THE NEWS WRAP: Retail Zoo to squeeze growth in saturated Australia, looking for big boost in Asia

Janine Allis-founded food franchise Boost Juice, which is majority owned by Retail Zoo, is setting its sights on Asia as growth in its Australian business reaches maturity at 3% to 4% growth.


“That’s actually fantastic because then it’s moved away from being a fad brand and something just going crazy for the moment, to good continued sustainable growth and that’s what we look for and want to be part of consumers’ every-week habits,” chief executive Scott Meneilly says.


“We work best in higher volume shopping centres and now that our business model has improved we can go into lower volume centres. Previously we would have not gone into a shopping centre with lower than eight million foot traffic per annum but now we can go to a five million traffic centre.


“The phenomenal growth for us is in the Asian region and Malaysia is really starting to take off for us.”


Overseas central banks likely to hold on low rates


The Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank and the Bank of England are all likely to keep rates on hold for the time being, according to leading analysts.


Low inflation and weak growth in the US and Europe, along with Ben Bernanke’s recent announcement of a timeline for the end of the Federal Reserve’s bond buying program, mean borrowing costs are likely to remain low across many developed economies.


“We’re getting the early-cyclical industries from autos to housing starting to provide leadership. We’re starting to get the labour markets improving. And we have low inflation, which is always a feature of the early stages of a cycle,” Joseph Carson, chief economist with AllianceBernstein in New York, told Reuters.


Malaysian gaming mogul has a Star in his eyes


Malaysian gaming mogul and Genting Group chief executive KT Lim is looking to boost his stake in Echo Entertainment, operator of Sydney’s Star casino to 10%, as the battle over a possible second Sydney casino intensifies.


“We have not formed any views yet [on the size of the stake], especially now that [Crown executive chairman James] Packer has sold his shares for the reason that he is working on a competing casino, and the state seems certainly very keen to see competition in NSW,” Lim says.


“All that are factors that, as an investor, we would have to take into consideration. So we have formed no views yet. We would cross that bridge after we’ve got our licence.”




The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 0.02% to 15558.83. The Aussie dollar is steady at US92.62 cents.


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