Finance and Property group St Laurence today became the nineteenth finance company to collapse in the past year - and the twenty-second in the past two years.

St Laurence says that the decision to stop lending money and withdraw its prospectus '"results from rapid changes in the property lending markets affecting many financiers and investors".

It seems that St Laurence, like Dominion Finance, is heavily exposed to property development loans - and these developers (often lauded in the mainstream media as 'innovative entrepreneurs') have been caught out by the collapse in the property market. But it'll be small 'mum and dad' investors who will be paying the price for the failures of these 'heroes' of the 'free market'.

Interestingly, Dominion Finance lent money to two developments around Queenstown.

One is the Benbrae Lodge project at Cardrona. But only eight of the thirty-six lodges have been sold and several are now for sale on Trade Me.

It raises questions about the future of property developer Dave Henderson's Five Mile Village project near Queenstown. This $2-3 billion project is now 'on hold'.


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