Mortgage Choice to float within a year

Mortgage Choice intends to float on the ASX within a year and has appointed former Permanent Trustee MD Paul Lahiff to oversee the potential listing as well as run the company. Lahiff said that a float in 2004 is a “real possibility” even if there is a downturn in the housing market. Mortgage Choice could still perform under more stressed conditions with it's managing a multi-billion dollar loan portfolio, he said. Earnings may also be supported by the increasing mortgage brokers' market share, currently 25 per cent with forecasts for 50 per cent in the future. Lahiff also said that capital raised in a float could be used to acquire smaller players squeezed by tougher regulation and increased bank accreditation standards.