THE NEWS WRAP: ANZ warns Aussie dollar will remain high until US stimulus is unwound

ANZ chief executive Mike Smith has warned the Australian dollar is likely to remain strong until the US Federal Reserve ends its stimulus program in 2014.


“It’s unlikely we’ll see a huge reduction or a major reduction in the Aussie dollar’s strength until there is a tapering in the US,” Smith says.


“It’s not so much the strength of the Aussie dollar, it’s the strength of the US dollar. As the US dollar strengthens, we’ll start to see the Aussie come off a bit.”


Macquarie looks to double mortgage market share


The Macquarie Group has unveiled plans to double its share of the Australian mortgage market to 2%, up from its current 1.1%.


“We’ve been there before, in terms of it being 2%,” Macquarie chief executive Nicholas Moore.


“I think if you speak to the guys in the business, they certainly would have aspirations to be doing what they were doing before the crisis. That’s a very natural position.”


Bega to wait before increasing WCB bid


Bega is set to wait and see whether there is any further increase in its stock price before placing another bid for Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory, after New Zealand-based food giant bought a stake in the company last week.


Bega is one of a number of companies, including Canadian food giant Saputo, Murray-Goulburn, and Lion, currently bidding for WCB.


“It’s rare to see – a bidder’s price go up because usually the bidder is seen as overpaying for synergy benefits,” Bega adviser David Williams says.


“Bega’s share price might still have some way to go to fully reflect the real value of dairy assets.”




The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 0.45% to 15615.55. The Aussie dollar is at US94.48 cents.


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