Judson Fraunfelter

Doorstep lender Non-Standard Finance denies it is on brink of collapse

John Van Kuffeler CEO of Non-Standard Finance
John Van Kuffeler CEO of Non-Standard Finance

The boss of Non-Standard Finance denied the doorstep lender was “on the brink” after it revealed the Covid crisis had sparked material uncertainty about whether it can continue as a going concern. 

NSF could be forced to ask shareholders for fresh investment as the pandemic recession imperils its access to funding. 

The company, which lends money at high interest rates to more than 100,000 consumers with poor credit ratings, temporarily halted lending during lockdown and only managed to start handing out money again last month. 

John van Kuffeler, chief executive of NSF, said his company had suffered a difficult and disappointing 18 months but insisted an economic downturn was an opportunity to win more business as consumers struggle to access cash. 

He said: “We are not on the brink. We are a highly experienced team who know exactly what to do and

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Japan to step up measures to attract foreign finance workers: ruling party draft

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan will boost visa support, lure more international schools and streamline procedures for obtaining investment management licenses to attract highly skilled foreign finance workers, according to a draft proposal from the ruling party seen by Reuters.

Japan has sought for years to attract foreign professionals in the sector to improve Tokyo’s standing as a global financial centre, and the proposal aims to push the government to accelerate such moves, with Hong Kong residents in mind.

China on Saturday unveiled details of a new national security law for Hong Kong, which has raised fears among democracy activists and some foreign governments that Beijing is further eroding autonomy there.

“Given the current geopolitical situation in Asia, Japan should take advantage of being a safe business location, which is supported by solid democracy and the rule of law,” said the proposal by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, while not mentioning

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Maaden Phosphate Unit Signs $4.1 Billion Finance Deal

(Bloomberg) —

Saudi Arabian Mining Co.’s phosphate unit signed an accord with a group of lenders to refinance and reschedule $4.1 billion in debt as it seeks to trim interest costs amid a collapse in commodity prices.

Maaden Waad Al Shamal Phosphate Co. will refinance $2.3 billion owed to a syndicate of commercial banks and financial institutions, according to a statement. It will also reschedule $1.8 billion of debt owed to Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and transfer it to the Public Pension Agency.

The refinancing allows the phosphate business to reduce interest expense and pushes back the start of repayments until 2022, Saudi Arabian Mining Chief Executive Officer Mosaed Bin Sulaiman Al Ohali said in an interview. “The interest rate is very favorable, and the new financing will help to improve our cash flows at a time in the market where cash is very tight.”

Maaden, as Saudi Arabian

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Near-Term Outlook Dim for SBIC & Commercial Finance Industry

The Zacks SBIC & Commercial Finance industry consists of companies that provide finance to small and mid-sized privately-held developing firms, which are generally underserved by traditional banks and other lenders. Firms suffering from financial distress are the primary target clients of these lenders.

Products offered by the industry participants also include mezzanine loans that typically pay high interest rates and could be converted into equity in the target firm.

Here are the three major themes in the industry:

  • Coronavirus-induced economic slowdown has resulted in a decline in commercial activities, in turn lowering the demand for small business loans. Also, lower interest rates will result in reduced investment income, and are likely to hurt SBIC & commercial finance stocks. Also, prepayments and refinancing are expected to rise, which may hamper profitability to some extent.
     
  • Given the virus outbreak and subsequent halt in business activities, the majority of sectors wherein SBIC &
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