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deposit rates

Marac cuts rates after boost from rating watch positive

There was some interesting rate movements in either direction last week but the most significant one came from Marac Finance.


Sunday, 26 September 2010

by Sophia Rodrigues

Marac cut interest rates on debentures across almost all the terms as the finance company prepares to get a rating upgrade from Standard & Poor's. The rating agency placed Marac's BB+ rating on CreditWatch Positive after the company announced it has signed a binding merger agreement with CBS Canterbury and Southern Cross Building Society that will eventually lead to the entity becoming a bank in mid-2011.

Marac is now offering 5.50% for 12-month guaranteed debentures which compares with 5.20%-5.30% offered by the major banks. Interestingly, Bank of New Zealand seems to be lagging in that term offering a maximum rate of 4.50% for a one-year term.

Fisher & Paykel Finance's rate move was a bit of a surprise with the company shaving off a huge 225 basis points on a 12-month term for guaranteed debentures. The rate is now 4.00% which is the lowest rate offered by the bigger finance companies and is even below the rate that banks offer for that term.

F&P Finance continues to offer 7.50% on 12-month non-guaranteed debentures which is likely the widest spread between guaranteed and non-guaranteed debentures in the market.

Meanwhile Public Trust made rate hikes across all terms beyond six months with the nine-month deposit rate hiked by a massive 140 basis points. Public Trust recently obtained a credit rating from Moody's following the expiry of the exemption period that the Reserve Bank had granted the institution.

And finally Rabobank has turned very aggressive on short-term rates, hiking 30-day deposit rate offered via RaboDirect by 80 basis points and 90-day rate by 85 basis points.  The 30-day rate now stands at 4.05% and the 90-day at 4.45%. The rates are now well above the rate offered by the major banks, with Westpac the only one coming close offering 90-day deposits at 4.20%.


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