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Rates Round Up

Long-term deposit rates start climbing; DPG posts another loss; Fortress Notes face more defaults; More details on NZ Post bond.

Monday, June 8th 2009, 8:27AM

by Paul McBeth

Deposit rates start creeping up in time with lending rates
Deposit rates are following lending rates, with several banks and financial institutions returns on savings accounts this week.

Equitable Debentures increased deposit rates 100 basis points for 18-month terms, and lifted 12-month contracts 50 basis points. It boosted its two-year debentures by 75 basis points.

Rabobank lifted its returns on one, two, three, four and five-year deposits.

Short-term rates remained relatively stable after last week's activity spurred on by Kiwibank's TD Tuesday deal, although TSB continued its 100 day rate of 4.75% until next week and Westpac raised its return on three-month terms by 25 basis points.

Dorchester Pacific 2009 loss reflects wind-down, chairman says
Dorchester Pacific posted a net loss of $25.1 million, up from last year's $18.1 million loss, as the effects of additional property loan provisions, consumer loan provisions and the write-down of Energy Direct Metering assets kick in.

"Comparisons with last year reflect the wind-down of the finance receivable book and no new lending" following the decision to freeze investor repayments pending the approval of its deferred repayment plan, said chairman Barry Graham.

The company's looking for its operating result break even before fair value adjustment this financial year.

Fortress Notes facing more defaulters, NAV still zero
Macquarie New Zealand Fortress Notes still have a zero net asset value despite the obligation for borrowers to repay senior loans in the portfolio, and Macquarie Fortress Investments further defaults were expected in the coming months.

At April 30, the portfolio had nine defaulted obligators totalling US$31 million. Two had been sold at a loss of US$10.7 million, and a further position that hadn't defaulted was sold at a loss of US$3.1 million.

The company said no interest repayments would be made financing was fully repaid, and this wasn't expected until 2012.

NZ Post bond issue to repay debt and support growth
New Zealand Post Group Finance has released the prospectus for its $200 million bond issue announced in March, and will use the debt raised to repay debt and support continued growth and development of the wider NZ Post Group.

The government mail delivery service set the interest rate on its note issue at 7.5% after it accepted oversubscriptions in March. The notes pay annual interest through until Nov. 15, 2014, the reset and step-up date.

The bonds have been rated A by Standard & Poor's, and will mature in November 2039.


Paul is a staff writer for Good Returns based in Wellington.

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