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Media puts advisers once more into the breach over Bridgecorp, PFG to raise funds from related entity and Cullen pumps up KiwiSaver as cash begins to flow

Monday, October 1st 2007, 7:58AM
Media puts advisers once more into the breach over Bridgecorp
Financial planners came in for a media slamming over the weekend with both a weekend newspaper and TV1's Sunday program carrying damning reports of Bridgecorp-related angst.

Both the Sunday show and an article in the Sunday Star-Times named a handful of advisers and suggested many more could face further complaints in the wake of the collapse of Bridgecorp and other finance companies.

The Sunday Star-Times story said "more advisers are likely to try to settle with clients, particularly if Bridgecorp's 14,000 out-of-pocket debenture-holders organise a fighting fund to finance a group lawsuit against financial planners and advisers, the trustee company and Bridgecorp's directors.

"Christchurch lawyer Grant Cameron, a veteran at group proceedings, is interested in talking to Bridgecorp investors who have lost money, saying it seems individual financial advisers 'may have a lot to answer for'," the Sunday Star-Times said.

"He warns advisers and planners doing deals with clients 'to silence the rowdy' may jeopardise their professional indemnity insurance, as a settlement may be seen as an admission of guilt."

PFG to raise funds from related entity
Late on Friday Propertyfinance Group (PFG), the parent company of the in-receivership Propertyfinance Securities (PFS), revealed it would issue new ordinary shares to a related entity to "meet its short-term working capital needs".

Last week PFG said it needed to pay $67,000 quarterly interest payment on $3.7 million of preference shares due on September 30 or be in breach of its obligations.

In Friday's announcement PFG said it would issue almost 2 million shares at 20 cents per share to Kipling Partners in three tranches to raise a total of $382,913. PFG director, Daryl Queen, is also a director and shareholder of Kipling Partners.

PFG told the NZX that: "... the relationship between Mr Queen, KPL and PFG did not influence the independent directors' decision to issue shares to KPL on the terms and conditions set out above and the issue of shares is on an arms length basis on commercial terms."

Following the new share offering PFG would have 15.626 million shares on offer.

On August 29, PFG placed PFS in receivership with the finance company owing about 4000 retail investors $80 million in debentures and about $550 million of mortgage-backed debt securities to institutional investors. PFG said it "no longer receives any income from PFS". The latest deal is conditional on no special shareholder meeting being called within 10 days of the original announcement. PFG would be required to hold a special meeting if shareholders representing no less than 5% of the company's voting rights request in writing for the meeting to be held.

On Tuesday PFG opened for trading again on the NZAX after shares were suspended late in August, however, no shares changed hands by close of business on Friday.

Cullen pumps up KiwiSaver as cash begins to flow
In a ra-ra speech to Treasury and MFAT (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade) almuni in London last Thursday, Finance Minister, Michael Cullen, talked up the long-term impact of KiwiSaver on New Zealand's economy saying funds could "grow to around $100 billion in today's dollars after 30 years". "That is about 60% of GDP," Cullen said.

"It is likely to result in a fundamental shift in our saving landscape. It will substantially deepen capital markets and significantly change the mix of growth from spending to saving and investing."

Money begins to flow today to KiwiSaver providers after being held by the IRD since the official launch of the scheme on July 1. Based on the government's August estimate of 130,000 individuals signing on to KiwiSaver at least $130 million (representing the $1,000 government 'kick start') will shift into the hands of fund managers today.

It's a long way to go to $100 billion and much further to the $1 trillion held in Australian superannuation assets but in his London speech Cullen said: "KiwiSaver gives us a chance of emulating the success Australia has achieved through its enormous compulsory scheme.

"Australia's development over the last decade or more has been driven in large part by funds under management through the compulsory superannuation scheme - now worth a trillion dollars. "We have seen the results in the somewhat frequent arrival of Australian private equity firms coming to New Zealand. I welcome the arrival of foreign capital, the technical expertise and marketing opportunities those sales bring. But I also wish it was not a one-way journey and more New Zealand funds were participating in Australian businesses."

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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
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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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First Credit Union Special 5.85 2.95 3.45 -
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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
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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
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Nelson Building Society 4.95 3.20 3.24 -
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The Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 4.40 2.29 2.59 2.79
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Westpac 4.59 3.09 3.29 3.39
Westpac - Offset 4.59 - - -
Westpac Special - 2.29 2.69 2.79
Median 4.55 2.73 2.99 2.80

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