Quakes expose gaps in infrastructure,  ‘StuffMe’: time to quit urge to merge, Insurance sector at risk

In NBR Print today: The $110 billion the government was already planning to spend on infrastructure over the next 10 years is almost definitely being revised upward following this week’s earthquakes. It is crucial, after all, that New Zealand’s roading, port, electricity and communication networks are built for the worst case, not just the she’ll-be-right scenario. But that’s a challenge for a country with one of the highest costs per capita infrastructure in the world – even without this latest hit to its risk profile. Finance Minister Bill English is expecting the private sector to pitch in, too. Rob Hosking reports.

While merging New Zealand’s two biggest media companies might seem obviously anti-competitive, the Commerce Commission has a well-earned reputation for taking a relaxed attitude to corporate power grabs. As such, its comprehensive rejection of the deal in its draft decision came as a huge surprise. If Fairfax and NZME have any sense, they’ll walk away now, says Tim Hunter in Hunter’s Corner. However, if their merger application has shown us anything, it’s that these companies are not the sharpest tacks in the box.

The result of the US presidential race sparked a $US1.2 trillion global bond market sell-off, Jason Walls reports. The resulting spike in sovereign and treasury bond yields included New Zealand, where the yield on the 10-year government bond reached a nine-month high. And, if Mr Trump makes the expected appointments to the US Federal Reserve board of governors, they could go higher still.

Thanks to moving nearly $34 billion this year, Chinese property investors have overtaken their US counterparts in cross-border property deals. It’s a remarkable achievement, given Chinese groups only entered the global real estate investment market a decade ago, with a measly $196 million. Sally Lindsay reports.

Digital disruption is causing conniptions in every industry, writes Nathan Smith. For the insurance industry, however, it represents an existential crisis that highlights its increasing irrelevancy. But even though “it’s a digital arms race that no one can ever win,” Lloyds of London’s Inga Beale says the industry can’t afford to concede defeat.

Last week, there was little reason to doubt Fisher & Paykel Healthcare would hit its target of $2 billion operating revenue in the next two years. Now it’s in question, thanks to the promises of president-elect Donald Trump to build a wall on the Mexican border. Because F&P produces 33% of its products in Tijuana, that represents a serious threat to its supply chain. And then there’s Mr Trump’s intention to “fix” Obamacare, which has been a boon to the Kiwi business. Shoeshine analyses what all this means for F&P.


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