New Zealand

CBL Insurance has finally entered liquidation amid accusations of massive solvency breaches, Insurance Times reported. Nathan Gedye, lawyer for the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, said CBL Insurance’s balance sheet was insolvent by $86.6m in 2013, $102m in 2014, $104m in 2015 and $98.6m in 2016, according to The New Zealand Herald. The company’s solvency position as at December 2017 was 25 per cent compared to the ratio required by direction of the Reserve Bank of 170 per cent and the required 100 per cent under licence, a shortfall of $136.5m.

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Former prime minister Dame Jenny Shipley gave evidence for a second day at Auckland High Court rejecting claims that Mainzeal, a construction company she chaired, was insolvent as early as 2008, Stuff.co.nz reported. Mainzeal was put into receivership in early February 2013, but liquidators Andrew Bethell and Brian Mayo-Smith of BDO allege the company traded while insolvent, and are suing some of its former directors, including Shipley, for up to $75 million in damages to repay Mainzeal's creditors. Shipley betrayed no nerves while giving evidence of her involvement with Mainzeal between 20

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Insolvency practitioners could face fines of up to $75,000 if they don't report serious issues in failed businesses, if proposed legislative amendments go ahead, Radio New Zealand reported. The penalties were one idea floated in a Supplementary Order Paper on the proposed amendments to the Insolvency Practitioners Bill. The legislation aimed to get rid of errant behaviour by so-called friendly liquidators, administrators and receivers who did not give all creditors a fair go. Submissions on the bill close on Friday.
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JB Hi-Fi expects to see another year of declining revenues on this side of the Tasman as the ASX-listed discount consumer electronics retailer attempts to drive profitability in its New Zealand unit, The New Zealand Herald reported. The local division of the Melbourne-based company widened its loss before interest and tax to $2.9 million in the 12 months ended June 30 from an ebit-loss $2.7 million a year earlier. Not only did margins shrink, but revenue dipped 1.1 per cent to $231.5 million with the closure of one store and exit from whiteware goods.
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The liquidators of Bella Vista Homes have just $28 with which to pay more than $4 million to creditors – unless they can recover money from two former directors and a series of related company transactions, The New Zealand Herald reported. Insolvency practitioners Rhys Cain and Rees Logan released their first report on Wednesday and outlined their plans to recover the millions owed. They have issued a letter of demand to former Bella Vista director and shareholder Danny Cancian, seeking to recover funds from his overdrawn shareholder current account.
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New Zealand’s High Court placed insurance firm CBL Insurance Ltd, the main subsidiary of CBL Corporation Ltd, in interim liquidation on Friday after a request from the country’s central bank, Reuters reported. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand regulates the country’s insurance sector and CBL disclosed earlier this month that the bank was reviewing the adequacy of the company’s reserves in its French construction insurance business.
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New Zealand has blocked HNA Group’s $460 million purchase of a vehicle finance firm owned by Australia and New Zealand Banking Group in the latest in a series of setbacks around the world for the acquisitive Chinese conglomerate, Reuters reported. The proposed sale of UDC, New Zealand’s largest non-bank lender, was agreed with ANZ nearly a year ago and the bank had counted on the proceeds to boost its capital.
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Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. full-year earnings rose 18 percent on growth in its domestic banking businesses and lower bad debts, even as margins narrowed, Bloomberg News reported. Unaudited cash profit, which excludes one-time items, rose to A$6.94 billion ($5.3 billion) in the 12 months ended Sept. 30, from A$5.9 billion a year earlier, the Melbourne-based bank said in a statement Thursday. That compares with the A$6.97 billion median estimate of 13 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
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The New Zealand arm of British fashion retailer Topshop said on Thursday that it had been placed in receivership, just two years after the brand arrived in the country, the International New York Times reported on a Reuters story. Top Retail Limited, which owns the licence to operate Topshop in New Zealand, said in an emailed statement that its two stores would stay open until a final decision was made on their ownership. Like its Australian counterpart, the chain has struggled amid increased competition and posted losses, its receiver firm McGrathNicol said in a statement.
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Upmarket grocery chain Nosh has been placed in receivership, Companies Office records show. Damien Grant was appointed as a receiver on Friday. Before the receivership, staff were waiting to be paid wages and numerous creditors had ceased supplying the stores, The New Zealand Herald reported. Grant said it would be "very difficult" to get the stores back into trading. He was unable to provide detail on whether staff, creditors and landlords will be paid, saying he had yet to conduct a stocktake of the business.
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