Deposit news briefs: February 7

Geneva makes early payment; HSBC launches RMB savings account; Building Societies debuts and falls.

Monday, February 7th 2011, 5:00AM

Geneva Finance is to repay $2.5 million of capital owed its debenture holders nearly two months early.

The company told NZX it will pay its debenture holders as well as bringing forward its scheduled repayment of $2.5 million to BOS International from March 31 to February 4, a total of $5 million, "as a result of (the) positive cash position of the group."

Including this repayment, the company will have repaid $111.3 million of principal and interest since investors approved a moratorium in November 2007, Geneva says. The investors were then owed a net $132.4 million.

The amount repaid includes interest payments to investors, including the company's bankers, of $33 million at an average annual interest rate of 10.75% and principal repayments of $59.4 million to debenture holders.

Building Societies makes exchange
The newly formed Building Society Holdings (BSHL), formed from CBS Canterbury, Southern Cross Building Society and Marac Finance debuted on the NZX last week.

It has a net tangible asset backing of around $265 million and at the time of listing it had 300 million shares on issue, with an effective NTA backing of approximately $0.88 per share.

BSHL Managing Director Jeff Greenslade says the listing will allow existing and new shareholders to participate in the growth of the business into a fully fledged financial services group able to provide the full range of financial services people in ‘Heartland' New Zealand require.

Since listing its shares have fallen to 74c (see share price graph here

HSBC launches RMB savings account
HSBC has launched its Renminbi (RMB) Savings Account for HSBC Premier customers - the first of its kind offered by a bank in New Zealand.

The HSBC Premier Renminbi Savings Account offers customers the ability to hold RMB deposits in New Zealand, just like any other foreign currency, and transfer funds internationally to other RMB accounts or to accounts in any other foreign currency.

The accounts will also offer customers the ability to capitalise on shifting exchange rates by exchanging other currencies to and from RMB and will have no monthly service fees.

 "As medium-term RMB appreciation seems likely and the importance of trade with China continues to grow, RMB products are becoming more popular in New Zealand. ," HSBC chief economist Paul Bloxham says.

"Indeed, as the centre of gravity of economic activity moves from the West to the East, transactions in RMB are expected to become far more common, with HSBC forecasting that by 2020 they will be as common as those in USD or Euro."


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