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Challenges for New Zealand businesses in 2015

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 1/01/2015
Farmers will be watching Fonterra carefully in 2015© Getty Images Farmers will be watching Fonterra carefully in 2015

New Zealand's biggest business deal ever is playing out.

Auckland-based billionaire Graeme Hart is in the process of selling his global carton-packaging assets to Canadians for $US4.64 billion, and his beverage packaging and plastic bottle tops businesses are next. What will the former tow truck driver do next?


* There's a lot going on with milk. Lewis Road is working its way down the dairy aisle so there'll be new products to wow foodies. Fonterra is building more huge factories but lower dairy prices are cutting farmers' income by $6 billion.

* Will the meat industry restructure and achieve anything like what's been achieved in dairying?

* The share market is in a flatter and more volatile pattern after a record run. Will media company NZME finally list and will it have to be cheap to attract investors?

* Kiwi companies lived up to expecations in the last reporting season but can their earnings justify high share prices after the economy peaks?

* Auckland and Christchurch property prices look set to boom on but the government is promising to increase supply to relieve some pressure.

* Property trusts had a stellar year on the share market, can they do it again?

* Watch for more investments by billionaire Jiang Zhaobai and other Chinese entrepreneurs and an ongoing debate about foreign ownership, particularly of land

* More private-public partnerships. Sounds boring but a private company is now offering radiation treatment in Bay of Plenty, and iwi business and others are buying up state houses.

* Will once sexy retailer Pumpkin Patch and others survive the shift by customers online and will New Zealand media companies finally start charging for online content?

* The Treasury forecasts economic growth to peak in March and the government won't meet its promised budget surplus by June, but will the economy maintain respectable growth of around three per cent as predicted by Finance Minister Bill English to help him reach his budget target?

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