Banking and finance briefs: Hart to buy? Petricevic acquaintance 'disgusted'

Banking and finance briefs: Hart to buy? Petricevic acquaintance 'disgusted'
1. Hart buying again? - Graeme Hart's Rank Group is among the bidders for rubbish bag maker Pactiv Corp, The Wall Street Journal reported. However the kiwi billionaire faces competition from paper and packaging group Georgia-Pacific Corp and private equity firm Apollo Global Management for the maker of Hefty trash bags which has a market capitalisation of about US$3.7 billion. The Lake Forest, Illinois headquartered Pactiv had 2009 sales of US$3.4 billion and has about 12,000 staff. No mention was made of how Hart, whose existing packaging empire stretches from Whakatane to Switzerland and has debts of about NZ$8 billion, might fund a bid. 2. Petricevic's acquaintance 'disgusted': The woman named by the Serious Fraud Office as the beneficiary of "sham" Bridgecorp payments was "disgusted" to learn of her involvement in the case. Janita Wright, who the SFO named as a personal acquaintance of Rod Petricevic's and the operator of a company that fraudulently received NZ$1.2 million of Bridgecorp money authorised by the finance company's managing director, told Tim Hunter at Stuff she was a consultant for ABb Group rather than an employee.
"I worked my butt off for that company seven days a week." Bridgecorp still owed her $80,000, she said, and it was poor paperwork by the company that led to previous payments being challenged by the SFO.
3. ANZ in pole position for Indonesian move - ANZ is the "clear front runner" to buy a A$1.4 billion stake in Indonesia's PT Bank Panin, thereby lifting its existing 39.5% stake to a controlling interest, The Australian reports.
The Gunawan family, which is headed by an ageing patriarch, Mukmin Ali Gunawan, and owns 46 per cent of the bank, has retained UBS to sell its entire holding. With its existing stake, an ambitious strategy to become a super-regional bank and more than $4bn in surplus capital, ANZ is in a strong position to meet Mr Gunawan on price, even as it explores the $4bn purchase of a majority stake in Korea Exchange Bank. A spokesman for ANZ said last night that it was inappropriate to comment on rumours concerning Panin Bank. "ANZ has a long-term strategic partnership with Panin involving (our) equity stake of almost 40 per cent," he said. "As we outlined recently, we are investing in our ANZ-branded business in Indonesia, which gives us a platform for organic growth.
4. KPMG takes on ASIC - KPMG is launching a High Court appeal to try and block the Australian Securities and Investments Commission's attempts to secure a A$200 million compensation payout on behalf of investors caught out by the collapsed Westpoint empire, reports The Age.
In a high-stakes case, the audit firm will argue the corporate watchdog is overstepping its authority in claiming the funds for investors exposed to the failed property schemes.
5. Ban for former RBS high flyer -  An ex-head of investment banking at Royal Bank of Scotland has agreed not to work in a major role at a bank or regulated financial company after Britain's financial regulator threatened to ban him from working in those areas, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Johnny Cameron, who was chairman of RBS's global banking and markets division, was investigated by the UK's Financial Services Authority in relation to the systems and controls that were in place in his division in the run-up to the financial crisis. Risky bets by the investment bank in areas such as structured products played a role in the bank's near-demise and subsequent bailout by the UK government. The moves come as the FSA is trying to establish credibility as a tough regulator and make examples of senior executives at banks that ran into trouble. The FSA's reputation was tarnished in recent years by a self-described failure to adequately supervise firms. The announcement on Mr Cameron came the same day that the FSA landed its first guilty plea to a criminal charge of market abuse. Yet the settlement may be seen as a slap on the wrist for Mr Cameron. It allows him to avoid tougher disciplinary action, and Mr Cameron still will be allowed to serve as a part-time consultant within the financial-services industry, the FSA said, as long as the work doesn't involve activities requiring its authorisation.
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