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Commerce Commission assesses First Step trusts

New information has the Commerce Commission looking to see whether Money Managers (now MMG Advisory Group) breached the Fair Trading Act over its beleaguered First Step and First Up investment trusts.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

by Paul McBeth

The regulator had previously decided against investigating the frozen First Step trusts, "but is making this further assessment in light of new information," a spokesperson told www.depositrates.co.nz.

"The Commerce Commission is not currently investigating the Money Managers First Step Trusts," the spokesperson said. "The commission is in the process of assessing information to establish whether there is evidence of any prima facie breaches of the Fair Trading Act, and if so, what further action, if any, the commission should take."

As at the end of last year, some $223.5 million had been returned to investors since the funds were closed in October 2006, when the total funds in the six trusts totalled $457 million. Of this, about $330 million was investors' principal.

In its end of year report, trustee Calibre Asset Services told investors that it anticipated making further repayments this year with a cash inflow of some $69 million, though this would not be in respect to all six of the trusts. It wrote of a further $73 million in the 2009 financial year.


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