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Australasia

Malaysia anti-graft agents quiz ex-PM as government tots up ballooning debt

13h43 Former Malaysian premier Najib Razak completed his statement to anti-graft agents on Thursday, as the Southeast Asian country's new government revealed some $50 billion of liabilities adding to debt left behind by Najib's scandal-hit administration.. . .  Full story

Australia's Commonwealth Bank says it double-charged thousands of customers

10h45 Australia's largest lender, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, told a powerful misconduct inquiry it double-charged interest to thousands of customers due to a coding error, the second time it has used that reason to explain systemic. . .  Full story

Australia shares edge up, aided by Aristocrat Leisure; NZ gains 0.4 pct

08h46 Australian shares snapped a five-day losing streak on Thursday, aided by gains for gambling equipment marker Aristocrat Leisure that helped outweigh a continued fall for financial stocks.. . .  Full story

Australia's Westpac cleared of rate rigging but bank inquiry sword stays

07h05 Australia's Westpac Banking Corp was cleared by a court of accusations it rigged a key rate to boost profit, but the win on Thursday against a regulator was dampened by an additional finding of unconscionable. . .  Full story

New Zealand probes financial sector oversight after Australian scandals

05h44 New Zealand regulators on Thursday asked the chief executives of life insurers operating in the country, including AMP, to demonstrate they do not struggle with the same conduct risks as their Australian counterparts.. . .  Full story

Australian shares slip on financials; NZ rises on a2 Milk

05h38 Australian shares edged down on Thursday, with banks leading the way lower.. . .  Full story

Australia's embattled AMP appoints new group general counsel

05h07 Australia's largest wealth manager AMP Ltd said on Thursday it would appoint David Cullen as the group's general counsel effective immediately.. . .  Full story

Australia's Origin Energy to sell metering business for $203 mln

01h32 Australian energy retailer Origin Energy Ltd said on Thursday it has agreed to sell its metering business, Acumen, for A$267 mln ($202.07 mln) to intelliHUB, a company to be jointly owned by Pacific. . .  Full story

Australia's Aristocrat Leisure H1 profit rises; digital revenue triples

01h02 Australia's Aristocrat Leisure said on Thursday that its half-year net profit rose 2.8 percent, as it cashed in a casual gaming gamble with digital revenue more than tripling for the period.. . .  Full story

Australia shares set to extend losses; NZ steady

00h09 Australian shares were likely to slip at the open on Thursday, extending losses to their sixth straight session, with material and energy stocks expected to come under pressure after oil and iron ore. . .  Full story

Malaysia's Mahathir widens graft crackdown, seeks to cut national debt

23/05 Ninety-two-year-old Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad held his first cabinet meeting on Wednesday as officials widen a probe into corruption linked to the previous government with raids on sites linked to the head of a. . .  Full story

Japan's Osaka Gas may sign new long-term LNG supplies to boost trading

23/05 Osaka Gas may sign new long-term liquefied natural gas (LNG) contracts as Japan's second-biggest city gas supplier boosts its trading operations amid a shake-up in the Asian market for the fuel, a senior official said.. . .  Full story

China among biggest economic risks for Australia- RBA governor

23/05 The possibility of "something going wrong in China" is among the biggest economic risks faced by Australia, Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Philip Lowe said on Wednesday, citing the build-up of debt in the. . .  Full story

Left behind: why boomtown New Zealand has a homelessness crisis

23/05 New Zealand's dairy-fuelled economy has for several years been the envy of the rich world, yet despite the rise in prosperity thousands of residents are sleeping in cars, shop entrances and alleyways.. . .  Full story

Australia's Myer rebuts discounting charge, says shareholder 'conflicted'

23/05 Australia's Myer Holdings Ltd has dismissed charges by top shareholder Solomon Lew of engaging in an "extreme" discount program, and said Lew's Premier Investments Ltd is conflicted due to being a major supplier and competitor. . .  Full story

Australian shares fall on Santos plunge; NZ dips on Fonterra

23/05 Energy stocks drove Australian shares lower on Wednesday, after oil and gas producer Santos rejected U.S.-based firm Harbour Energy's $10.8 billion takeover offer.. . .  Full story

Woodside looks to speed up Scarborough gas development off Australia

23/05 Australia's biggest liquefied natural gas (LNG) producer Woodside Petroleum on Wednesday outlined plans to accelerate and expand its Scarborough gas project off northwestern Australia, now expected to cost $10 billion.. . .  Full story

New Zealand c.bank prepared for quantitative easing, asset purchases in crisis

23/05 New Zealand's central bank could slash interest rates into "modestly negative territory" and undertake large-scale asset purchases in case of a major financial crisis, it said in a research paper on Wednesday.. . .  Full story

Australian shares slip on Santos slump; NZ falls on Fonterra

23/05 Australian shares dipped on Wednesday, with energy stocks leading declines after oil and gas producer Santos rejected U.S.-based firm Harbour Energy's $10.8 billion takeover offer.. . .  Full story

-Santos shares drop 9 pct after snubs $10.8 bln takeover offer

23/05 Shares in Santos Ltd fell 9 percent after the Australian gas producer rejected a $10.8 billion takeover offer from U.S.-based Harbour Energy, holding up slightly better than analysts had expected.. . .  Full story

Australia shares to slip; New Zealand down

23/05 Australian shares were expected to dip at the open on Wednesday taking cues from Wall Street, which ended lower overnight on uncertainty over the outcome of trade talks between the United States and. . .  Full story

Australia's Westpac pushed pie shop owner to repay loan, inquiry told

22/05 Australia's Westpac Banking Corp repeatedly phoned and texted the owner of a failed pie shop to demand repayment of a loan, the shop owner said on Tuesday, as a financial inquiry focused on abuses. . .  Full story

Australian shares plunge to three-week low, banks weaken

22/05 Australian shares tumbled to a three-week low on Tuesday, led by bruised banks following admissions of misconduct by the country's biggest lenders in a powerful Royal Commission inquiry into the scandal-hit sector.. . .  Full story

Australian shares fall on broad-based losses; NZ flat

22/05 Australian shares plunged to a near three-week low on Tuesday, as investors fled stocks across the board, with banks bruised by the latest admissions at a powerful Royal Commission inquiry into the scandal-hit. . .  Full story

Australia shares set to gain tracking Wall Street, NZ rises

22/05 Australian shares are seen inching up on Tuesday, following Wall Street which climbed as a truce between the United States and China calmed fears of a potential trade war, while Aussie miners are expected. . .  Full story

Australia's APN Outdoor offers to buy HT&E's Adshel

21/05 Australia's APN Outdoor Group Ltd said on Monday it had offered to buy media company HT&E's outdoor advertising division, hours after the latter said oOh!media's sweetened offer was not in its best interests.. . .  Full story

Westpac made blind pensioner a guarantor without risk advice, inquiry hears

21/05 Australia's Westpac Banking Corp admitted on Monday to signing up a legally blind pensioner as loan guarantor for her daughter's business without warning her of the risks, then threatened to evict her when the business. . .  Full story

Australian shares flat on weak banks, Santos jumps on M&A; NZ down

21/05 Australian shares were largely flat on Monday as losses in material and banking stocks undercut positive sentiment stemming from easing U.S.-China trade tensions, though M&A news buoyed Santos Ltd and underpinned the energy sector.. . .  Full story

Australia shares to start week lower; NZ slips

21/05 Australian shares are expected to open lower on Monday, tracking losses on Wall Street, while weak metal prices are likely to weigh on material stocks. All three major U.S. stock. . .  Full story

Australian PM to visit China to smooth trade ties

19/05 Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will travel to China later this year to smooth over bumpy diplomatic ties that have now developed into trade problems for some of Australia's biggest wine and beverage exporters, Fairfax. . .  Full story

Materials drag Aussie shares lower, offset record CSL gains; NZ rises

18/05 Australian shares ended slightly lower on Friday as weak commodity prices hit material stocks, tempering a rally in the healthcare sector which was buoyed by shares of biotherapeutics firm CSL Ltd after an earnings. . .  Full story

Australia's Westpac hires complaints head amid damaging inquiry

18/05 No. 2 Australian lender Westpac Banking Corp said on Friday it had been "too slow" to resolve customer complaints and had created an executive role to handle them, as the country's financial sector responds. . .  Full story

CSL becomes Australian top 5 firm as profit outlook sends shares surging

18/05 Australian pharmaceutical firm CSL Ltd lifted its profit outlook for the second time in three months on Friday, spurring its shares to a record high and making it one of the country's five biggest. . .  Full story

Australia shares hurt by materials losses, CSL shines on profit upgrade; NZ gain

18/05 Australian shares pulled back slightly on Friday as weak commodity prices hit material stocks and tempered a rally in the healthcare sector, which was buoyed by an earnings upgrade from biotherapeutics firm CSL Ltd.. . .  Full story

Macquarie to restructure advice business to focus on rich clients

18/05 Macquarie Group said it will merge its private bank and wealth business units to focus on wealthy clients, becoming the latest bank to reduce its exposure to Australia's scandal-hit advice industry.. . .  Full story

Australia trade minister says China not making trade gains at Australia's expense

17/05 China is not making gains on trade at Australia's expense, Australia's trade minister said in remarks prepared for delivery on Thursday during his visit to Shanghai, adding that Australia continues to welcome China's rise.. . .  Full story