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The Independent, 8 February, 2000

The Independent, 8 February, 2000

Front page:

- Three employees of former Britomart developer Savoy Equities threaten to start liquidation proceedings unless they receive back-pay. Savoy's principal, Jihong Lu, was declared bankrupt last November, with creditors owing around $28 million;

- the Reserve Bank of New Zealand will be under pressure to lower its cash rate on March 14 after its Australian counterpart lowered its key interest by 0.5% to 5.75%. RBNZ's official cash rate is currently 6.5%;

- the National Bank is believed to be the largest single creditor of collapsed Auckland building firm, Hartner Construction, with debts of $8.1 million outstanding. Meanwhile, work remains stopped on the prestigious Hilton Hotel on the Auckland wharves;

Elsewhere in the paper:

- Telecommunications Users Association of NZ is worried the new telecoms regulator will be as passive as the Commerce Commission;

- Waipuna International receivership progresses towards scheme of arrangement which may see creditors receiving 60 to 65 cents in the dollar;

- developing the People's Bank proposal has cost NZ Post around $2 million so far;

- an international anti-corruption expert is warning that the Dairy Board will jeopardise NZ's dairy trade to the US if it continues to seek dilution of anti-bribery legislation currently before Parliament. The board and Employers Federation have argued successfully so far that the new law should only apply to bribes paid on New Zealand soil, and not have extra-territorial impact. The board argues that the boundaries of acceptable practice varies from country to country;

- timber exports to India have slowed post-earthquake, but reconstruction may create opportunities for NZ exporters;

- Trade NZ is reorganising its export facilitation teams into 10 more tightly focussed groups instead of the three operating at present;

- a new $3.7 million government fund to help exporters secure new markets has almost all been spent after only six months;

- newly merged sharebrokers ABN Amro Craig now look likely to take on the retail operations of Merrill Lynch;

- long-time battler against lawyers' conveyancing monopoly, Lester Dempster, takes the reins of L J Hooker Conveyanging, which hopes to take a chunk of the soon-to-be-deregulated conveyancing market;

- Telecom NZ keeps up no-comment as deadline on bids for C&W Optus wireless assets passes;

- the strange case of the International Civil Aviation Organisation's refusal to allow Samoa and Tonga to shift responsibility for their air traffic control from Fiji to New Zealand;

- claimants against Ericcsson who were left out of pocket when Telecom NZ abandoned its First Media project four years ago have finally won a confidential, out-of-court settlement;

- vast piece on public relations as the "dark side of journalism".


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