Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Heartland targeting on agri, car lending gains S&P upgrade

Heartland targeting on agri, car lending wins rating upgrade by S&P

By Paul McBeth

May. 22 (BusinessDesk) - Heartland Bank, which trades on the NZX as Heartland New Zealand, had its credit rating upgraded a notch by Standard & Poor's after the rating agency was impressed by the bank's decision to focus lending in certain markets.

S&P raised the Christchurch-based lender's long-term issuer credit rating to BBB from BBB-, while retaining a negative outlook based on New Zealand's exposure to economic imbalances, it said in a statement yesterday. Heartland's stronger business position and transition towards niche markets led to the upgrade, credit analyst Nico DeLange said.

"In our view, the improvement in Heartland's business position is evidenced by the deepening of the bank's position in specialist target market segments such as vehicle asset finance, invoice financing, livestock financing, and reverse mortgage loans, and the progress made by Heartland to exit its non-core property portfolio as well as the gradual decline in Heartland's residential mortgages lending portfolio (also a non-core lending area for the bank), where levels of contestability is significantly higher," DeLange said.

Heartland, formed from the merger of the Canterbury and Southern Cross building societies and Marac Finance, bought a reverse mortgage business from Seniors Money International for $87 million earlier this year, and at its February first-half report said it was looking for new acquisitions to accelerate growth.

The bank was one of eight lenders put on a negative outlook by S&P last year after the rating agency became nervous about New Zealand's widening current account deficit and heating property market.

Heartland's shares rose 1.2 percent yesterday, and have gained 2.4 percent this year. The stock is rated an average 'buy' according to three analyst recommendations compiled by Reuters, with a median target price of 96 cents.

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Scoop Business: Alex Swney Pleads Guilty To $2.5M Fraud Charge

Alex Swney, former chief executive of the Auckland city centre business association Heart of the City, has pleaded guilty to dishonestly using documents to obtain $2.5 million. More>>

ALSO:

Petrol Burns Prices: Second Consecutive Quarterly Fall For CPI

The consumers price index (CPI) fell 0.3 percent in the March 2015 quarter, following a 0.2 percent fall in the December 2014 quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today. The last time the CPI showed two consecutive quarterly falls was in the December 1998 and March 1999 quarters. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Broadcasters Launch Battle Against Global Mode ISPs

New Zealand broadcasters have confirmed they’ve launched legal proceedings against internet service providers who give customers’ access to “global mode”, which allows customers access to offshore online content, claiming it breaches the local content providers’ copyright. More>>

ALSO:

Sanford: Closure Of Christchurch Mussel Processing Plant Confirmed

The decision comes after a period of consultation with the 232 staff employed at the Riccarton site, who were told on 9 April that Sanford was considering the future of mussel processing in Christchurch. Recent weather patterns had impacted on natural spat (offspring) supply... More>>

ALSO:

Price Of Cheese: Dairy Product Prices Fall To The Lowest This Year

Dairy product prices fell in the latest GlobalDairyTrade auction, hitting the lowest level in the 2015 auctions so far, as prices for milk powder and butter slid amid concern about the outlook for commodities. More>>

ALSO:

Houston, We Have An Air Route: Air New Zealand To Fly Direct To The Heart Of Texas

Air New Zealand will fly its completely refitted Boeing 777-200 aircraft between Auckland and Houston up to five times a week opening up the state of Texas as well as popular nearby tourist states such as Louisiana and Florida. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Reserve Bank’s Spencer Calls On Govt To Rethink Housing Tax

The Reserve Bank has urged the government to take another look at a capital gains tax on investment in housing, allow increased high-density development and cut red tape for planning consents to address an over-heated Auckland property market. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news