/6/00

Front page:

- Electricity reform committee recommends reversing split between generator and line companies;

- Two economic agencies, the Institute of Economic Affairs and BERL, agree confidence crisis-induced business funk could lower growth prospects. BERL blames high interest rates, but IEA says that is not enough to explain current mismatch between strong business prospects and low employment and investment intentions;

- NZ Business Roundtable Roger Kerr and Catharine Franks, wife of ACT MP Stephen Franks, announce intention to sue former Fletcher Challenge chairman Kerry Hoggard over insider trading findings by Securities Commission. Kerr says he is acting as a private citizen to test existing untested laws as he opposes always writing new law when the existing stuff would probably do;

- Opposition leader Jenny Shipley admitted to hospital with chest pains;

- Independent Nobilo's directors recommend BRL Hardy share bid.

Elsewhere in the paper:

- balance of payments data coincides with Thursday Budget and is more important to financial markets;

- Sydney receiver for bust Edge computer company pursues $A150,000 of debts from NZ offshoot, which received a shipment of 30 pallets of computer equipment just before Edge went belly-up with debts of $A30 million;

- changes to ERB to be unveiled in about a fortnight. PM Helen Clark moving to ensure Labour Minister Margaret Wilson is seen as being in the driving seat;

- High Court ruling binds ECNZ successor Genesis to a heads of agreement with Fletcher Challenge Energy which ECNZ tried to wriggle out of when market conditions changed in 1998. The 17 year $1.8 billion gas supply contract has been ruled to stand.

However, the Commerce Commission is still suing FCE and ECNZ over aspects of their deal to divvy up the Kupe field between them in the mid-1990's;

- IMI Pacific statutory manager David Chrichton seeking payment of an unpaid debt from security firm Onix International, linked to Labour MP John Tamihere and involved in snatching of kidnapped Tiger Balm heir in Indonesia;

- little prospect of any return for K2000 cut price airline creditors, says liquidators. Losses of hundreds of thousands, rather than millions in case of Kiwi;

- Treasury-funded research finds middle classes have shrunk between 1981 and 1996;

- sharemarket continues to underrate Fisher & Paykel despite strong profit result;

- weak Frucor listing;

- end in sight on Fortex receivership;

- NZ Post to brief Ministers soon on People's Bank proposal, but Treasury and CCMAU have yet to see any detail;


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