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MFS aims to become substantial player

Australian fund manager MFS is selling 60% of its New Zealand operations to a group of financial investors in both Australia and New Zealand including a subsidiary of the Babcock & Brown Group.

Wednesday, June 21st 2006, 6:40AM
The deal has been done to help MFS grow in New Zealand to become "a substantial player" in the financial services space.

Currently it operates as a finance company with a clear goal of building market share.

However, as reported on Good Returns, the company has ambitions to expand its services into funds management, financial planning, investment banking and property structured finance sectors.

"MFS Limited and its financial investors in MFS New Zealand believe a range of legislative enactments and changes in New Zealand which are to soon come into effect including, as an example, the proposed Kiwi Saver regime, will enable the rapid and substantial growth of MFS New Zealand over the next few years," MFS managing director Phil Adams says.

The deal is due to be completed by June 30. After that MFS will have a 40% stake in the New Zealand business.

It will also continue to manage the whole of the MFS New Zealand operations on behalf of itself and the financial investors.

MFS, an ASX listed company, has more than A$4.58 billion in funds under management. While much of its operations are in the property area, it also specialises in leisure assets, where it has things like a fund which invests in gold courses, plus it own a hedge fund business, HFA.

Babcock & Brown is a global funds management business which recently completed a successful listed debt offering in New Zealand.

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AIA 4.55 2.29 2.59 2.65
ANZ 4.44 2.89 3.25 3.39
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BNZ - Classic - 2.29 2.59 2.79
BNZ - Mortgage One 5.15 - - -
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China Construction Bank Special - 2.65 2.65 2.80
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Credit Union South 5.65 3.95 3.85 -
First Credit Union Special 5.85 2.95 3.45 -
Heartland Bank - Online 2.50 1.99 2.35 2.45
Heretaunga Building Society 4.99 3.50 3.40 -
HSBC Premier 4.49 2.25 2.35 2.65
HSBC Premier LVR > 80% - - - -
HSBC Special - 1.99 - -
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
ICBC 3.69 2.25 2.35 2.65
Kainga Ora 4.43 2.79 3.04 3.13
Kainga Ora - First Home Buyer Special - 2.25 - -
Kiwibank 3.40 3.20 3.50 3.50
Kiwibank - Offset 3.40 - - -
Kiwibank Special 3.40 2.35 2.65 2.65
Liberty 5.69 - - -
Nelson Building Society 4.95 3.20 3.24 -
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The Co-operative Bank - First Home Special - 2.09 - -
The Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 4.40 2.29 2.59 2.79
The Co-operative Bank - Standard 4.40 2.79 3.09 3.29
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Westpac - Offset 4.59 - - -
Westpac Special - 2.29 2.69 2.79
Median 4.55 2.79 2.99 2.80

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