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Asia-Pacific News Australia & New Zealand

  • Telecom Corp., New Zealand's dominant phone provider, will allow rival TelstraClear to offer a mobile phone service over its network. The deal comes as the competition regulator proposes tougher rules to force mobile companies to share infrastructure, after an investigation into why New Zealand has only two operators -- Telecom and the local subsidiary of British mobile company Vodafone Group. 

  • Australian employment revived in July as more people got full-time jobs, holding unemployment near 33-year lows and keeping upward pressure on wages and inflation.

  • Wesfarmers on Thursday offered to revise the mix of cash and scrip in its offer for Coles andlifted expected dividend payments as it seeks to win Australia's largest takeover.

  • Australian regional lender Bendigo Bank said it plans to acquire rival regional lender Adelaide Bank in an all scrip deal valued at around $1.6 billion, the two companies said in a statement on Thursday.

  • Telstra, Australia's largest phone company, said its 2007 net profit rose 2.9%, below analysts' forecasts, although mobiles and broadband revenues were strong, and offered a "prudent" outlook for 2008.

  • Shares in Australia's Brambles, the world's biggest pallet supplier, jumped 11% after news Asciano and its former parent Toll Holdings had bought stakes in the company fuelled takeover speculation.

  • Australia's central bank raised interest rates to a decade-high of 6.5% on Wednesday, as expected, saying higher borrowing costs were needed to check inflation.

  • Shares in New Zealand's Auckland International Airport fell sharply in the morning trading session Monday after a senior minister was reported as saying the government was opposed to a takeover offer for the airport by Dubai Aerospace Enterprise.

  • The past week has been a roller coaster ride for Asian markets.  And as far as roller coasters go, you could say that the Australian market took a nine G hit on Wednesday when the S&P/ASX 200 Index dropped 3.3%, the biggest one-day percentage fall in almost six years. The reason for the dive – Macquarie Bank, issued a warning that retail investors in two debt funds face losses of up to 25%.

  • National carrier Air New Zealand said on Friday it would buy four Boeing 777-300 aircraft to give it the ability to seek new international routes. It added that it would leave its fuel surcharge unchanged, in contrast to some competitors.

  • Telstra Corp on Friday launched a legal challenge to an Australian government decision to award rival Singapore Telecommunications A$958 million in funding to provide broadband in remote areas.

  • Global miner Rio Tinto first-half profit fell 6%, hurt by higher costs and unfavorable exchange rates despite selling its copper, iron ore, and other industrial commodities at sharply higher prices.

  • Australian logistics firm Brambles said on Thursday it planned to speed up growth of its existing businesses, and outlined a new management structure for its core CHEP pallet business.

  • Australia's Macquarie Bank warned on Wednesday that retail investors in two debt funds face losses of up to 25 percent as fallout from the global credit crunch widened, knocking 10 percent off its shares.

  • Australian retail sales rebounded at the fastest pace in two years in June as spending recovered after two weak months, making a rise in interest rates next week almost a certainty.

  • Australia's Alumina, said on Wednesday its underlying 2006 profit fell 10%, due to higher operating costs and a strong Australian dollar, sending its shares down over 2%.

  • Australia's Qantas Airways plans to split itself into four operating businesses as it seeks ways to unlock value following a failed takeover, the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper reported on Tuesday.

  • Australian contractor Macmahon Holdings said on Monday it has rejected a proposal for construction giant Leighton Holdings to take a significant stake in the company through a share placement.

  • A second Australian hedge fund has become caught up in the subprime mortgage fallout, with Absolute Capital telling investors it has suspended withdrawals from two funds until October due to a lack of liquidity in structured credit markets.

  • New Zealand's central bank raised interest rates by a quarter of a point to 8.25% on Thursday, as expected, but said it did not expect to raise them further as it saw signs of an easing in domestic borrowing.