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More rationalisation coming; Improved disclosure to investors planned; COMMENT: Product recall argument daft; Fortress notes update; ING in asset sales.

Monday, April 20th 2009, 5:13AM

S&P says more rationalisation coming
The pace of investment product and business rationalisation is likely to speed up in Australian as the economy and markets face a more protracted downturn than first anticipated.

Standard & Poor's Fund Service says falling asset values and waning investor sentiment is putting pressure on the volume of funds under management – a key driver of revenue, and therefore profitability, for fund managers.

It believes managers may consolidate operations and find opportunities that provide economies of scale, in order to survive the downturn.

Improved disclosure to investors planned
The government has released a discussion document proposing changes aimed at reducing compliance costs, improve flexibility for issuers and disclosure to investors.

The document is a response to recommendations of the Capital Market Development Taskforce and proposes changes to the Securities Regulations 1983.

The taskforce’s interim report has already resulted in the development of the Securities Disclosure and Financial Advisers Amendment Bill currently before select committee, and changes to the NZX listing rules.

Commerce minister Simon Power says one of the changes is that there will be improved disclosure to investors.

The changes provide more flexibility in respect of matters that may be included in advertisements and align the requirements around the disclosure of directors', promoters', and managers' interests across the different types of issuer.

COMMENT: Product recall argument daft
I was hoping not to write about the ING credit funds for a while – or at least until their restructuring proposal is published – however some of the commentary in the industry has encouraged me to revisit what’s happening. READ ON»

Fortress notes update
Macquarie has confirmed, in its latest quarterly report, that the Fortress Notes are worthless, with a net asset value of $0.00 per note.

However, it says that although there has been a fall in the market value of the Senior Loans in the portfolio, there is still an obligation for the borrowers to repay the Senior Loans in the portfolio at par.

“The final return to investors continues to depend on default and recovery rates of Senior Loans in the portfolio.

Macquarie also confirmed no interest payments will be made until its loans are repaid. “As part of the financing arrangements for the Fortress portfolio, all cash flows from the portfolio must be used to meet interest payments, expenses and to reduce the principal outstanding.” These loans aren’t expected to be repaid until 2012.

The report says the fourth quarter of 2008 was one of the most volatile periods in Senior Loan market history. [Read the full report at the new look ShareChat]

ING in asset sales
Dutch banking and insurance group ING is looking to sell 8 billion worth of assets in its new "back to basics" strategy.

Recently appointed chief executive, Jan Hommen, last week said planned disposals could raise up to €8bn (US$10.5bn), the Financial Times reports. ING will focus its banking activities on Europe and cut back much of its international insurance business to focus on life insurance and retirement services.

ING currently operates in 48 countries. The group will sell 10-15 businesses "as market conditions allow".

No announcements have been made naming which operations are for sale, although it is expected to include ING Canada and large parts of the US insurance business.

« [Weekly Wrap] Is this a turning point in the markets?Sovereign takes regulation bull by the horns »

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Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
AIA - Back My Build 6.19 - - -
AIA - Go Home Loans 8.74 7.14 6.75 6.39
ANZ 8.64 7.74 7.39 7.25
ANZ Blueprint to Build 7.39 - - -
ANZ Good Energy - - - 1.00
ANZ Special - 7.14 6.79 6.65
ASB Bank 8.64 7.14 6.75 6.39
ASB Better Homes Top Up - - - 1.00
Avanti Finance 9.15 - - -
Basecorp Finance 9.60 - - -
Bluestone 9.24 - - -
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
BNZ - Classic - 7.14 6.79 6.65
BNZ - Green Home Loan top-ups - - - 1.00
BNZ - Mortgage One 8.69 - - -
BNZ - Rapid Repay 8.69 - - -
BNZ - Std, FlyBuys 8.69 7.74 7.39 7.25
BNZ - TotalMoney 8.69 - - -
CFML Loans 9.45 - - -
China Construction Bank - 7.09 6.75 6.49
China Construction Bank Special - - - -
Co-operative Bank - First Home Special - 6.79 - -
Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 8.40 6.99 6.79 6.65
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
Co-operative Bank - Standard 8.40 7.49 7.29 7.15
Credit Union Auckland 7.70 - - -
First Credit Union Special - 7.45 7.35 -
First Credit Union Standard 8.50 7.99 7.85 -
Heartland Bank - Online 7.99 6.89 6.55 6.35
Heartland Bank - Reverse Mortgage - - - -
Heretaunga Building Society 8.90 7.60 7.40 -
HSBC Premier 8.59 - - -
HSBC Premier LVR > 80% - - - -
HSBC Special - - - -
ICBC 7.85 7.05 6.69 6.59
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
Kainga Ora 8.64 7.74 7.35 6.99
Kainga Ora - First Home Buyer Special - - - -
Kiwibank 8.50 7.99 7.79 7.55
Kiwibank - Offset 8.50 - - -
Kiwibank Special - 6.99 6.79 6.65
Liberty 8.59 8.69 8.79 8.94
Nelson Building Society 9.00 7.65 7.25 -
Pepper Money Advantage 10.49 - - -
Pepper Money Easy 8.69 - - -
Pepper Money Essential 8.29 - - -
SBS Bank 8.74 7.74 7.09 6.95
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
SBS Bank Special - 7.14 6.49 6.35
SBS Construction lending for FHB - - - -
SBS FirstHome Combo 6.19 6.14 - -
SBS FirstHome Combo - - - -
SBS Unwind reverse equity 9.95 - - -
Select Home Loans 9.24 - - -
TSB Bank 9.44 7.79 7.55 7.45
TSB Special 8.64 6.99 6.75 6.65
Unity 8.64 6.99 6.79 -
Unity First Home Buyer special - 6.55 6.45 -
Wairarapa Building Society 8.60 6.95 6.85 -
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
Westpac 8.64 ▼7.49 7.35 6.99
Westpac Choices Everyday 8.74 - - -
Westpac Offset 8.64 - - -
Westpac Special - ▼6.89 6.75 6.39
Median 8.64 7.14 6.82 6.65

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