6 Jun 2019

Today's business news: What you need to know

1:16 pm on 6 June 2019

Latest - An unexpected tax windfall and flat spending has sent the government's budget surplus surging.

No caption

Photo: 123RF

The surplus for the 10 months to April was $5.2 billion, double the forecast.

Treasury said the tax take was more than $2b above expectations, with increases in company, income and GST revenue.

However, it said some of the increase may only be temporary because it included payment of taxes from previous years and IRD's new monthly payments system was still bedding in.

Government spending was relatively flat, in part because not all the money allocated for the tertiary fees-free policy was spent.

Net debt was better than expected at 21.2 percent of GDP.

The surplus for the year ending June is expected to be just under $3.5b.

New funds launched for investors through Smartshares

Investors are being offered a broader choice of ethical and responsible investing in foreign markets and exposure to new technologies in eight funds launched today.

The Stock Exchange is offering another eight exchange traded funds, through its Smartshares investment arm.

No caption

Photo: Supplied / NZX

Five of the funds are based on investing in ethical and socially responsible companies in Japan, the US, Europe, emerging markets, and globally.

They will exclude companies engaged in controversial weapons, civilian firearms, nuclear weapons, thermal coal, nuclear power, tobacco, and oil sands among other things.

Two of the funds will offer opportunities in new technologies such as robotics, artificial intelligence, and healthcare, with the last fund offering access to global bond markets.

Exchange traded funds are parcels of stocks which track certain indices or performance standards, and can be bought and sold on the NZX like individual company shares.

Smartshares chief executive Hugh Stevens says the feedback since the funds were first announced in April has been positive.

Cannasouth going public

The medicinal cannabis company is planning a stock exchange listing and says it's more than half way to achieving the $10 million share float.

It says it has received applications and payments for more than $5m worth of shares which was the minimum it wanted to raise.

Preferential investors have until tomorrow to apply and ordinary retail investors have until the end of next week to bid for a stake.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs