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Advisory firm warning on research houses, New commodities fund, Mercer outsources Super Trust functions.

Monday, August 6th 2007, 6:54AM
The US sub prime meltdown and subsequent impact on global and Australian hedge funds, has highlighted the dangers of relying on the ratings of research houses as if they were objective proof of quality, according to Robert Keavney, the chief investment strategist of Australian firm Centric Wealth.

Keavney made the comments using Basis Capital as an example. "A research house rating is no more than a judgement, an expression of opinion," Keavney says. "This is simply not understood by the investing public."

"Various research houses often give quite different ratings to a product. This must reflect either different degrees of skill or different subjective evaluations. A rating can be simply wrong, yet many investors and advisers rely on them as a selection criterion.

"This degree of trust is especially dangerous with the development of ever more complex products. Investors and advisers often lack the skill to analyse the underlying components of a product, so they rely on a rating," Keavney says. "This can lead them to investing in something which they actually don't understand."

Centric is described as Australia's leading, non-institutionally aligned wealth advisory firm.

New commodities fund


Liontamer is launching a new commodities fund as its first one, which has delivered spectacular gains, matures.

The original COMBI Series 1 fund is currently up 213.6% since inception in April 2004.

The new fund is for a term of three and a half years and is fully capital protected. The fund will track and index made up of 25% exposure to Brent crude oil, and 15% each to aluminium, copper, nickel, zinc and lead.

Mercer outsources Super Trust functions
BNP Paribas Securities Services has been selected as master custodian and investment operations provider for the 6,000 plus members and $1.3 billion Mercer Super Trust.

MST NZ, whose investment operations services were previously provided in-house, appointed BNP Paribas following an extensive tender and due diligence process.

Mercer's New Zealand head, Tim Jenkins, says BNP Paribas has good local market knowledge and has developed capabilities around KiwiSaver and the new PIE (portfolio investment entity) regime.

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Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
AIA 4.55 ▼2.29 ▼2.59 ▼2.65
ANZ 4.44 2.89 3.25 3.39
ANZ Special - 2.29 2.69 2.79
ASB Bank 4.45 2.29 2.59 2.65
Bluestone 3.49 3.34 2.99 3.34
BNZ - Classic - 2.29 2.59 2.79
BNZ - Mortgage One 5.15 - - -
BNZ - Rapid Repay 4.60 - - -
BNZ - Std, FlyBuys 4.55 2.89 3.19 3.39
BNZ - TotalMoney 4.55 - - -
CFML Loans 4.95 - - -
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
China Construction Bank 4.49 4.70 4.80 4.95
China Construction Bank Special - 2.65 2.65 2.80
Credit Union Auckland 5.45 - - -
Credit Union Baywide 5.65 3.95 3.85 -
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 -
Pepper Essential 4.79 - - -
Resimac 3.39 3.35 2.99 3.35
SBS Bank 4.54 2.79 2.79 3.15
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
SBS Bank Special - 2.29 2.29 2.65
Select Home Loans 3.49 3.34 2.99 3.34
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
TSB Bank 5.34 3.09 3.29 3.45
TSB Special 4.54 2.29 2.49 2.65
Wairarapa Building Society 4.99 3.55 3.49 -
Westpac 4.59 3.09 3.29 3.39
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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