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Curtin being investigated; First NZ Capital wins international fund manager award; New charges laid against Bridgecorp directors; Strategic halts payments; Bonuses feeling the pressure; Westpac issues new note offer

Monday, September 15th 2008, 5:05AM

by Maddy Milicich

The Commerce Commission is conducting an inquiry into whether Donal Curtin, who was appointed deputy chairman of the commission in July, provided an appropriate level of disclosure in relation to his involvement with finance and investment companies Vestar, Mint Asset Management and MFS.

Disclosure of conflicts of interest by members of crown entities is required by law and members of the commission are required to provide full disclosure of any potential interests.

The commission has appointed Hugh Rennie QC to conduct the inquiry. Rennie will investigate the facts surrounding the issue of disclosure. He will then advise the commission what action, if any, will be appropriate.

Bonuses feeling the pressure


While fixed pay in the financial services industry remain steady, median bonuses are being effected by turbulent financial markets.

The latest Higbee Schäffler Financial Services remuneration survey shows fund management teams and their business development colleagues are feeling the pinch, with bonuses down as much as 30%.

Specialists in areas such as corporate finance, treasury operations and commercial property finance generally fared better in the variable pay packets. Disillusioned fund managers may like to consider a new career in corporate recovery, in which bonuses were up 40%.

However, the survey suggests remuneration in the sector is cooling off. Actual salaries increased by 4.8$ since 2007, the first below 5% increase in five years.

Westpac issues new note offer
Westpac is looking to raise at least $50 million through a senior, unsecured and unsubordinated note offer. The notes have a five-year term and have a AA Standard and Poor’s rating.

The notes have a semi-annual coupon which will be set at 130 basis points above the NZ dollar swap rate.

First NZ Capital wins international fund manager award
First NZ Capital’s manager of its KiwiSaver Scheme has achieved top placing at the Australian Fund Manager of the Year awards.

Manager, T. Rowe Price Global Investment Services, headquartered in the US, won the International Equities – Broad Cap category for its T. Rowe Price Global Equity Fund.

“We have structured the First NZ Capital KiwiSaver Scheme to deliver a quality, best of breed offering. To achieve independent international recognition for one of our underlying manager’s robust investment processes and experienced well resourced investment team helps validate this strategy,” Jody Kaye, chief operating officer at First NZ Capital said.

New charges laid against Bridgecorp directors
New, more serious Securities Act charges have been laid by the against Rodney Petricevic and Robert Roest.

The additional charges arise from claims in the Bridgecorp prospectus that it had never missed an interest or principle payment. The charges allege that the company missed many payments from February 2007 until it was placed in receivership in July 2007, but continued to claim the contrary in its prospectus.

The charges carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison, or fines of up to $300,000 and have been laid by the Companies Office at the request of the Securities Commission.

Strategic halts payments
Strategic Finance has halted interest and dividend payments as it finalises a capital restructuring plan.

Managers, directors and partner BOS International this month agreed to acquire the business from Allco HIT in a deal valued at about NZ$90 million.

Under Statregic's plan, holders of its debentures, notes and preference shares will be asked to accept new terms, with the bulk of the securities to be replaced by new debt instruments that trade on the NZX.

Perpetual Trust, the trustee under Strategic's debenture deed, last week forced rival finance company, Dominion Finance Group into receivership owing some NZ$224 million to investors.

« Industry bodies say FAB is okSovereign takes regulation bull by the horns »

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Full Rates Table | Compare Rates

Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
ANZ 5.19 4.05 4.05 4.49
ANZ Special - 3.55 3.55 3.99
ASB Bank 5.20 3.89 4.05 4.39
ASB Bank Special - 3.39 3.55 3.89
BNZ - Classic - 3.49 3.45 3.99
BNZ - Mortgage One 5.90 - - -
BNZ - Rapid Repay 5.35 - - -
BNZ - Std, FlyBuys 5.30 4.45 4.35 4.55
BNZ - TotalMoney 5.30 - - -
China Construction Bank 5.50 4.70 4.80 4.95
China Construction Bank Special - 3.19 3.19 3.19
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
Credit Union Auckland 5.95 - - -
Credit Union Baywide 5.65 4.75 4.75 -
Credit Union North 6.45 - - -
Credit Union South 5.65 4.75 4.75 -
Finance Direct - - - -
First Credit Union 5.85 3.99 4.49 -
Heartland 6.70 7.00 7.25 7.85
Heartland Bank - Online - - - -
Heretaunga Building Society 5.75 4.80 4.95 -
HSBC Premier 5.24 3.54 3.54 3.69
HSBC Premier LVR > 80% - - - -
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
HSBC Special - - - -
ICBC 5.15 3.18 3.18 3.20
Kainga Ora 5.18 4.04 3.95 4.39
Kiwibank ▼5.20 ▲4.20 4.30 4.64
Kiwibank - Capped - - - -
Kiwibank - Offset 5.15 - - -
Kiwibank Special - ▲3.45 3.55 3.89
Liberty 5.69 - - -
Napier Building Society - - - -
Nelson Building Society 5.70 4.25 4.15 -
Pepper Money Near Prime 5.64 - 5.44 5.44
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
Pepper Money Prime 5.18 - 4.98 4.98
Pepper Money Specialist 7.59 - 7.39 7.39
Resimac 4.50 4.86 3.89 3.94
RESIMAC Special - - - -
SBS Bank 5.29 4.85 5.05 5.49
SBS Bank Special - 3.39 3.45 3.89
Sovereign 5.30 ▼3.89 ▼4.05 ▼4.39
Sovereign Special - ▼3.39 ▼3.55 ▼3.89
The Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 5.15 3.49 3.59 3.89
The Co-operative Bank - Standard 5.15 3.99 4.09 4.39
TSB Bank 6.09 4.35 4.25 4.69
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
TSB Special 5.29 3.55 3.45 3.89
Wairarapa Building Society 5.70 4.85 4.99 -
Westpac 5.34 4.15 4.09 4.49
Westpac - Offset 5.34 - - -
Westpac Special - 3.39 3.45 3.99
Median 5.34 3.99 4.07 4.39

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