MIDDAY UPDATE: No Podmore stocking stuffer for St Laurence

By Paul McBeth

Dec. 24 (BusinessDesk) - Some 9,400 investors in failed finance company St Laurence won't get any joy from former boss Kevin Podmore's $20 million personal guarantee, according to the lender's receivers.

Deloitte's David Vance and Barry Jordan haven't factored in any recovery from Podmore's bankruptcy in their estimate for investors, and are expecting to make one more payment of 2 cents in the dollar next March.

That distribution will take the total repayments to about 16 cents in the dollar since the receivership in 2008, on top of the 10 cents investors managed to get from St Laurence’s abandoned moratorium.

That’s the lower end of the 15 cents to 22 cents range they had originally expected, and means there won’t be any distribution for some $43 million of accrued interest or any amounts available for unsecured creditors including the capital note holders.


Brokers sleepy in Christmas Eve trading

New Zealand shares slipped in sleepy morning trading as brokers prepare for an early finish today.

Just $19.6 million of stock changed hands on the benchmark NZX 50 index with trading set to close at 1.30pm. The benchmark index fell 0.2 percent to 4045.96, led by fast food operator Restaurant Brands, which declined 1.8 percent to $2.71.

New Zealand's top 50 index has outperformed most other stock markets in developed nations this year, having gained almost 24 percent this year.

Bluestone cuts deal over break fees

Australian lender Bluestone Mortgages has cut a $200,000 deal with the Commerce Commission to refund 295 customers it charged early repayment fees to in 2006.

The regulator settled with Bluestone, Trustees Executors and TEA Custodians (Bluestone) over deferred establishment fees, which were charged when a client repaid a loan within the first four years, it said in a statement. The deal comes after the regulator lost a bid in the High Court to expand the timeframe of its initial claim against Bluestone, limiting the number of borrowers it could represent.

The commission is finalising the method for calculating payments, and will contact borrowers next year. Borrowers who may be in line for a refund are those people who entered into a consumer credit contract with Bluestone between March 27, 2006 and Oct. 13, 2006, and were charged a fee after repaying their loan within the first four years.

(BusinessDesk)

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