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Stewart Information Services to Increase Annual Cash Dividend to $1.00

HOUSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–

Stewart Information Services Corp. (STC) (“Stewart”), a leading provider of real estate services, including global residential and commercial title insurance, escrow and settlement services, lender services, underwriting, specialty insurance and other solutions that facilitate successful real estate transactions, today announced that its Board of Directors has approved an increase in the Company’s cash dividend payable to common shareholders from $0.10 per share annually to $1.00 per share to be paid quarterly at a rate of $0.25 per share beginning in the second quarter of this year. The Company’s existing share repurchase authorization will remain in effect and be used opportunistically based on various factors such as the Company’s stock price, operational performance and other relevant criteria.

“Today’s dividend increase highlights the solid progress we have made toward transforming Stewart and reflects our confidence in the Company’s ability to deliver solid cash flow in 2015 and beyond,” said Matthew W. Morris, Chief Executive Officer. “We continue to engage our shareholders regarding our capital return strategy. Given the continued progress in our business, we are pleased to be in a position to advance a competitive and sustainable dividend policy alongside our share repurchase program. Going forward, we will remain committed to returning meaningful amounts of capital to shareholders on a regular basis while also maintaining our ratings and a capital base that supports the growth in our business.”

The continuation of the quarterly cash dividend is subject to certain factors, including, among others, the ability to obtain excess capital from Stewart’s regulated insurance subsidiary, the performance of the Company’s business, the Company’s ratings and the capital surplus position of the Company.

About Stewart

Stewart Information Services Corp. (NYSE:STC) is a customer-focused, global title insurance and real estate services company offering products and services through our direct operations, network of approved agencies and other companies within the Stewart family. Stewart provides these services to homebuyers and sellers; residential and commercial real estate professionals; mortgage lenders and servicers; title agencies and real estate attorneys; home builders; and United States and county governments. Stewart also provides loan origination and servicing support; loan review services; loss mitigation; REO asset management; collateral valuations; due diligence for capital markets; home and personal insurance services; tax-deferred exchanges; and technology to streamline the real estate process. Stewart offers personalized service, industry expertise and customized solutions for virtually any type of real estate transaction, and is the preferred real estate services provider. More information can be found at http://www.stewart.com/news, subscribe to the Stewart blog at http://blog.stewart.com or follow Stewart on Twitter @stewarttitleco.

Forward-looking statements

Certain statements in this news release are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements relate to future, not past, events and often address our expected future business and financial performance. These statements often contain words such as “expect,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “plan,” “believe,” “seek,” “will,” “foresee” or other similar words. Forward-looking statements by their nature are subject to various risks and uncertainties that could cause our actual results to be materially different than those expressed in the forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, among other things, the tenuous economic conditions; adverse changes in the level of real estate activity; changes in mortgage interest rates, existing and new home sales, and availability of mortgage financing; our ability to respond to and implement technology changes, including the completion of the implementation of our enterprise systems; the impact of unanticipated title losses or the need to strengthen our policy loss reserves; any effect of title losses on our cash flows and financial condition; the impact of vetting our agency operations for quality and profitability; changes to the participants in the secondary mortgage market and the rate of refinancing that affects the demand for title insurance products; regulatory non-compliance, fraud or defalcations by our title insurance agencies or employees; our ability to timely and cost-effectively respond to significant industry changes and introduce new products and services; the outcome of pending litigation; the impact of changes in governmental and insurance regulations, including any future reductions in the pricing of title insurance products and services; our dependence on our operating subsidiaries as a source of cash flow; the continued realization of expense savings from our cost management program; our ability to successfully integrate acquired businesses; our ability to access the equity and debt financing markets when and if needed; our ability to grow our international operations; and our ability to respond to the actions of our competitors. These risks and uncertainties, as well as others, are discussed in more detail in our documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Form 10-K, our quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, and our Current Reports on Form 8-K. We expressly disclaim any obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this news release to reflect events or circumstances that may arise after the date hereof, except as may be required by applicable law.

Trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

FinanceInvestment & Company Informationreal estate Contact:

Stewart Information Services Corp.

John Arcidiacono, 713-625-8019

Chief Marketing Officer

jarcidia@stewart.com

Nat Otis, 713-625-8360

Director-Investor Relations

nat.otis@stewart.com […]

Banks say no room to cut loan rates despite RBI's rate cut

Only three of the country’s 45 commercial banks have cut base lending rates since the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) surprise easing on January 15, hurting the government’s drive to lift business investment.

Bank executives insist they cannot lower loan rates despite the official interest rate cut because cash conditions are tight, and money markets are little changed since the cut, but RBI insiders see that as more an excuse to protect profit margins.

The failure to pass on the rate cut to businesses and consumers has both diluted the impact of monetary policy and weakened the push by the government to quickly unlock more credit and spur investments as the economy struggles to recover from its slowest growth rates since the 1980s.

“We are already providing liquidity higher than what the banking system requires. We do not plan to increase that amount,” said a senior policymaker with knowledge of the central bank’s cash management strategy.

“Banks need to manage their assets and liabilities more efficiently,” he added.

Bankers say the average funds the RBI provides the market has been steady at around Rs 1 lakh crore ($16.2 billion) a day since the repurchase (repo) rate was cut by 25 basis points to 7.75 per cent.

The slashed rate has had little impact in financial markets, suggesting a blockage in policy transmission.

The interbank overnight cash rate, a key measure of cash conditions that tends to track the repo rate, has remained around 8 per cent despite the rate cut.

Furthermore, three-month wholesale deposit rates have held near 8.50 per cent and the one-year wholesale deposit rate has risen 10 basis points to 8.60 per cent.

The Reserve Bank manages the amount of liquidity in the market to aid transmission of its rate decisions. The next scheduled policy review is on Tuesday, but analysts do not expect it to ease again at least until after the Union Budget at the end of February.

“If RBI provided slightly more liquidity than what it is providing now, it will force banks to cut their base lending rates,” said CVR Rajendran, chairman and managing director at state-run Andhra Bank.

Analysts say the RBI will eventually have to inject more funds, although may not as much as lenders want, if it continues easing monetary policy.

Bank of America-Merrill Lynch believes the central bank will need to inject around US $49 billion in new money to the banking system during 2015-16 (April-March) if lenders are to lower lending rates enough to meet the brokerage’s projections for a recovery in credit growth to 17.5 per cent in the comig 2015-16 financial year.

Credit grew at an annual rate of 10.7 per cent in early January, near decade lows, and the Narendra Modi government has been seeking lower interest rates to help spark a revival in lending to business.

Earlier in January, the RBI mandated that lenders change the methodology used to compute the base rate, or the minimum lending rate, in a bid to spur more lending.

Banks continue to suffer from deteriorating asset quality, which is pressuring earnings. Bank of Baroda, the country’s second-biggest lender by assets, on Friday posted a 69 per cent fall in quarterly profit due to higher provisions for bad loans and a surge in tax expenses.

An executive at a public sector bank acknowledged profit was a factor in the reluctance to lower lending rates but said liquidity was a bigger issue.

“There is a lot of micro-management of liquidity by RBI. Banks are taking their own time to cut lending rates because we are still not sure about RBI’s liquidity policy,” he said.

“Typically banks are faster in raising lending rates than cutting to enjoy fat interest margins,” the executive added.

(Reuters)

[…]

Cash America Announces Dividend Increase and Declares Quarterly Dividend

FORT WORTH, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–

Cash America International, Inc. (CSH) reported today that the Board of Directors, at its regularly scheduled quarterly meeting, increased the cash dividend amount to $0.05 (5 cents) per share on common stock outstanding. The newly declared dividend represents a 43% increase in the Company’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.035 (3.5 cents) per share paid each quarter since the first quarter of 2007. The Company has consistently paid a quarterly dividend since 1989. The dividend will be paid at the close of business on February 25, 2015 to shareholders of record on February 11, 2015.

Commenting on the board’s decision, Daniel R. Feehan, President and Chief Executive Officer said, “We are pleased to provide our shareholders with this increase in our quarterly cash dividend, which demonstrates our efforts to provide shareholders with a regular cash return based on the healthy cash flow generating capability of their Company.”

In a separate release today, the Company also announced that the board of directors approved a new open market share repurchase authorization for up to 4 million shares of the Company’s common stock. See the separate press release for additional details.

About the Company

As of December 31, 2014 Cash America International, Inc. (the “Company”) operated 943 total locations offering specialty financial services to consumers, which included the following:

859 lending locations in 21 states in the United States primarily under the names “Cash America Pawn,” “SuperPawn,” “Cash America Payday Advance,” and “Cashland;” and 84 check cashing centers (all of which are unconsolidated franchised check cashing centers) operating in 12 states in the United States under the name “Mr. Payroll.”

For additional information regarding Cash America International, Inc. visit its website located at www.cashamerica.com.

Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995

This release contains forward-looking statements about the business, financial condition, operations and prospects of the Company. The actual results of the Company could differ materially from those indicated by the forward-looking statements because of various risks and uncertainties including, without limitation: the effect of, compliance with or changes in domestic pawn, consumer credit, tax and other laws and governmental rules and regulations applicable to the Company’s business or changes in the interpretation or enforcement thereof; the regulatory and examination authority of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, including the effect of and compliance with a consent order the Company entered into with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in November 2013; risks related to the separation of the Company and Enova International, Inc.; a claim relating to the terms of the Company’s 5.75% senior notes; the actions of third parties who provide, acquire or offer products and services to, from or for the Company; public and regulatory perception of the Company’s business, including its consumer loan business and its business practices; the effect of any current or future litigation proceedings or any judicial decisions or rule-making that affect the Company, its products or its arbitration agreements; fluctuations, including a sustained decrease, in the price of gold or deterioration in economic conditions; a prolonged interruption in the Company’s operations of its facilities, systems and business functions, including its information technology and other business systems; changes in demand for the Company’s services and changes in competition; impairment risk related to the Company’s goodwill and intangible assets; the Company’s ability to attract and retain qualified executive officers; the ability of the Company to open new locations in accordance with its plans or to successfully integrate newly acquired businesses into the Company’s operations; interest rate fluctuations; changes in the capital markets, including the debt and equity markets; changes in the Company’s ability to satisfy its debt obligations or to refinance existing debt obligations or obtain new capital to finance growth; security breaches, cyber-attacks or fraudulent activity; acts of God, war or terrorism, pandemics and other events; the effect of any of such changes on the Company’s business or the markets in which it operates; and other risks and uncertainties indicated in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These risks and uncertainties are beyond the ability of the Company to control, nor can the Company predict, in many cases, all of the risks and uncertainties that could cause its actual results to differ materially from those indicated by the forward-looking statements. When used in this release, terms such as “believes,” “estimates,” “should,” “could,” “would,” “plans,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “may,” “forecasts,” “projects” and similar expressions and variations as they relate to the Company or its management are intended to identify forward-looking statements. The Company disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances occurring after the date of this release.

FinanceInvestment & Company InformationCompany Contact:

Cash America International, Inc.

Thomas A. Bessant, Jr., 817-335-1100

[…]

Capital Senior Living Corporation Acquires Two Communities and Closes on Sale of Four Non-Core Communities

DALLAS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–

Capital Senior Living Corporation (the “Company”) (CSU), one of the nation’s largest operators of senior living communities, today announced the completion of three transactions that will strengthen the Company’s operating portfolio and enhance its cash position to provide for further growth: the acquisition of two senior living communities, the disposition of four non-core communities and the refinance of an existing community loan. The Company also announced that it recently executed early rate locks on refinancing transactions associated with two communities at an average interest rate of approximately 3.85%, both of which are expected to close by the end of the first quarter of 2015.

“We are extremely pleased to add two high-occupancy communities with excellent financial and operating metrics to our consolidated operations and to complete the sale of the four communities that are not core to Capital Senior,” said Lawrence A. Cohen, the Company’s Chief Executive Officer. “The completed loan refinance reflects the appreciation in value of this owned community and allows the Company to continue to benefit from historically low interest rates and fix this debt at attractive rates while extending the maturity to 2025, as do the two additional refinancings which will be completed in the first quarter. On a net basis, the completed and upcoming transactions announced today provide us with $35 million in incremental cash proceeds that we will use to continue to invest in the acquisition of high-performing communities, enhance our cash reserves and pay off short-term bridge loans.”

The two acquired communities were purchased for $32.8 million. One of the transactions was completed in mid-December and the other in mid-January. They are comprised of 127 assisted living units and are located in regions in which the Company already has extensive operations. The communities are financed with $24.5 million of 10-year fixed-rate debt that is non-recourse to the Company with a blended interest rate of 4.41%.

The Company is conducting due diligence on additional acquisitions of high-quality senior living communities in states with extensive existing operations totaling approximately $45 million. Subject to completion of customary closing conditions, the acquisitions are expected to close in the first half of 2015.

In January, the Company sold the four non-core communities for $36.5 million and will receive approximately $18.0 million in net proceeds after relieving the debt associated with the communities and paying customary transaction and closing costs. The communities sold were comprised of 547 independent living units. The net effect of the reinvestment of these proceeds in high-quality communities is expected to be accretive.

In December, the Company refinanced the debt associated with one community, lowering the interest rate and yielding $9.3 million in incremental cash proceeds from the new loan after customary transaction and closing costs. The new mortgage is $18.9 million with a 4.46% fixed interest rate and matures in January 2025. The new mortgage replaced $8.4 million of fixed-rate debt with an interest rate of 5.75% that was set to mature in March 2017.

The Company executed early rate lock agreements on $45.0 million of mortgage debt for two communities at an interest rate of approximately 3.85% with a 10-year maturity. These new mortgages will close by the end of the first quarter of 2015. This debt will refinance an existing mortgage of $8.0 million with an interest rate of 5.46% due to mature in August 2015 and one short-term bridge loan of $21.6 million with floating rate interest of 2.92% due to mature July 2016. Net proceeds from these two refinance transactions will total approximately $15.0 million. The Company plans to use these proceeds to pay off two short-term, floating-rate bridge loans totaling $14.0 million.

Additional highlights of the acquisitions, refinance and rate locks include:

Acquired Communities

Increases annual revenue by $5.2 million Increases CFFO by $1.2 million, or $0.04 per share Improves earnings by $0.4 million, or $0.02 per share Average monthly rent for the communities is approximately $3,606

Mortgage Debt Refinance

$18.9 million of 10-year fixed-rate mortgage debt at 4.46% 129 basis point reduction in the fixed-debt interest rate Cash proceeds to the Company of $9.3 million Extends maturity to 2025

Mortgage Rate Locks

$45.0 million of 10-year fixed-rate mortgage debt at 3.85% Net proceeds of $15.0 million upon the refinance of the two mortgages Proceeds used to pay off short-term bridge loans of $14.0 million

The Company also noted that the previously-announced plan to convert 360 independent living units to assisted living units at certain communities remains on or ahead of schedule. As of December 31, 2014, approximately 207 units had been converted with the remainder expected to be completed by the middle of 2015.

ABOUT THE COMPANY

Capital Senior Living Corporation is one of the nation’s largest operators of residential communities for senior adults. The Company’s operating strategy is to provide value to residents by providing quality senior living services at reasonable prices. The Company’s communities emphasize a continuum of care, which integrates independent living, assisted living, and home care services, to provide residents the opportunity to age in place. The Company operates 114 senior living communities in geographically concentrated regions with an aggregate capacity of approximately 15,000 residents.

Contact Carey Hendrickson, Chief Financial Officer, at 972-770-5600 for more information.

FinanceInvestment & Company Informationinterest rate Contact:

Capital Senior Living Corporation

Carey Hendrickson, 1-972-770-5600

Chief Financial Officer

[…]

UK regulators cap payday loan interest | Business | DW.DE | 11.11 …

Interest charged on loans offered by payday lenders in Britain would be capped at 0.8 percent per day from January of next year, the country’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced Tuesday.

The decision was made after months of consultations and stark critcism by consumer protection groups of exorbitant interest rates often causing misery among borrowers.

The authority also stipulated that borrowers must never have to pay back more in fees and interest than the amount granted to them, meaning a total cost cap of 100 percent.

No more spiraling payday debts

“I am confident that the new rules strike the right balance for firms and consumers. If the price cap was any lower, then we risk not having a viable market. Any higher and there would not be adequate protection for borrowers,” FCA Chief Executive Martin Wheatley said.

The FCA added default fees would be capped at 15 pounds ($24, 19 euros).

“For people who struggle to repay, we believe the new rules will put an end to spiraling payday debts,” Wheatley argued. “For most of the borrowers who do pay back their loans on time, the cap on fees and charges represents substantial protections.”

The FCA had first published its proposals for a payday loan price cap in July. The price cap structure and levels remained unchanged following the consultation process.

[…]

DryShips Seeks Bank Loan as $700 Million Debt Comes Due

DryShips Inc. (DRYS), the drybulk carrier that faces a potential funding shortfall as $700 million of debt comes due in less than two months, is seeking a bank loan after a bond sale fell through over the weekend.

The shipper would use the loan in addition to sources that include a $350 million financing from ABN Amro Group NV, $100 million available in a credit line from Nordea Bank AB, cash on hand as well as a funding commitment from Chief Executive Officer George Economou, according to two people with knowledge of the company’s plans, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private.

The conveyer of dry goods such as iron ore, coal and grain pulled the bond offering to pay its convertible note due Dec. 1 after funding costs for speculative-grade borrowers surged to the highest in a year and potential buyers demanded at least 12 percent interest. The financing deal comes after DryShips, which also has tanker and offshore drilling units, said as of June it was negotiating with creditors to get waivers or restructure some of its $6 billion of debt that ran afoul of rules governing loan agreements.

“It’s a perfect storm of the capital markets being shut and oil going down,” Andrew Casella, an equity analyst at Imperial Capital LLC that cut DryShips’s shares to “underperform” yesterday, said in a telephone interview. “These two things blew up at the same time. And I am shocked they waited this long to refinance.”

Pulled Offering

DryShips canceled a $700 million offering of secured notes over the weekend that would have refinanced the convertible after potential investors demanded a sweetened yield, one of the people said. The average yield on speculative-grade bonds rose to 6.54 percent Oct. 10, the highest level in a year, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch Index (BDIY) data.

“We had a fully covered book, but we consider the terms and structure offered as expensive and therefore not in the best interests of our shareholders,” Ziad Nakhleh, chief financial officer of DryShips, said in an e-mailed statement. “We currently intend to refinance the convertible notes due on Dec. 1 using funds from a number of alternative options at our disposal,” including the funding from ABN Amro and Nordea, he said.

Contracting Market

Shares of the carrier plunged 21 percent to $1.47 yesterday after it announced the sale had been canceled in an Oct. 12 statement. DryShips’s $700 million of 5 percent convertible notes were quoted down 2.5 cents to 90.5 cents on the dollar at 11:05 a.m. in New York, according to Trace, the bond-price reporting system of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

The new loan DryShips is seeking would be secured by assets tied to its Ocean Rig UDW Inc. unit, one of the people said. The bridge financing from ABN Amro will have a one-year maturity, according to an Aug. 6 U.S. Securities and Exchange filing.

DryShips has lost money in the last three years as the shipping market has contracted by 59 percent since Dec. 12. The Baltic Dry Index, a measure of commodity shipping costs by the London-based Baltic Exchange, fell 0.9 percent to 954 points yesterday, down from 2,337 on Dec. 12, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The company had $459 million in cash and equivalents as of June 30, Bloomberg data show. It’s current liabilities exceeded its current assets by $1 billion on that date, according to the filing.

Covenant Violations

“Cash expected to be generated from operations assuming that current market charter hire rates would prevail in the 12-month period ending June 30, 2015, will not be sufficient to cover the company’s unfinanced capital commitments,” according to the filing.

DryShips fell out of compliance with rules governing loan agreements relating to its shipping segment, according to the Aug. 6 SEC filing. “These breaches constitute events of default and may result in the lenders requiring immediate repayment of the loans,” according to the filing.

While the company is current on all its debt payments, “for the past several years, we have reported certain technical breaches in some of our financial covenants, something which has been an industry-wide phenomenon during the challenging shipping markets,” DryShips CFO Nakhleh said in the statement. “Certain of these breaches have since returned into compliance as asset values have increased, certain others have been cured with waivers while others remain outstanding.”

Even with financing to repay the $700 million convertible due December, the company will have to raise $500 million for loan amortization payments over the next two years, according to Casella.

“The company needs to come up with sticky capital soon to get the refinancing deal done in order to avoid a downward spiral of both DryShips’s and Ocean Rigs’s stock prices,” said Casella. “Then there is a longer-term question: how are they going to find the money for their operations and chunky loan amortizations that are coming up in the next two years?”

(An earlier version of this story was corrected because it misspelled the CFO’s name.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Jodi Xu in New York at jxu205@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Shannon D. Harrington at sharrington6@bloomberg.net Richard Bravo, Mitchell Martin

Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.

[…]

NI Executive agrees to £100m loan

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10 October 2014 Last updated at 08:50

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Delicious Digg Facebook reddit StumbleUpon Email Print The Department of Health will receive £60m and the Department of Justice will receive almost £30m

Northern Ireland budget pressure

Treasury loan proposed for Stormont Osborne ‘hears budget plan’ ‘More positive mood’ at talks PM hopes executive will not collapse

The Northern Ireland Executive has agreed to a loan of up to £100m from the Treasury.

The deal was brokered by the Democratic Unionist Party with the Chancellor, George Obsborne.

It means extra cash for departments, including £60m for the Department of Health and almost £30m for the Department of Justice.

However, the arrangement has been criticised by other parties as an “expensive sticking plaster”.

The Treasury had been asked to supply Stormont with a one-off loan of between £100m and £150m to ease its budgetary crisis.

It is understood that Peter Robinson and Finance Minister Simon Hamilton made the proposal to the chancellor.

Analysis: BBC News NI political editor Mark Devenport

George Osborne said he was concerned the Stormont Executive has found itself in such a dire financial situation.

The money he is willing to lend, he makes clear, will be deducted from the executive’s block grant next year.

The chancellor repeats his intention to levy fines on the executive due to its delay in implementing the UK’s welfare reforms.

Finance Minister Simon Hamilton said he would have preferred a resolution to the dispute over welfare, but he says the loan allows the executive to deal with urgent financial pressures in the health service, the PSNI and services for victims.

Justice Minister David Ford is getting nearly £30m, but he did not like the idea of Stormont running up yet more debt.

The loan will ensure Stormont does not breach its spending limits by more than £200m at the end of the financial year.

However, it will increase the amount Stormont will owe the Treasury next year.

Mr Hamilton said a letter from the chancellor made it clear that Northern Ireland would incur £87m in penalties this year and another £114m next year for a failure to implement welfare reform.

However, he said he was hopeful those penalties might be waived if the parties reach a deal in the near future.

“I hope that if we can get agreement on welfare reform that perhaps those fines may be waived and we may not have to pay that. That would be a tremendous help to public services in Northern Ireland,” he said.

“It wouldn’t solve all of the problems that I face and executive colleagues face, but it certainly would be a great assistance.”

Speaking at a DUP event on Thursday night, First Minister Peter Robinson said the loan was conditional on Stormont agreeing a draft budget for 2015/16 by the end of October.

Justice Minister David Ford said the move was “not good management”

Mr Robinson raised the possibility of opening a voluntary redundancy scheme for the public sector which, he said, could save about £160m a year.

It is also understood that welfare reform is not part of the deal with the Treasury, but instead will feature in the planned political talks due to begin next week.

On Thursday night, Mr Hamilton said: “We had an immediate pressing problem in terms of difficulties within our health services, within victims services, within job creation and within justice.

“We have now been able to cover those pressures to ensure that those problems are now averted, and we can get on with delivering services in Northern Ireland.”

While DUP and Sinn Féin ministers backed the loan deal, Alliance, the SDLP and the Ulster Unionist Party all registered their opposition.

Alliance leader David Ford said taking money from next year for this year was “simply not good management”.

“It’s like borrowing on a second credit card when you reach your limit on a first credit card,” he said.

Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy of the Ulster Unionist Party said: “I believe that it doesn’t fully deal with the economic issues before us, as an executive.

“It simply seeks to push things down the pipe and put a sticking plaster over what remains a gaping hole.”

[…]

Sears to sell down Canada stake, turns to CEO again for cash

By Sruthi Ramakrishnan and Nathan Layne

(Reuters) – Sears Holdings Corp is turning to its chief executive for cash for the second time in three weeks in a sign that its efforts to sell off assets are coming up short.

The retailer announced Thursday that it would raise up to $380 million by lowering its stake in Sears Canada to 12 percent from 51 percent through a rights offering. It said Chief Executive Eddie Lampert and his hedge fund, which together own 48.5 percent of Sears Holdings, would buy about half of the offering.

The move comes after a year-long attempt to find an outside buyer for the company’s holdings of Sears Canada. The $380 million target is about half of what the company had previously indicated its stake was worth.

The rights offering indicates that Sears may be overestimating the value of its assets, including its vast property holdings, said Brian Sozzi, head of Belus Capital Advisors and a bear on Sears stock. “There just isn’t significant demand for what they are trying to unload on the market,” he said.

The offering also highlights just how dependent Sears has become on Lampert for liquidity. Thursday’s announcement comes on the heels of a $400 million loan last month from Lampert’s hedge fund, ESL Investments. Sears said those funds would be used to get it through the cash-intensive build-up to the year-end shopping season.

The company on Thursday again cited the holiday season in how it would use cash from the rights offering. Chief Financial Officer Rob Schriesheim, in a statement, also said the offering would bring to $1.445 billion the total amount of liquidity raised this year.

Sears has been closing stores, slashing inventory and selling off assets to generate cash after a decade of falling sales and dwindling margins. It has booked losses for nine straight quarters.

Sears said it was aiming to sell 40 million shares of Sears Canada in the offering. It expects to get $168 million after Lampert and his fund exercise their rights in mid-to-late October. Fairholme Capital Management, the No. 2 Sears shareholder, has indicated that some of its clients also plan to subscribe, the company said.

Fairholme, which had decided not to participate in the loan extended last month by Lampert’s hedge fund, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The $380 million funding target assumes that other shareholders will subscribe to the offering. Sears Canada, which has been losing market share and has posted losses in nine of the last 14 quarters, said last week that its CEO would resign after just a year at the helm.

Shareholders of Sears Holdings will have the right to buy one share of Sears Canada for each share held, at a price of C$10.60 per share. Sears Canada’s shares were down 1 percent at C$11 in trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Thursday.

Sears Holdings rose 6.7 percent to $26.86 on the Nasdaq, reflecting an easing of investor worries over the company’s cash cushion going into holiday shopping season. The stock had lost nearly a quarter of its value after the announcement of the $400 million loan on Sept. 15.

(Additional reporting by Ashutosh Pandey in Bangalore; Editing by Kirti Pandey, Jilian Mincer, Leslie Adler and Cynthia Osterman)

FinanceInvestment & Company InformationSears CanadaEddie LampertSears Holdings […]

Ghana Home Loans launches Quick Cash

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Business News of Saturday, 27 September 2014

Source: Daily Guide

Ghana Home Loans launches Quick Cash

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Ghana Home Loans (GHL), the nation’s leading provider of home finance, has unveiled a new product dubbed, ‘Quick Cash’ onto the market.

Quick Cash is aimed at assisting homeowners whether self-employed or salaried, resident or non-resident, to access funds within the shortest possible time.

Its introduction was motivated by GHL’s vision to unlock the full potential of residential property as the ultimate asset to the benefit of all home owners.

The minimum loan amount, which is GH?5,000 or its USD equivalent, is repayable within 24 months.

Speaking at the launch of Quick Cash, Principal Consultant at the Osei Tutu II Centre for Executive Education and Research, Nana Otuo Acheampong said GHL aims at expanding the reach of housing loans in the country.

“Once more GHL is pushing the boundaries of housing finance. This product is timely as it bridges the liquidity gap between financing needs and expected funds available in these periods of austerity,” he said.

Head of Mortgage Origination at Ghana Home Loans, Regina Baah, in a remark, disclosed that Quick Cash was a critical addition to the company’s product portfolio.

She indicated that the product was particularly suitable for self-employed mortgage applicants “since their loan applications would be assessed on future lump sum cash receivables.”

Since 2006, Ghana Home Loans has offered a diversified range of home loan products to assist thousands of Ghanaians to realize their dream of owing their houses.

The products include home purchase, land purchase, as well as home equity release mortgage.

Through its Home Completion and Home Construction mortgage products, Ghana Home Loans has enabled many qualified applicants to complete or build dream homes across the country.

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Cash America Announces Exit of Mexico and Colorado Markets

FORT WORTH, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–

Cash America International, Inc. (CSH) announced today that it has exited two non-strategic markets through the sale of its 47 pawn lending locations in Mexico and its 5 pawn lending locations in Colorado. The 47 locations in Mexico and the 5 locations in Colorado represent all of the Company’s stores in each of those markets. After the completion of these two transactions, the Company will operate 864 lending locations in 21 states with $256.5 million in pawn loan balances, based on pawn loan balances outstanding as of June 30, 2014.

Commenting on the transactions, Daniel R. Feehan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cash America said, “Over the last two years Cash America has added 132 pawn lending locations primarily through acquisitions. The addition of this group of pawn locations expanded our presence in strategically important markets for our business, including Texas, Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina. The decision to exit the non-strategic markets of Mexico and Colorado will allow us to focus our resources and efforts on driving growth and enhancing the customer service in our overall network of coast to coast locations in the United States.”

About the Company

Excluding the 52 locations mentioned above, as of June 30, 2014 Cash America International, Inc. (the “Company”) operated 952 total locations offering specialty financial services to consumers, which included the following:

864 lending locations in 21 states in the United States primarily under the names “Cash America Pawn,” “SuperPawn,” “Cash America Payday Advance,” and “Cashland;” and 88 check cashing centers (all of which are unconsolidated franchised check cashing centers) operating in 12 states in the United States under the name “Mr. Payroll.”

Additionally, as of June 30, 2014, the Company offered consumer loans over the Internet to customers:

in 33 states in the United States at http://www.cashnetusa.com and http://www.netcredit.com; in the United Kingdom at http://www.quickquid.co.uk, http://www.quickquidflexcredit.co.uk, http://www.poundstopocket.co.uk, and http://onstride.co.uk; in Australia at http://www.dollarsdirect.com.au; in Canada at http://www.dollarsdirect.ca; and in Brazil at http://www.simplic.com.br.

For additional information regarding the Company and the services it provides, visit the Company’s websites located at:

http://www.cashamerica.com

http://www.dollarsdirect.com.au

http://www.enova.com

http://www.dollarsdirect.ca

http://www.cashnetusa.com

http://www.quickquidflexcredit.co.uk

http://www.netcredit.com

http://www.onstride.co.uk

http://www.cashlandloans.com

http://www.simplic.com.br

http://www.quickquid.co.uk

http://www.mrpayroll.com

http://www.poundstopocket.co.uk

Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995

This release contains forward-looking statements about the business, financial condition, operations and prospects of the Company. The actual results of the Company could differ materially from those indicated by the forward-looking statements because of various risks and uncertainties including, without limitation: the effect of, compliance with or changes in domestic and foreign pawn, consumer credit, tax and other laws and governmental rules and regulations applicable to the Company’s business or changes in the interpretation or enforcement thereof; the regulatory and examination authority of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in the U.S. and the UK Financial Conduct Authority, including the effect of and compliance with a consent order the Company entered into with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in November 2013 and changes to the Company’s UK business practices as a result of adapting the Company’s business in response to the requirements of the Financial Conduct Authority; changes in the political, regulatory or economic environment in foreign countries where the Company operates or in the future may operate; risks related to the potential separation of the Company’s online lending business that comprises its e-commerce division, Enova International, Inc.; the Company’s ability to process or collect consumer loans through the Automated Clearing House system; the actions of third parties who provide, acquire or offer products and services to, from or for the Company; public and regulatory perception of the Company’s business, including its consumer loan business and its business practices; the effect of any current or future litigation proceedings or any judicial decisions or rule-making that affect the Company, its products or its arbitration agreements; fluctuations, including a sustained decrease, in the price of gold or deterioration in economic conditions; a prolonged interruption in the Company’s operations of its facilities, systems and business functions, including its information technology and other business systems; changes in demand for the Company’s services and changes in competition; the Company’s ability to maintain an allowance or liability for estimated losses on consumer loans that are adequate to absorb credit losses; the Company’s ability to attract and retain qualified executive officers; the ability of the Company to open new locations in accordance with its plans or to successfully integrate newly acquired businesses into the Company’s operations; interest rate and foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations; changes in the capital markets, including the debt and equity markets; changes in the Company’s ability to satisfy its debt obligations or to refinance existing debt obligations or obtain new capital to finance growth; security breaches, cyber-attacks or fraudulent activity; acts of God, war or terrorism, pandemics and other events; the effect of any of such changes on the Company’s business or the markets in which it operates; and other risks and uncertainties indicated in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These risks and uncertainties are beyond the ability of the Company to control, nor can the Company predict, in many cases, all of the risks and uncertainties that could cause its actual results to differ materially from those indicated by the forward-looking statements. When used in this release, terms such as “believes,” “estimates,” “should,” “could,” “would,” “plans,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “may,” “forecasts,” “projects” and similar expressions and variations as they relate to the Company or its management are intended to identify forward-looking statements. The Company disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances occurring after the date of this release.

FinanceBusinessCash America Contact:

Cash America International, Inc.
Thomas A. Bessant, Jr., 817-335-1100

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