Archive | Gainz

Half the record net migrant inflow is into Auckland

The net inflow of migrants continued to rise in June, reaching a record 72,305 for the June year – and 50% of that total was into Auckland.

Immigrants giving Auckland as their destination rose by 6142 to 59,076 for the 12 months, rising from 42.3% to 45% of all immigrants. The number not giving a final destination fell from 21,244 (17%) to 18,840 (14.3%).

The meteoric rise in net immigration over the last 5 years – from a net outflow of 3191 in the June 2012 year – has resulted from a combination of rising immigrant numbers and declining emigrant numbers. But in the last 12 months that picture has changed slightly.

For June, the number of immigrants was up by 950 to 9158, continuing a steady rise since 2010. On the departures side of the ledger, emigrants dropped to 4534 last June but rose to 5145 last month.

For the June year, arrivals rose from 82,305 in 2010 to 131,355 in the last 12 months, with big jumps in 2014-216, slipping back to a rise of 6300 in the last months. Departures declined from 87,593 in the June 2012 year to 55,965 in the June 2016 year, but bumped up to 59,050 in the last 12 months.

For Auckland, the net inflow in June was 2106 (1726 & 1571 in the previous 2 years). For the June year, the net inflow rose from 26,834 to 31,778 to 36,650 – 50.7% of the total net inflow.

The number of immigrants from Australia dropped slightly for both month & year – by 70 for the month to 1612, and by 262 for the year to 25,441.

Exits to Australia rose for both month & year – by 160 to 1781 for the month, and by 1111 to 24,881 for the year. The net gain shrank from 1933 to 560 for the year.

Other major immigrant sources for the year were China with a net inflow of 10,351 (9688 the previous year), India 7409 (12,118, down chiefly because student visa numbers declined), the Philippines 4646 (5010), the UK 6728 (4138) & South Africa 4867 (3054).

Attribution: Statistics NZ tables & release.

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Convention centre project delayed but “on budget”

Aside from the financial upheaval in the construction division of Fletcher Building Ltd, subsidiary company The Fletcher Construction Co Ltd told SkyCity Entertainment Group Ltd last Thursday that completion of its NZ international convention centre would be delayed.

When work on site, between Hobson & Nelson Sts, began in February 2016, the total project cost of the convention centre plus associated hotel, laneway & extra carparks was $700 million, with an opening date in 2019.

SkyCity said on Thursday an updated programme of works was still being reviewed, but it currently indicated practical completion for both the convention centre and the Hobson St hotel around the middle of 2019.

SkyCity said it remained comfortable with the contractual arrangements with Fletcher Construction and the project remained on-budget. It said the slight delay wouldn’t impact on any of the convention centre’s confirmed bookings.

Attribution: Company release.

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Fletcher Building takes axe again to construction earnings, Adamson ousted

Fletcher Building Ltd announced its second hefty cut in earnings guidance for the year yesterday, but cushioned it by issuing a statement that ignored the first target in the opening comparison – before its contracting ploys went disastrously wrong.

Chief executive & managing director Mark Adamson – very oddly – presented the company viewpoint on the first guidance cut in March as if the cause was something peculiar to the company’s construction division.

Yesterday, Mr Adamson was gone and company chair Sir Ralph Norris was the frontman, as he should have been previously.

The cause?

One can surmise, because the company hasn’t said: The failure to make the required earnings on major contracts could arise only from bidding low to win the contract, and being prepared to lock in costs when costs across the sector were rising.

That goes to company ethos, an historic view that Fletcher is the rightful owner of certain areas of business. On this occasion Mr Adamson was the fallguy, but the company ethos tells you that the board – and especially the chair – would have set the direction.

The guidance trail

The new guidance for operating earnings for the year that ended on 30 June is $525 million.

The previous guidance, on 20 March, was $610-650 million.

The original guidance when the half-year results were presented, on 22 February, was $720-760 million.

Sir Ralph said the company also expected likely impairment of up to $220 million relating to the Iplex Australia & Tradelink business units.

The company’s earnings review

According to the company statement yesterday, trading in the building products, international, distribution and residential & land development divisions, as well as 3 of the 4 business units in the construction division (infrastructure, Higgins & South Pacific), is “in line with the company’s expectations, previously provided at the time of the interim results on 22 February.

“However, as work on major projects in the Building + Interiors (B+I) business unit has progressed, it has become apparent that losses in B+I will exceed those previously estimated. The deterioration is due to:

  • a major project subject to previous writedowns, which has required an increase in project resourcing and therefore cost as it nears completion
  • a second major project where construction timelines and the likely completion date have been extended
  • reduced profit expectations on a number of smaller projects in the remainder of the B+I portfolio.

Sir Ralph said: “It is very disappointing to see further losses being reported in our B+I business, particularly when the vast majority of the remaining Fletcher Building business units have performed so well during the year. I know our people in B+I are working incredibly hard to deliver a number of projects for our clients and I would like to acknowledge their efforts.”

In addition, consistent with its standard practice at the end of each financial period, Fletcher Building said it had undertaken a review of the balance sheet carrying values of its business units: “This review has indicated that the value of 2 business units, Iplex Australia & Tradelink, are likely to be subject to an impairment charge of about $220 million when the company finalises its financial statements in August. An impairment of this nature would be reported below the ebit line and have no impact on cash earnings.

“An impairment charge of $220 million would represent about 3% of the group’s total assets as at 30 June. The amount of asset impairment is indicative at this stage and is subject to finalisation of the year-end audit.
“With regards to the impairment of Iplex Australia and Tradelink, while we do see progress in these business units, the board felt it was prudent to recognise that the near- to medium-term estimates of profitability in each business are not aligned with current carrying values.”

Norris & Adamson on Adamson

On Mr Adamson’s departure, Sir Ralph said: “The board believes it is the right time for Mark to leave the company, to allow a new chief executive to lead Fletcher Building through this period and into the next phase of its strategy. The board would like to thank Mark for his work and we wish him the best in his future endeavours.”

Mr Adamson said in the company release: “I am disappointed to finish my tenure on the back of a challenging result in the construction division. However I am proud of what has been achieved over the last 5 years – most notably the turnaround of Formica, double-digit earnings growth in distribution, our acquisition of Higgins and the significant progress in our residential development division.”

Francisco Irazusta takes over as interim chief executive next Monday, 24 July.

Fletcher-posed questions & answers

In a question & answer segment of yesterday’s release, Fletcher Building said: “What are the 2 major projects and when will they be completed? For reasons of client confidentiality, we will not name the projects. One of the projects is close to completion, and the other is targeting completion in the 2019 financial year.

“Are the 2 major projects, and associated issues, the same as those referenced in the 20 March update? Yes. The most significant issues remain complexity in design, subcontractor management & building programme delivery, which has led to an extension of project timelines and increase in project resource requirements & costs, relative to original budgets.

“How can you be sure this new provision will capture all potential future losses? One of the major projects is close to completion, which provides greater certainty over the ultimate cost. A review of remaining projects has been completed, and the construction timelines and the likely completion date extended on a second major project.

“Why are you booking such a large provision now? Under accounting rules, profit on a construction contract is recognised progressively through the life of the project, whereas when it is probable that a contract will incur a loss, the expected loss must be recognised immediately as an expense.

“What has been done to address the issues in B+I since the last update? In addition to the initiatives outlined in our March update, the construction division is benefiting from the leadership & robust management expertise of chief executive Michele Kernahan and B+I has a newly appointed general manager, David Kennedy, who brings with him 30 years’ experience in the construction industry across multiple markets.

“Is there a future for B+I in the Fletcher Building portfolio? We continue to believe that there is a future for the B+I business in the Fletcher Building portfolio, but it is likely to be a more focused business, targeting key clients & sectors.

“What will Mark Adamson receive upon departure? Mark will receive his contractual entitlements. All of his share options will lapse and he will forfeit all shares in the company’s long-term incentive scheme. No short-term incentive will be paid in respect of the 2017 financial year.

“Does this downgrade to earnings guidance pose a risk to your banking or debt covenants? Despite the further reduction in forecast cashflows from these additional B+I losses in the 2017 financial year, the company remains well within its banking covenants, and expects to continue to do so. Based on the updated guidance range, we expect the ratio of net debt:net debt + equity to be around 36% at the end of the 2017 financial year, and the ratio of net debt:ebitda to be about 2.7 times.”

Mark Adamson

Mark Adamson.

Mr Adamson found himself auditing multi-nationals as a young accountant at Deloittes in London 30 years ago. After 5 years at Deloittes, including time managing a number of companies in receivership post-1987, he moved to pharmaceuticals company Glaxo Wellcome plc for 6 years, staying in finance roles, then had his first taste of laminates at Perstorp Ltd, the UK holding company of a Swedish multinational.

In 2000 he moved to Formica Corp as chief financial officer, moving up to managing director then president for the UK & Europe. When Fletcher Building took over Formica in 2008, he was promoted to chief executive with responsibility for all Formica’s operations in North America, Europe & Asia.

In October 2011 he was made chief executive of Fletcher Building’s laminates & panels division, responsible for the Laminex Group business in Australia & New Zealand and for Formica worldwide, and in October 2012 he took over as chief executive of the whole group.

In 2015, I wrote that Mr Adamson’s business record was that of a change merchant, which meant both that he could be expected to move on soon and that getting the building products company shipshape had been a rapid revolution. His views then (see the story link below) give an insight into his thinking on how to turn the Fletcher worldview around.

One thing he wasn’t was a construction man, though among his aims at Fletcher Building was a sharp lift in the company’s own residential construction business, which he achieved.

Francisco Irazusta.

The new chief

His replacement as interim chief executive, Francisco Irazusta, joined Fletcher Building in March 2015. According to the company’s website: “He has enjoyed an impressive career in global building products in both North America & Europe. Prior to joining Fletcher Building, Francisco steered CRH plc’s European building products business through tough times, driving performance improvement throughout his tenure.”

He holds an MSc in industrial engineering from the State University of New York.

Earlier stories:
20 March 2017: Fletcher Building cuts earnings guidance by $110 million
19 March 2017: Fletcher Building to explain construction loss Monday morning
17 August 2016: Fletcher message is steady rather than gains from innovative performance
21 August 2015: Fletcher chief looks at a better-based future
21 February 2013: Adamson wants Fletcher Unite to reshape group
21 November 2012: Adamson looks at local property rationalisation as first step to lift Fletcher Building
18 June 2012: Ling exits Fletcher Building, laminates chief Adamson moves up – and the big words are “patience” & “innovation”

Attribution: Company release.

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Inflation hits zero for quarter, 1.7% for year

The consumers price index (CPI), which hadn’t shifted more than half a percent in any quarter since September 2013, rose by 1% in the March quarter this year, and then stopped on zero in the latest quarter to June.

Since that 0.9% rise in September 2013, which bumped the annual movement up to 1.4%, the index has been as good as zero while property inflation has raged. But that’s eased off now as well, and the annual rate of CPI inflation has fallen back from 2.2% to March, down to 1.7% to June.

Statistics NZ the latest shift, seasonally adjusted, was a 01% decline.

Statistics NZ senior manager Jason Attewell said: “Household basics like rent, food & electricity all hit consumers’ pockets harder this quarter. Offsetting these price rises were falls in domestic airfares & petrol prices – which fell on average by 4c/litre.”

Housing-related prices continued to increase, up 0.8% from March to the June quarter, and to 3.1%/year. Prices for newly built houses excluding land rose 1.8% this quarter. Regionally, Auckland had the largest increase in the June quarter (up 3.0%), followed by Canterbury (up 0.8%) & Wellington (up 0.5%). Seasonally higher prices for electricity (up 1.5%) were the second highest contributor for the housing group. Housing rentals rose slightly (up 0.4%), held down by a 1.6% fall for Canterbury.

Attribution: Statistics NZ tables & release.

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Goodman settles Henderson purchase

The Goodman Property Trust has settled its $18.9 million acquisition of the Concourse Industry Park in Henderson.

The trust announced its purchase of the former Alloy Yachts premises & an adjoining industrial property on the corner of Selwood Rd & The Concourse, Henderson, last September.

The 2 former boatbuilding premises have about 22,120m² of high volume warehouse space & 1250m² of associated office.

Management company Goodman (NZ) Ltd’s chief executive, John Dakin, said last year the trust intended to amalgamate the 2 sites into a single 4ha estate: “Close to the cbd and with direct access to State Highway 16 from the Lincoln Rd interchange, this property will become one of Auckland’s best located industrial estates when the western ring route completes in 2017 [and it’s just opened].”

Mr Dakin said the vacant warehouse buildings would be refurbished & reconfigured. Fully leased, they were expected to generate a passing yield of about 7%. The estate also offered 2ha of further development opportunity.

Image above: Goodman’s map showing its Concourse site.

Earlier story:
15 September 2016: Goodman sells Christchurch package on top of Fanshawe St lease confirmation & Henderson project

Attribution: Company release.

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The migration debate: Which way forward?

Statistics NZ will publish the monthly migration figures this Friday and, on recent trends, the net inflow is likely to be just over 72,000/year. The Labour Party believes it can cut that by 20-30,000/year by enforcing rules more tightly.

Gareth Kiernan.

On Friday, economist Gareth Kiernan warned that cutting the number sharply could cause a slump. Mr Kiernan’s premise seemed to be that more migrants were needed to service the needs of more migrants, and that cutting the number of migrants would take away the workforce needed to service those extra migrants.

His second point was not about migrants but about the behaviour of the Reserve Bank. His slump would arise not so much from cutting immigration but from the central bank ignoring changes in the economy and raising interest rates anyway, thus harming the economy.

All political parties agree that immigrants should add to New Zealand, not detract, and the Government’s critics take that a step further, saying the direction “export education” has taken, toward low-level learning & backdoor entry to permanent residency status, should therefore be curtailed.

Who builds our houses?

The first irony in New Zealand’s immigration debate is that many of the companies building much-needed houses in Auckland are owned by immigrants, often with investor support in Hong Kong or China.

You could say that, without so many immigrants from Asia, the input of these Chinese builders wouldn’t be needed. However, 2 of New Zealand’s biggest housing companies through decades, Universal & Neil, have been Asia-owned for years. A third, GJ Gardner, is an Australian franchise. Would New Zealand have built as many houses as it has in recent years without that foreign input?

How to get voters to switch – or not

The second irony is that, since 1972, no party (or party in coalition) has held power beyond 3 consecutive terms, but Labour & the Greens appear determined to hand National a fourth term because they haven’t enunciated policies which will pull voters to them from outside their bases.

As I was writing this, a new campaign call for support arrived in my inbox from the Greens. In the middle of its worthy aspirations was this sentence: “To do this, we need to you.”

We all make mistakes, but I read that puzzling sentence shortly after trying to wade through the party’s verbiage on migration, which read more like a call to support refugees and close the door to people the party doesn’t like, notably rich people.

Under policy point 5, Selecting voluntary migrants, I took greatest delight in point 4, which followed a statement that “people shouldn’t be able just to buy their way into Aotearoa”:

  1. Tighten up on scams in which overseas millionaires buy up NZ property by making business-development promises that they don’t keep. We will do this by
  2. Using a 3-year provisional visa for investor migrants
  3. Undertaking annual audits of investor migrants’ businesses via extended case management, paid for by the business being audited
  4. Ensuring that the audits include checks for viability, sustainability & desirability and are undertaken by immigration officials, an accountant & a marketing consultant. These audits, prepared independently, together with a police report & any complaints, will form the basis of the decision.

I’ve always found the chip-on-shoulder view of life is as distorted as the silver spoon version, and bludgeoning aspiring Kiwis with this vengeful kind of red tape doesn’t seem a good way to make friends.

Labour acknowledges migrant heritage, but…

The Labour Party acknowledges New Zealand’s immigrant heritage in its policy, but says National, in its 9 years heading the Government, “has failed to make the necessary investments in housing, infrastructure & public services that are needed to cope with rapid population growth. This has contributed to the housing crisis, put pressure on hospitals & schools, and added to the congestion on roads.”

Labour, in government, had an immigrant spike in 2003-04 – unannounced, unmanaged and, because local councils had no warning of the influx, they weren’t prepared to cope with it. The economic boost helped the party get re-elected in 2005. National’s spike of the last 3 years has gone for longer, but both have left large infrastructure deficits and speculation-promoting price escalation as direct consequences.

Labour reckons it can cut net immigration by 20-30,000/year.

That’s going to happen anyway as soon as Australia gets back on to what had been assumed to be a never-ending economic growth path, so the immigration cut in New Zealand could go deeper, reducing the net inflow to 10-20,000/year.

Australians thought wrecking the economy was beyond the ability of any politician, but finally they found a couple who could do it. However, the mining sector is looking more positive by the day and “the lucky country” will soon be just that again, and thereby thoroughly inviting to thousands of New Zealand tradesmen.

When those tradesmen start to head west again, New Zealand will once more be left pondering how to fill the gaps. Kneejerk responses aren’t an effective alternative to sound long-term policies, but kneejerk is where the migration debate has headed.

GST sharing rebuff was an opportunity missed

The National government’s unwillingness to share gst windfalls from the rise in tourist numbers made it plain that the governing party’s floundering was exasperating business people around the country; an opposing party that offered a raft of constructive new economic policies incorporating changes to tax distribution could have lifted its vote immensely.

Slump talk

Mr Kiernan, Infometrics’ chief forecaster, thrust his tuppence-worth into this policy abyss on Friday, when the economic forecasting company’s latest predictions indicated gdp growth would slip below 2%/year this year – before any further help downward from politicians slashing migration.

The threatened migration clampdown would lead to an economic slump, he wrote, adding: “New Zealand’s economic growth is being constrained by shortages of labour in key areas, and this problem will become more widespread if there is a significant & rapid tightening in migration policy following this year’s election”.

Slower near-term growth in construction activity & household spending would cut growth, he said.

“Although growth is forecast to rebound during 2018, that pick-up is contingent on the continued supply of labour provided by foreign migrants coming to New Zealand for work, on which businesses have become increasingly dependent.

“High levels of immigration have undoubtedly contributed to stresses around infrastructure & the housing market, particularly in Auckland. But employment growth of more than 1%/quarter over the last 18 months demonstrates the need for workers across the economy.

“Without these inflows of foreign workers & returning New Zealanders, businesses would have struggled to meet growing demand, and cost pressures would be even more intense in areas such as the construction & tourism sectors.”

Mr Kiernan’s warning invites the question: If the number of immigrants falls, so too will demand, and the economy should become more manageable, supposedly enabling a catch-up in the supply of infrastructure & houses. A slowdown, yes, but a damaging slump?

Mr Kiernan said cutting immigration this year would have negative repercussions for economic growth during 2018 & 2019, constraining activity through higher labour costs: “The inflationary risks associated with these cost pressures would also be likely to compel the Reserve Bank to raise interest rates sooner than would otherwise be the case.

“Given the slowdown already occurring in sales activity & house price growth, this potential cocktail of rising interest rates mixed with a government clampdown on migration would be lethal.

“Even with modest increases in interest rates from mid-2018, medium-term growth in household spending will be constrained by high debt levels, which have climbed from 146% to a record high of 167% since 2012.

“Faster lifts in mortgage rates & debt-servicing costs would threaten a jump in forced house sales, hastening a correction in the housing market and hammering consumer confidence.”

Those supposed consequences look like consequences of not adjusting policy to match changed conditions.

Mr Kiernan said the surge in migration over the last 4 years could have been more carefully managed, thereby preventing the housing market imbalances from becoming so critical. But, although he expected net immigration to gradually ease over the next 5 years, “a cautious approach is needed to avoid replacing one lot of problems in the economy with a completely new set. Ultimately, high migration levels are a positive reflection on New Zealand’s economic performance. We’ve been able to attract & retain workers in this country because our growth over recent years has outpaced that in other developed economies.”

Not quite true. A high proportion of immigrants have been low-level students-come-menial workers who have held bottom-rung wages down. At the same time they have increased demand for services, and for housing.

While I’ve said Labour hasn’t enunciated policies that would pull voters from other parties, elaborating on how a reduction in immigration would be done – and what it would achieve for other groups – would rebalance the political scales.

Links to party immigration policies:
Act
Greens
Labour
NZ First
TOP (The Opportunities Party)
Infometrics

Attribution: Infometrics release, party policies.

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Institutions much keener on Kiwi Property offer than existing retail investors

Kiwi Property Group Ltd completed the retail bookbuild component of its $161 million fully underwritten 1-for-11 pro rata entitlement offer on Wednesday.

Chief executive Chris Gudgeon said 74% of all entitlements were taken up by existing shareholders. But there was a clear division of enthusiasm between institutional & retail shareholders – 94.5% of the institutional component was taken up by existing shareholders, but in the retail component it was only 50.4%.

The clearing price under the retail bookbuild was $1.38/share, a 2c premium over the application price. Eligible retail shareholders who elected not to take up their entitlements and ineligible retail shareholders will therefore receive 2c for every new share they don’t take up.

Mr Gudgeon said in June the NZX-listed company intended to use the net proceeds initially to pay down bank debt and reduce gearing, before being used to fund potential investment & development opportunities, including the potential expansion & improvement projects at Sylvia Park, Northlands, The Base, and in the longer term at Drury.

Earlier story:
21 June 2017: Kiwi Property seeks $161 million new equity

Attribution: Company release.

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FMA updates non-GAAP guidance

The Financial Markets Authority released updated guidance yesterday on disclosing non-GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles) financial information.

In the listed property sector, the main issues – for decades – have been the separation of revaluations from operating earnings and whether they have been highlighted consistently.

A third issue is how visible earnings/security are in listed entities’ results – important in assessing performance where capital has been raised.

The guidance note replaces one issued in 2012 and follows a review covering the last 5 years.

Garth Standish.

The authority’s capital markets director, Garth Stanish, said in yesterday’s release: “Capital markets only work properly if investors receive accurate and timely information. That information must also be understandable and engaging to investors. It should form an accurate, clear and compelling story about how a company is performing.

“Company financial statements are a vital part of the information investors receive. However, in the financial statements of many companies you’ll find phrases like ‘underlying earnings, ‘normalised profit’ or ‘cash earnings’. Information disclosed this way can sometimes confuse more than clarify. The information can be misleading if it is presented inconsistently, is not adequately defined, or used to hide bad news.”

Links: Consultation process
Guidance note: Disclosing non-GAAP financial information

Attribution: Authority release.

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Retail Property Group valuation up 44% as NZX listing looms

NZ Retail Property Group Ltd’s pre-transaction restructuring to enable a backdoor NZX listing through Bethunes Investments Ltd has been completed, and Bethunes chair Chris Swasbrook said on Monday legally binding documentation to formalise the transaction should be entered within a week.

When Bethunes (previously the philatelic business Mowbray Collectables Ltd) said in March it had signed a non-binding conditional term sheet with NZRPG and its controlling shareholder, Westgate Power Centre Ltd (headed by Mark Gunton, pictured above), the shares in NZRPG were estimated at about $400 million.

In a roadshow presentation about its future look issued on Monday, Bethunes said: “Based on current valuations, NZRPG is expected to have about $575 million of assets in its property portfolio, including rights to acquire additional assets. About 40% of its total property assets – including the assets to be acquired – are development in nature.”

The portfolio comprises holdings in 3 Auckland town centres – Westgate, Milford & Birkenhead – and the Fraser Cove shopping centre in Tauranga.

NZRPG is unique in New Zealand in selling apartments above 2 of its mall developments – Milford (under way after a long consent battle) & Birkenhead (plans outlined).

Its main project has been at Westgate, at the top of the North-western Motorway (State Highway 16) in Auckland, where it accumulated 57ha for a masterplanned town centre servicing the north-west and still holds 28ha that’s ready to build on, on top of the developments already constructed.

In the words of the presentation, “Its existing [Westgate] holdings have a strong & stable cashflow and are well positioned to build on organically as demand materialises.”

The company said it had a defined path to portfolio growth: “NZRPG has been at the forefront of planning for the urban intensification required to provide a credible outcome for Auckland’s growth aspirations (and supported by the Auckland unitary plan).

“It is focused on the strategic development of its existing retail centres into planned town environments & mixed use assets. This is expected to include the provision of residential overlays to all its town centre properties, which will enhance the retail performance and allow for capital to be recycled into the core business.”

NZRPG board named

When NZRPG takes over the Bethunes listing, the board will comprise Paul Duffy as independent chair and directors Mark Gunton, Sean Joyce & Bruce Cotterill. Mr Gunton, founder of the business 30 years ago, is an executive director and the others are independent.

Mr Duffy is a former chief executive & executive director of Stride Property Ltd and now chairs Augusta Capital Ltd. He’s also a director of NPT Ltd, the NZX-listed property company which Augusta secured a big enough toehold in to defeat Kiwi Property Group Ltd in April in a contest for NPT’s management contract.

Mr Cotterill was elected as independent chair of NPT in April after winning a board seat on Augusta’s nomination.

Mr Joyce is a corporate & commercial lawyer in Auckland, has been a non-executive director of a number of companies listed on the NZAX & NZSX, a non-executive director of a consumer finance company & a funds management firm.

One NZX-listed shell company he’s chaired, NZF Group Ltd, was renamed Blackwell Global Holdings Ltd on Monday after a reverse listing by Taiwanese wholesale investor Chai Kaw Sing (Michael Chai).

Links:
NZ Retail Property Group
NZX 10 July 2017: NZ Retail Property Group presentation

Earlier stories:
10 March 2017: Gunton looks to backdoor-list Retail Property Group through Bethunes
25 May 2016: Milford shopping centre expansion approved

Attribution: Bethunes release, NZRPG & Joyce websites.

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Augusta House sale settlement date confirmed

Augusta Capital Ltd confirmed on Monday that it had completed the subdivision of its Finance Centre property in Auckland and new titles had been issued for its 4 parts – Augusta House, the podium retail, the Finance Centre podium and the Finance Centre carpark).

The company therefore confirmed 24 July as settlement date for the $30 million sale of Augusta House to Heng Yue Ltd (David (Duoyu) Bei). The settlement dates for the remaining 3 properties haven’t changed and are: Podium retail 1 April 2018, Finance Centre podium & Finance Centre carpark 1 April 2019.

The sale excludes the original Finance Centre office tower at 191 Queen St, now owned by Sir Bob Jones’s Robt Jones Holdings Ltd.

Augusta signed its $96 million sale package a year ago and collected a $3 million deposit on Augusta House from Heng Yue, which also paid the additional 10% deposits due last month.

Augusta managing director Mark Francis said: “While the delay in finalising the subdivision of the Finance Centre has been frustrating, Augusta has continued to receive all rent during this period and the settlement dates of the remaining 3 titles have not been affected.

“The proceeds will be applied towards debt repayment, with $10 million towards core debt and $17 million toward the facility drawn down for the underwrite of the 33 Broadway syndicate. As a result of this debt repayment, balance sheet capacity for future initiatives is increased.”

Earlier stories:
5 July 2017: Augusta closes Mercury HQ syndication 34% short, underwrites balance
25 July 2016: Finance Centre sale confirms Augusta’s full focus on funds management

Attribution: Company release.

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