28 Jan 2010

Sanford calls for tax on currency trading

7:00 am on 28 January 2010

The managing director of the country's largest listed fishing company is calling for a tax on non-trade related currency transactions.

Speaking at Sanford's annual meeting in Auckland, Eric Barratt said a tax would help to reduce the volatility of the New Zealand dollar. A strong New Zealand dollar reduced returns in second half of last year.

Mr Barratt said a tax would not be a significant earner for the Government but would result in the New Zealand currency moving closer to its realistic value, which would be better for the country.

Mr Barratt is also calling on the Government to allow commercial trout fishing. He says the company would invest tomorrow, if it were allowed, and he plans to lobby the Government on this issue.

Looking ahead, Mr Barratt expects trading will remain tough, though he says the market is gradually improving.

The planned automation of the company's Hawkes Bay processing plant later this year will improve profitability, he says.