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RAMS Home Loans Lifeline Extended
December 28th. 2007 - Australasian Investment Review – (AIR)

Shares in Rams Home Loans Group (RHG) rose as much as 8.3% to 32.5 cents on Friday after the company said its $750 million warehouse facilities due to mature on 31 December 2007 had been extended.

A $500 million warehouse facility had been extended to 2 May 2008 and a second $250 million facility to 31 January 2008, with the same financial institution.
RAMS had previously announced that it had received $4.25 billion of preliminary credit approvals for facilities to refinance its extendible commercial paper facilities.
It said that on 27 December 2007 the documentation for two of these facilities was executed.

RAMS was badly wounded by the subprime mess in 2007.
After listing on the Australian Stock Exchange in July 2007 at $2.50 per share, the stock hit a low of 20 cents in December 2007.

The brand and franchise operations in the troubled mortgage business were acquired by Westpac for $140 million in October 2007, with the bank careful to distance itself from the RAMS’ existing mortgage book.
Westpac has commenced funding of up to $500 million of loan settlements from 15 November 2007.

Shares in RHG traded at 31 cents at 11.45am AEST.

NGE Has Rough Start On Debut.

This morning New Guinea Energy (NGE) debuted on the ASX at a 32% discount to its initial offer price following a $17.3 million float.

The Sydney-based oil and gas explorer and producer had offered 80 million shares at 25 cents each in its initial public offer (IPO), but its shares began trading at 17 cents and soon fell even lower to 16 cents.

The company has six exploration tenements covering over 52,000 square kilometres onshore of the Papuan basin in Papua New Guinea.

Since it was formed in 2005, NGE has invested over $20 million in acquiring one of the most comprehensive oil and has databases in Papua New Guinea.

NGE said that it has fulfilled its initial goal to acquire a core licence portfolio and develop an exploration holding in the basin.

“During this time the oil price has increased from $US45 a barrel to $US100 a barrel and as we enter 2008 remains above $US91,” NGE said in a statement.

“The economic potential of NGE’s assets has therefore been very significantly enhanced.”

Managining Director of NGE Jeremy Towner said: “this capital raising moves NGE field operations in PNG to the next stage to have the appraisal and exploration acreage portfolio tested with well drilling,”

“Areas adjacent to NGE’s licences in that basin already have discoveries of over 1 billion barrels of oil and 15 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of gas.”

Mr Towner said NGE’s technical team has mapped six drillable prospects and 53 leads with an average size of over 60 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe) of in-place petroleum resource potential.

“So we have a long future for exploration and potential discovery and development ahead of us,” he said.

Broker and lead manager of the IPO Barry Dawes said NGE’s issue price of 25 cents offered a good entry price considering the extensive potential of the Papua New Guinea licences – a statement the market seems to disagree with.

“A discovery in any one of the licences would create a significant upward re-rating,” Mr Dawes said.

At 11:50PM AEST, NGE shares were still down by 8 cents at the morning’s low of 16 cents.

Will A Change Of Name Save A Company?

From early 2008 winemaker McGuigan Simeon (MGW) may be known as Australian Vintage (AVG) if shareholders approve a name change on January 30.

McGuigan said the name change would help the company to unify its brand as well as diversify the label.

“Nowadays, very few companies have the same corporate name as their retail brands to allow them to better protect and build a range of brands,” said McGuigan CEO Dane Hudson.

“The name change will help us to pursue our strategies to strengthen and grow a range of brands for the company.”

Chairman of McGuigan David Clarke said the McGuigan family supports the name change and the company’s board recommends that shareholders vote in favour of the decision.

“As Australian Vintage Limited, we will have the chance to unite the business as one company as opposed to the multiple merged entities that we now have as a result of our growth over the past 15 years,” Mr Clarke said.

The Australian winemaker has seen some tough times recently, reporting a net loss of $5.9 million in the 2006/07 financial year, and a whopping $11.5 million loss the year previous.

In spite of the continued negative news, McGuigan has remained hopeful, announcing in November that a small profit was expected in the 2007/08 financial year despite the drought and the strong Australian dollar.

At 12:00 PM AEST, McGuigan shares were trading up by 0.25% or 0.5 cents at $1.985.

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