10 Jul 2014

F&P Finance to diversify funding

7:07 am on 10 July 2014

Fisher & Paykel Finance has decided to diversify its funding sources away from relying on bank finance and retail deposits sold to the public.

The finance company, the nation's fourth largest, plans to securitise $275 million of the amount borrowed on its Q Card, which means it will sell about $245 million to institutions who will then receive the interest payments.

The company, which is owned by China's Haier Group, plans to use the proceeds to reduce its bank debt.

The immediate impact will be to more than halve its total assets from a little above $434m at 31 December to about $171m.

However, its capital ratio - a key measure of how safe its retail deposits are - will rise from about 16 percent to more than 28 percent; the minimum capital ratio a finance company is allowed is 8 percent.

Chief executive Greg Shepherd said Q Card had been growing at just under 10 percent on a compound annual basis for the past five years.

"The quality of the receivables that fit inside a Q Card, coupled with that growth, have really given us a unique opportunity now to look to expand and diversify our funding options," he said.

"The appetite, both in New Zealand and Australia, is very good."

The net effect would be that Fisher & Paykel Finance would be a smaller company but capital ratio would be much stronger. However, its credit rating could be downgraded.

"We don't know what Standard & Poor's will do. All we're flagging is that off a smaller asset pool, they might see that as being a negative," Mr Shepherd said.