NZF trading halted again pending ‘material announcement'

Trading in NZF Group shares and bonds has been halted as the company, which is under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office, prepares to make a material announcement.

The company halted trading on Friday in the lead-up to the SFO announcing it is probing some related party transactions by the financial services firm, NZX Market Supervision said in a statement. On Friday, the white collar crime investigator said it has opened an investigation into a range of transactions between members of the group, its directors and officers from July 2006 to the present.

The investigation comes as NZF was in the final phase of selling a majority stake in its home loans unit and securitisation operations to Australian non-bank lender Resimac. The deal was touted as a means to recapitalise the ailing firm, and received shareholder approval last month.

NZF also has to contend with a claim it breached the terms of its Mike Pero Mortgages joint venture, with partner Liberty Financial lodging High Court proceedings last month. NZF said at the time it plans to vigorously defend all claims.

The company’s shares last traded on March 15 at 0.6 cents apiece, valuing NZF at $660,000. Its $18 million of listed bonds, which mature on March 15 2016 and pay a coupon of 6 percent, last traded on Friday at $5.989 for every $100 bundle.

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