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NZX debt raising at record high, South Canterbury lifts profit, Southern merger.

Wednesday, March 22nd 2006, 9:06PM
New Zealand Exchange says the listing of two new issues of debt for TCNZ Finance (TeleBonds) bringing the amount raised on the NZDX this year to $816 million - 9% more than what was raised on the NZDX for the whole of the second half of 2005.

The TeleBonds offer a long-term investment opportunity at internationally competitive prices. The two issues have an aggregate amount of $400 million and are the fourth and fifth debt securities issued on the NZDX since the start of the year.

The new debt listings further support encouraging trading figures for the NZDX in 2006. In January and February, the total number of trades for the NZDX market increased by 13% compared to the same period last year. This sound performance is reflects the high quality issues and a wider range of debt products, according to NZX Markets Developments Manager, Geoff Brown.

"New Zealanders are hungry for a choice of high quality investments. Both the TeleBonds and the ANZ National Bank debt issues, listed last month, are rated securities and their addition to the market will provide investors with a wider range of products which is beneficial to the New Zealand markets overall," Brown says.

South Canterbury lifts profit

Strong business and plant lending have helped South Canterbury Finance lift interim profits by 28%.

South Canterbury, which is 97% owned by Timaru accountant Allan Hubbard, reported pre-tax profits of $18.2 million in the six months to December 31, and the financier said the company was on track to beat last year's record profit of $30.2 million.

Chief executive Lachie McLeod said South Canterbury's plant and equipment lending business, Face Finance, reported a 73% rise in lending.

Property lending had been slowing for about eight months to a year, with consumer lending also down.

South Canterbury had planned a stock exchange float last year but pulled out after Hubbard changed his mind.

Southern merger
Canterbury’s Ashburton Building Society and SMC Building Society have formally merged and now operate under the trading name CBS Canterbury. The merged entity will continue to list on the stock exchange's alternative market the NZAX.

The combined asset base of CBS will be approximately $335 million. CBS will operate from Ashburton, Riccarton and Sydenham in Christchurch.

David Street, the former ABS chief executive, will head up CBS.

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