23 Aug 2010

South Canterbury Finance credit rating cut to CC

5:22 pm on 23 August 2010

The credit rating for South Canterbury Finance has been cut again, but the company is confident it will get the capital injection it needs by the end of the month.

Standard and Poor's lowered the South Island lender's long term rating from B- to CC on Friday and warned further downgrades cannot be ruled out.

Its short term rating remains at C.

Owner Alan Hubbard was placed under statutory management on 20 June and the company has been continuing talks with parties interested in injecting capital into the business

SCF chief executive Sandy Maier admits the downgrade was a possibility.

But he says the goal is to have one successful bidder by the end of this month.

The CC rating is the same as Allied Nationwide Finance had before it was placed into receivership on Friday.

Mr Maier says while the demise of the company is unfortunate, consolidation in the sector has been expected.

He says South Canterbury's newly-amended prospectus should be filed with the company's office on Monday.

South Canterbury Finance is covered by the Government's extended retail deposit guarantee through to the end of next year.