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Building Society Holdings shares to launch today

Tuesday 1st February 2011

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Shares in the newly formed Building Society Holdings (BSHL) will commence trading on the NZX on today.

The listing of the financial services group marks the culmination of a year long project to bring together CBS Canterbury, Southern Cross Building Society and MARAC Finance to create a New Zealand financial services group with assets of approximately $2.2 billion and an investment grade credit rating.

BSHL managing director Jeff Greenslade said, "Though the merger took nearly a year to bring together, the support from businesses, community leaders and others for us to bring these three groups together has been extremely encouraging."

He said the speedy achievement of an investment grade credit rating from Standard & Poor's had been a key goal and that the rating agency, "noted that the merger has created a larger and more diversified financial institution, with a sound funding and liquidity position and adequate capital adequacy."

"There is still much work to do to achieve our goals but we are off to a very good start."

BSHL is to list on the NZX having a net tangible asset backing (NTA) of approximately $265 million. At the time of listing, BSHL will have 300m shares on issue, with an effective NTA backing of approximately 88 cents per share.

The listing has also been welcomed by NZX chief executive Mark Weldon.

"NZX is really pleased to welcome BSHL to the NZX market as the first listing of 2011. NZX congratulates the company and its shareholders on their vision, and on bringing together three institutions to offer one, larger, investment opportunity to New Zealand investors where it has previously been lacking from the market," he said.

"NZX wishes the company, its employees and its shareholders all the best for a great experience on the NZX markets."

BSHL is expected to form part of the NZX50 once Pyne Gould Corporation has completed its previously announced in-specie distribution of its shareholding in BSHL to PGC shareholders, currently scheduled for the first half of 2011.

BSHL is the holding company for Combined Building Society, which will continue to operate the three business brands. Combined building Society, which is the funding vehicle for the financial services group, was assigned an investment grade credit rating of BBB-, Outlook Stable, short term A3 by Standard & Poor's on January 5.



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