Talk Money with Tony Field – August 28, 2015

  • 28/08/2015
A view of the New York Stock Exchange reflected in a vendor's mirror (AAP)
A view of the New York Stock Exchange reflected in a vendor's mirror (AAP)

The United States produced some unexpectedly good economic news today. Its economy has grown faster than predicted.

Gross domestic product expanded at a seasonally adjusted 3.7 percent annual rate in the June quarter. Initial estimates had been 2.3 percent.

Economists are warning that subsequent quarters could be volatile, meaning overall growth will be more modest.

The GDP figures saw Wall Street leap more than 3 percent in the opening hours of trading.

But some of the gains ebbed away as the closing bell approached.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 48 points higher at 15920, a rise of 0.31 percent.

The broader S&P500 gained 0.2 percent, or 3 points, to 1897.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq finished one percent higher, gaining 47 points at 4573.

Europe closed sharply higher. Germany's DAX rose 3.18 percent, France's CAC 40 gained 3.49 percent and London's FTSE was up 3.56 percent.

Crude oil prices leapt 9 percent, or $3, to US$41.71

In Europe, Brent oil gained seven percent, rising $3 to 46.16.

Part of that will be the because of the improved US economic numbers.

But analysts say the rise is also because traders who had shorted the oil price had to get out of their trades. Shorting means that they made financial bets that the oil price would continue to fall.

The rally saw gold sold off. It fell for the fourth day, down $2 to US$1122.

Silver was 2.59 percent higher at US$14.40.

"You never, ever make money working for someone else."

That is a piece of advice from Diane Foreman, one of New Zealand's most successful entrepreneurs.

Her book In the Arena has just been released.

Although it is partly autobiographical she says it is really a "toolkit for entrepreneurs".

She says she wrote it because, "At the end of the day, it wasn't about money - it's about leaving the ladder down."

"I wanted a book where particularly women, but men too, who want to grow good businesses could go 'yeah, I'll look at that and I'll see what she did wrong and what she did right'."

She spoke to Paul Henry this morning and said she truly believes that anyone can become a successful entrepreneur, if they have the entrepreneurial gene.

"You have to be prepared to risk everything, because most people are risk adverse."

She says if you are an entrepreneur it is the biggest piece of advice.

"Take that risk, put yourself on the line, put yourself out there."

"But if you are not an entrepreneur that does not matter because you can do something else and do it well."

She also told Paul Henry about her failed attempt to sell her ice cream export business New Zealand Natural to Fonterra.

She says that she could not even get Fonterra to meet with her to consider buying her business. It was later sold to a Chinese investor.

Here is Paul Henry's interview with Diane Foreman.

A Fonterra spokesperson said the company was interested "but weren't provided with any information on which to make a decision".

But Ms Foreman she was never asked to provide any information by Fonterra.

The New Zealand dollar rallied against the US currency.

The kiwi rose to 64.65 US cents, a rise of almost half a percent. It slipped 0.2 percent to 90.23 Australian cents.

The kiwi made again of around 0.7 percent against the pound, trading at 41.90 pence.

It was up almost 1 percent against the euro at 57.38 and 77.97 Japanese yen.

It is tough times for the country's largest farming operator Landcorp.

Profits have plunger at the government owned business, which manages around 140 properties.

Its net operating profit fell 84 percent to $4.9 million, thanks to lower milk and lamb prices.

Landcop's after-tax profit dropped to a loss of $20 million. It says that was due to unrealised revaluations on livestock, financial derivatives and land.

Its debt increased to $210.7 million ($172.4 prior year). That means its total liabilities are now $361.8 million.

Its total assets increased by $26.2 million to $1.77 billion.

Its debt ratio is 12 percent, which is low by corporate standards.

The Government says the result is disappointing and admits Landcorp may not show a profit for the next few years.

Opposition parties say it could be another Solid Energy.

It has highlighted a philosophical divide between those who say the Government should be managing farms and those who believe this should be left to the private sector.

Landcorp is trying to diversify into more high-value areas like sheep milk.

A major dairy conversion in the Waikato has been halted, with Landcorp looking at other agricultural uses for some of the forestry land, including sheep and beef.

One option that I wonder if Landcorp should explore is to accelerate its technological research. It could perhaps further collaboration with scientists and agricultural researchers to develop farm technology.

Here is my talk with Paul Henry about Landcorp.

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