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April 6, 2009

News Digest

KGAL in possible sale...HSBC's Beacon sold...Income drop at LeasePlan...

By Verdict Staff

KGAL in possible sale

Commerzbank is considering selling off the 45 percent stake that its newly-acquired Dresdner Bank subsidiary owns in KGAL, the German lessor.

The German business daily Handelsblatt reported that Commerzbank was reviewing its portfolio, reportedly signing up Goldman Sachs to explore options for over a dozen of its businesses, including their possible sale.

A spokesperson for the German bank confirmed the bank wanted to concentrate more on its core business and that it was reviewing its portfolio, but refused to give details on specific business units.


HSBC’s Beacon sold

HSBC Rail has sold its continental European rail freight locomotives to Beacon Rail Leasing, a subsidiary of BTMU Capital.

The deal covers 18 EMD class 66 locomotives which are currently leased to operators in Norway, Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands. The financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

The new additions bring the London-based rolling stock lessor’s fleet to 51 locomotives and 50 wagons.


Income drop at LeasePlan

International fleet management and leasing company LeasePlan’s results for 2008 show that the lessor’s net income dropped by 13.7 percent compared with 2007, to €208 million.

Chairman of the board Vahid Daemi said the lessor had been hit by “the significant downturn in the second-hand car markets and, to a much lesser extent, the lower interest margin due to higher funding costs as a result of the turmoil in the financial markets”.


Turkish leasing takes off

Turkey may be due for a return to form, as Turkish finance minister Kemal Unakitan announced potential leasing industry tax cuts as part of the country’s economic stimulus measures.

Anticipation of the announcement caused the share prices of leasing companies to rise, with Seker Finansal’s price rising 12.8 percent to 0.44 lira, and Yapi Kredi Finansal improving 10.9 percent to reach 1.85 lira.

The tax cuts would form part of a series of measures aimed at supporting small and medium sized businesses.


RBS hit by Cattles demise

The collapse of troubled lender Cattles will cost Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) up to £500 million (€534 million), according to newspaper reports.

RBS, the lead lender to Cattles – which reported £2.4 billion of outstanding debt in its latest figures – still hopes that it can recover the £500 million. But in reality it seems highly unlikely that Cattles will be able to meet all of its debt obligations.

Headed by RBS, Cattles’ 22-bank consortium of lenders also includes HSBC, Barclays and the Lloyds Banking Group.


Ignition Credit plans to up investment in small-ticket

UK lessor Ignition Credit has revealed plans to increase investment in small-ticket leasing for the leisure, catering and hospitality industries in the Southwest region.

The Cornwall-based company has a £2.4 million (€2.6 million) book in the sector, with most contracts in the sub-£15,000 bracket.

Managing director Alan Tutte said the region’s resilient tourism industry, combined with the company’s policy of lending to owner/operators of businesses with low overheads, had kept delinquency levels extremely low enough to mitigate potential difficulties in resale of low-value, high-volume assets.

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