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The $500m baby formula time bomb, Aussie IPO fever, Sir Robert’s leasing warning and the DIY ad battle

The grey trade in infant formula between New Zealand and China might be worth more than $500 million a year.

A National Business Review investigation, in today’s print edition, reveals the Ministry for Primary Industries is unable to completely trace or verify the infant formula market’s supply chain, heightening consumer concerns over dairy product safety.

Elsewhere in the paper, editor-in-chief Nevil Gibson traverses the biggest week ever for new listings on the ASX, including Dick Smith and Veda, which have substantial New Zealand operations.

Meanwhile, New Zealand drug developer Innate Immunotherapeutics plans to raise $A12 million and list on the Australian exchange, after its transformation from anti-HIV therapy to a fundraiser for multiple sclerosis drug trials.

Sir Robert Jones, the chairman of Robt Jones Holdings, warns over new tricks being used by leasing agents – which he describes as distasteful, unethical and arguably criminal.

Media reporter Victoria Young runs the rule over the DIY battle, and how one academic thinks there is little competition in the category outside Bunnings and Mitre 10.

Shoeshine says the government has made a complete shambles of the mixed ownership model – and ruminates on what the recent Chorus upheaval might mean for investors.

Political editor Rob Hosking details what John Banks’ decision to step aside means for Act, and the Epsom electorate, as the party goes back to its core message.

In other news, Business reporter David Williams speaks to retiring Warehouse Group chairman Graham Evans, who sees another transtasman push by the Red Sheds as a possibility.

Tech entrepreneur Lance Wiggs and business partner Grant Wakelin tackle the new property data monopoly, as the Commerce Commission clears the acquisition of Terralink by PropertyIQ.

Business Traveller covers the case of North Shore-based baggage handling company BCS Group, which is taking its bag-drop system to the world.

AgResearch chief executive Tom Richardson answers criticism over its “future footprint” proposal, arguing that bringing scientists together in innovation “hubs” will improve specific regional agriculture issues.

Briefly:

  • Order Paper says it is balderdash for people to think the Christchurch East by-election result is a harbinger for Labour’s return to power.
  • Media Watch announces this year’s winners of the annual Hackwatch Awards, including the very popular Man Booker prize for the best use of the English language in a single lead.
  • In Asia Watch, Nathan Smith zeroes in on China’s newly-declared air defence identification zone and discovers the big winner is actually the United States.

All that and more in today’s National Business Review print edition. Out now.