News Round Up

Deposit takers and financial planners need the most regulatory attention: Survey. Unlisted looks to first IPO and St Laurence upgraded.

Monday, December 18th 2006, 6:50AM
Senior finance industry representatives believe the current review of the financial services industry will be effective in ensuring the sector is consistent with international best-practice.

They also believe it will enhance the stability and reputation of the sector overall.

The Review of Financial Products and Providers (RFPP) is being conducted by the Ministry of Economic Development and includes nine discussion documents.

Recently Finsia surveyed senior industry figure to get their views on the changes.

“New Zealand’s finance industry is currently in a new phase of evolution," Finsia chief executive Brian Salter says.

The poll showed that the industry sectors that needs the biggest overhaul was non-bank deposit takers (44%), followed by 32% who thought financial planning needed a regulatory overhaul.

Unlisted looks to first IPO

The alternative sharemarket, Unlisted, has just turned three and is planning big things for its fourth year in operation.

Trading activity has grown steadily, and to date Unlisted has facilitated 3,867 trades worth more than $56 million. In the 18 months to 30 November 2006 there has been an average 136 trades of 2.5 million shares worth $2.3 million per month.

"Unlisted is pleased about the progress made in 2006, and we remain optimistic about our future role in New Zealand’s capital markets," manager Bruce Cossill says.

He expects at least one IPO next year and there remain a number of other prospective issuers that are currently looking at Unlisted as a means of providing their shareholders with transparency and liquidity.

St Laurence upgraded to B2
St Laurence has been given a B2 investment grade rating following a full quantitative and qualitative assessment on the company using the Rapid Ratings assessment criteria.

Previously under this methodology it has a B3 rating.

When compared with its peers in the finance industry, St Laurence’s financial performance has grown markedly in the past 12 months, performing better than 81% of its peer group.

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