Global financial crisis hits NZ; don't worry, says Brash; Hanover owners put up $96 million; Winston Peters has a go at SFO; Indian drugs may be banned; and more
- The Herald leads with news that a British bank that has loaned $3 billion to New Zealand businesses was taken over yesterday, another casualty of the global financial crisis. HBOS, with operations in New Zealand and Australia, was absorbed by Lloyd's TSB. While markets in the US, Europe and Asia fell sharply again yesterday, the New Zealand market dropped 3.4 per cent, the largest one-day drop since November 5, 2002. The Dominion Post reports that more than $1 billion was wiped off the New Zealand market yesterday. Meanwhile, the Press has former Reserve Bank governor Don Brash giving assurances that New Zealand is not about to enter a big recession. Rather, the country is in for a period of low or no growth, says Mr Brash.
- Hanover Finance owners Eric Watson and Mark Hotchin will put up $96 million in an attempt to save their company. Hanover stopped making interest and principal repayments in July. Mr Hotchin said that the company would be able to return 100 cents in the dollar to debenture holders over the next five years, or sooner if market conditions allowed, according to the Herald.
- Winston Peters has accused the Serious Fraud Office of "malice" in gathering secret evidence against him and passing it on to the Parliamentary privileges committee. The Dominion Post reports that the evidence is believed to concern $40,000 in court costs associated with Mr Peters' 2005 Tauranga electoral petition. Yesterday, Mr Peters also produced a letter which he said came from the SFO and attacked NZ First MP Ron Mark for supporting legislation to abolish the SFO.
- Medsafe may ban the import of 12 drugs, including Amoxicillin, produced by the Indian pharmaceutical company Ranbaxy. Two facilities run by Ranbaxy failed safety inspections in March, reports The Press. The US Food and Drug Administration found inadequate sterilisation and poor quality-control standards.
- The hole in the Ozone layer has reached a record size--27 million square kilometres, larger than North America. The hole appears over Antarctica every year and peaks in size in late October-early September.
- As the Chinese powdered milk scandal continues to make international headlines, Trade Minister Phil Goff says in the Herald that those responsible for adding melamine to milk will almost certainly be executed.