New Zealand Automotive Investments non-executive directors resign en masse

RICKY WILSON/Stuff

The NZX50 index remains a long way short of the 12,652 points this time last year, but significantly better than the 10,588 points on June 20.

It was a disappointing day for investors on the NZX sharemarket as early gains evaporated leaving the NZX50 index of leading companies down 0.9%

Just before noon, the NZX50 Index hit 11,187 points, but slipped to end the day at 11,162.73 points.

The NZX50 remains a long way short of the 12,652 this time last year, but significantly better than the 10,588 on June 20.

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Troubled car dealer

Used car dealer New Zealand Automotive Investments’ non-executive directors resigned en masse on Tuesdaysaying there had been a breakdown of trust between them and the company’s management.

The directors were Charles Bolt, Tim Cook and Tracy Rowsell, as well as executive director and founding shareholder Eugene Williams. They followed independent directors, Karl Smith and Michele Kernahan who resigned in April.

Eugene Williams, founder of 2 Cheap Cars, the biggest importer of used Japanese cars, resigned from the board of New Zealand Automotive Investments.

SUPPLIED

Eugene Williams, founder of 2 Cheap Cars, the biggest importer of used Japanese cars, resigned from the board of New Zealand Automotive Investments.

The company, which owns the 2 Cheap Cars brand, and also imports used Japanese cars, has had a tough year, with its shares falling from $1.30 a share when it listed in February last year, to close at 47c on Tuesday, down 18c for the day.

In an announcement to the NZX, the company said there had been a fundamental breakdown of trust and confidence, and irreconcilable differences had arisen between them, and the remaining director, and major shareholder David (Yusuke) Sena regarding the way in which a publicly- listed entity should be managed and governed.

The company had received notice from Sena of his intention to put a proposal to the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting on August 25 to remove all the current non-executive directors, and appoint three new directors.

ANZ capital raise

ANZ received shareholders letters inviting them to buy new shares in the company to fund the bank’s takeover in Australia of the banking business of insurer Suncorp.

ANZ shareholders are being offered the chance to buy more shares in the company in a massive capital raising.

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ANZ shareholders are being offered the chance to buy more shares in the company in a massive capital raising.

The bank intends to raise A$3.5 billion (NZ$3.9b) to fund the deal, with shareholders able to apply to buy one new share for every 15 shares they own for a price of A$18.90 per share.

Harmoney optimism

Investors in loan company Harmoney were told its loan book had reached $685 million.

The company’s share price has suffered in the past two years, having fallen from just over $3.50 to just 83 cents.

Chief executive David Stevens painted a bright future for the company.

“Harmoney continues to deliver on its high margin, consumer-direct growth strategy,” he said.

Not only was it growing quickly both in New Zealand and Australia, but its existing customers returned for further loans, meaning the company could continue to lend to them with minimal customer acquisition cost.

“Our platform is currently attracting over 12,000 new customer accounts per month, with over 8000 per month providing bank statement information,” he said.

“In response to rising interest rates this year, in April we passed through a weighted average interest rate increase of more than 100bps on new lending, with no reduction in demand,” he said.

Losses and arrears were at historic lows, and more than 40% of its borrowers were homeowners, Stevens said.

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