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Deposit rate news briefs

Fastsaver growing fast, South Canterbury Finance looks for CFO, Avon raises capital successfully, S&P on Western Bay Finance accounts.

Thursday, 23 February 2006
ASB Bank says its online FastSaver savings account is becoming the fastest growing product in the bank’s history, with more than 210,000 customers and $2.5 billion in deposits at end of the last financial year.

South Canterbury Finance looks for CFO
South Canterbury Finance Group has created a new position of chief financial officer and is now trying to fill it. The CFO will report to the CEO and working closely with the COO, and will be responsible for the development and integration of processes and systems that ensure the provision of accurate and timely financial management information to the management team. SCF is one if New Zealand’s largest and most respected independent finance companies. The nationwide network of finance companies has well-established relationships with brokers and the finance industry throughout New Zealand.

Avon raises capital successfully
Christchurch based mortgage lender, Avon Investments Limited, has successfully raised its target of $2.5 million in three-year non-voting redeemable preference shares (RPS).

Chairman Barney Sundstrum said the company was pleased with the response to the offer and that over-subscriptions would be accepted up to the limit of $5.0m The RPS offer a tax paid 7.7% return.

Sundstrum said the proceeds would allow Avon's wholly owned subsidiary propertyfinance securities limited to continue to expand its first mortgage lending activities.

S&P on Western Bay Finance accounts
Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services says that its B- insurer financial strength rating on general insurer, Premium Insurance, remains unchanged following the reclassification of capital presented in the debenture prospectus of sister company, Western Bay Finance Ltd. (WBF; not rated).

"As a result of a recent review by the Companies Office in New Zealand, WBF reclassified as debt a tranche of redeemable preference shares previously treated as equity. This reclassification, however, has not changed S&P’s assessment of the quality of capital of WBF, as preference share capital is typically excluded from our adjusted common equity (ACE) calculations. Operational risks, such as accounting reclassifications and the resultant business effects, are within the tolerance of the B category rating."

Bridgecorp and Marauri settle
Bridgecorp has, reportedly, settled its dispute with Matauri X, however neither party are disclosing details. Bridgecorp lent the Maori incorporation $3.25 million, but that figure has ballooned to more than $5 million including interest.

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