Fiji casino dreams, Mainzeal building sells, dodging debt ceiling bullets and hotelier’s Indonesia move

An American multi-millionaire behind plans for Fiji's first casino says monthly penalties of $US100,000 have not deterred him from the $US290 million project.

Monthly penalty payments of $US100,000 have not deterred American multi-millionaire Larry Claunch from building Fiji’s first casino.

In an interview published in today’s National Business Review print edition, One Hundred Sands founder Mr Claunch confirms he is working with a New Zealand property developer on funding for the project – and he’s confident more investors will join him in the coming weeks.

However, the project has other obstacles to overcome – including the fact it does not yet own the land it is developing.

In other news, business editor Duncan Bridgeman reports who has bought failed construction firm Mainzeal’s former Auckland headquarters, and reveals the new anchor tenant.

Columnist Neville Bennett makes his prediction on the impending US shutdown – and why he thinks New Zealand dodged a bullet when ratings agency Fitch last reviewed the country’s credit rating.

Business Traveller details the deepening Indonesian operations of hotelier Gavin Faull’s Swiss-Belhotel International.

Economics editor Rob Hosking explains why New Zealand’s economic recovery is now less conditional, as the gap closes between unemployment and investment growth.

The Technology section goes behind the story of the wildly popular America’s Cup app, including Animation Research’s impressive post-match statistics.

Business reporter Jamie Ball outlines how a call for an independent review of the kiwifruit industry has been immediately trumped by a separate, in-house proposal.

Shoeshine defends Air New Zealand’s recent changes to its domestic services, pointing out it’s not a charity – and that Virgins don’t come cheap.

In the Initiative Matters column, NZ Initiative senior fellow Bryce Wilkinson tackles the latest UN climate report’s projections for sea level rise, and why he thinks such projections, without unequivocal evidence, remain speculative “if not heroic.”

University corporate finance lecturer Oli Hille spells out what has led to almost all investment asset classes at, or near, all-time highs – and what investors should do about it.

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