News Round Up
Biggest beauty parade in years, Insuance Online, Property set to rise, Administrator part of ASB, Registry sale on, Harvest down distribution up.
Tuesday, July 3rd 2001, 12:11AM
Fund managers are anxiously awaiting the outcome of one of the biggest beauty parades for nearly 10 years.
The Government has changed the $3.4 billion Government Superannuation Fund's investment guidelines to allow it to invest in other assets aside from cash and bonds. (See earlier story).
Since the decision was made managers have been parading their skills before investment consultancy firm Frank Russell Company which has been charged with the manager selection process.
Managers spoken to have described it as being the biggest game in town, and probably the biggest mandate to come up for grabs since the National Provident Fund in the early 1990s.
The changes being implemented to the GSF provide some insight into how the proposed dedicated super fund will be run.
The Government will make its first payment into the dedicated fund on Wednesday. Although the fund isn't yet up and running the money will be transferred from a Crown account into the Debt Management Office where it will earn interest at the daily cash rate.
Earlier editorial:Dedicated fund dummy run
The latest Special Report on Good Returns looks at buying insurance online.
This is starting to change with the launch of several new sites. To see what's happening visit Special Reports by clicking here.
Administrator part of ASB
Specialist financial services administrator, Jacques Martin New Zealand Ltd, is to operate as a separate company within ASB Group.
The transfer of governance of Jacques Martin from Australia to New Zealand is a further refinement of the structure Commonwealth Bank of Australia will operate in New Zealand.
Being part of ASB Group will give Jacques Martin the reporting line that will assist it remain responsive to the specific needs of the local market, the company says.
It will also give it more direct access to the group's leading edge technology, assisting it to grow to its full potential.
ASB Bank and Sovereign are stand alone companies that already operate successfully within ASB Group, and Jacques Martin will operate autonomously from them.
Property set to rise
Colonial First State Property Trust is expecting an improved performance in the property sector over the next year.
"In the main this will be driven by increased investment due to low interest rates and attractive property yields," the trust's general manager Lloyd Cundy says.
He describes the market as being flat over the past year.
"Returns from property have remained income driven with capital values remaining fairly stable. However, the Auckland CBD stock continues to come under downward valuation pressure."
Auckland's vacancy rate has risen 2% in the past year to 16%, he says. Wellington's rate is 6.4%.
The trust's official vacancy rate for the year ending March 31, by area, was 0.65% It has 20 leases due to expire in the current financial year, accounting for 12.5% of net total rent roll.
The average weighted lease term of the portfolio is 3.85 years.
The portfolio's value remains relatively static at $207.64 million.
Registry sale on
The Commerce Commission has cleared Computershare Registry Services Limited to acquire all the shares or assets of BT Portfolio Services (NZ) Limited.
Both companies provide registry services for companies and other entities that issue equities and other securities.
Commission chairman John Belgrave says that the commission was satisfied that, should the acquisition go ahead, the merged entity would not acquire or strengthen dominance in any market.
Other parties besides Computershare are bidding for BT Portfolio Services.
Harvest stopped by payout made
Nuhaka Farm Forestry has made its second distribution to unitholders, although it has stopped harvesting because of poor log prices.
The second distribution, of 35c per unit, brings the total distribution in the trust's first year of harvesting to 55c.
Future distributions are on hold until harvesting recommences.
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