News Round up...

New closing date for tax bill submissions; Mint rolls into Rio; St Laurence welcomes tax changes; FDR better option for Tower funds; S&P withdraws rating on Credit Suisse fund

Monday, December 22nd 2008, 4:58AM

New closing date for tax bill submissions
Parliament's Finance and Expenditure Committee has set 15 January 2009 as the new closing date for submissions on the Taxation (International Taxation, Life Insurance and Remedial Matters) Bill.

The bill, introduced in July, lapsed with the dissolution of the previous Parliament in the lead-up to the general election and was reinstated by the new Parliament on 10 December.This bill provides for the reform of international tax rules, aligns life insurance taxation rules closer to the accounting treatment of life insurance profits, and provides for payroll giving, and for the taxation of emissions units.

Mint rolls into Rio
Mint Asset Management has won a $10 million mandate from the New Zealand Rio Tinto superannuation fund.

The money will be invested with the Mint Trans-Tasman Listed Property Fund.Rio Tinto recently terminated a mandate with Fisher Funds after CIO Warren Couillault left the funds manager, replacing it with an ING NZ equities product.The $90 million Rio Tinto fund is also reviewing its dealings with Brook Asset Management after Macquarie bought the firm and principals Simon Botherway and Paul Glass left last month.

St Laurence welcomes tax changes
St Laurence has welcomed the new legislative amendment to the way accounting gains are taxed when the terms of financial arrangements, such as debentures, are altered.

The change will ensure many finance companies will not be required to fund multi-million dollar tax liabilities in respect of unrealized paper profit.“It is pleasing to see the current government move quickly in support of the finance industry and its investors to ensure that recently finalised plans of repayment are given every chance of success,” St Laurence managing director Kevin Podmore says.

FDR better option for Tower funds
Tower has restructured and relaunched its international bond funds so the benefits of Fair Dividend Rate (FDR) tax rules can be passed on to taxpaying unitholders.

The funds involved are the wholesale Tower International Bond Fund and the retail Tower BondPlus Fund. Both funds are PIEs.“Coupled with the fact that high quality international bonds offer some very persuasive investment opportunities within the context of the global credit crunch recession, we are confident that FDR rules now applicable to our international bond funds make these PIEs core investment portfolio allocations for New Zealand investors,” says CEO Sam Stubbs.

S&P withdraws rating on Credit Suisse fund
S&P Fund Services has withdrawn its three-star rating on the Credit Suisse/Tremont Index Strategies Fund, following notification from Credit Suisse Asset Management that the fund is to be terminated.

The fund has been closed to investments and redemptions since December 15.S&P said following the review of the fund, “With the market events of recent months, maintaining this fund was not deemed to be in the best interests of investors”.
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