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St George sells Superbank lending assets to GE Money

St George Bank and strategic partner Foodstuffs New Zealand have completed the sale of the residential mortgage lending portfolio of their joint venture company Superbank to GE Money.

Superbank provides a range of retail banking options via phone and internet portals to the New Zealand market. However, since Superbank’s launch in February 2003, market conditions have changed and margins in mainstream residential lending in New Zealand have become extremely competitive. Given these factors, both companies reviewed their strategic positions and concluded on a sale of Superbank’s mortgage business.

St George Bank declined to provide details of the sale but said it was not material to its accounts and will not impact its previously announced earnings per share targets for 2006 and 2007.

The sale of the mortgage portfolio is effective from August 3, 2006.