THIS is news beyond markets – a special show that will get you all the news that matters to kickstart your day.
• COVID-19 has shaken up the Economist Intelligence Unit's annual ranking of the most liveable cities, propelling Auckland to first place. Auckland has now replaced Vienna to take the top place on the list. Vienna crashed out of the top 10 as the island nations of New Zealand, Australia and Japan fared best. The Austrian capital had led the list since 2018 and for years ran neck and neck with Melbourne at the top of the survey of 140 urban centres.
• New Zealand's elimination of COVID-19 within its borders through lockdown measures helped by its geographic isolation gave its cities a big boost. The EIU said in a statement that New Zealand's tough lockdown allowed their society to reopen and enabled citizens of cities like Auckland and Wellington to enjoy a lifestyle that looked similar to pre-pandemic life. The EIU generally does not make the full ranking public. The last time Auckland was in the top 10 was in 2017, when it came eighth, a position Melbourne shared with Geneva this year. Vienna fell to 12th position this time. Illustrating New Zealand's advantage this year, Wellington also entered the top 10.
• It came fourth behind Osaka, which rose two spots to second place, and Adelaide, which leapfrogged its compatriots Sydney and Melbourne to third place from 10th. The most recent ranking is from 2019 as last year's was cancelled.
• Moving on from the liveable cities ratings to the concerning scam saga that has been keeping the intelligence authorities on their toes and according to the A triple C’s latest Targeting Scams report, Payment redirection scams were the most financially damaging scams for Australian businesses in 2020. Combined losses reported to Scamwatch, other government agencies, banks and payment platforms totalled $128 million in 2020. Reports to Scamwatch show that Australian businesses lost $18 million to scams in 2020, a 260 per cent increase on losses reported in 2019.
• ACCC Deputy Chair Mick Keogh said that small and micro businesses made most of the reports to Scamwatch and experienced an increase in losses in 2020, although larger businesses reported the highest losses. Based on Scamwatch data alone, false billing scams were the most commonly reported scam by businesses and accounted for three quarters of total losses to businesses.