January 4, 2001

  Perferred Capital Exclusive Interview with Mark Seif
    Old Kent Financial Good-Bye ( added to the List )
      BSB Back in Business
        Harcourt Expands eFinance in China with IBM Software
          Westar ( on line auto leasing ) up 300 percent
             New UAEL Exec. Joan Dalton Lacks Experience???
               V.C. Competition for Leasing Companies?
                 Vote for "Pioneer of Leasing"

The List is Up-dated-----

Exclusive Interview: Mark Seif/Peferred Capital

Preferred Capital is for sale, according to their general counsel Mark Seif. Last November, 1999, they did $17 million in capital equipment cost. That was their best month. They had been doing anywhere from $14 to $15 million each month, according to informed sources. Not any more.

Peferred Capital was very heavy in the mail marketing and telephone solicitation with the "Pre-approved" approach, selling mini-paper to GE/Colonial Pacific, Advanta, Manifest, Commerce Security, among others. With the changes of policy at their funders, placing business started to decline and warehouse lines could not find take-outs, resulting in serious cash flow problems, especially in October and November of last year, it was reported.

" Yes, we have not been sold, " Seif said in an exclusive interview. They have had many offers, but the two original principals could not agree on the selling price, and from a high of 270 employees, closed their branches, and are now down to one-quarter their original size with their main facility in Tahoe City, according to Seif.

" We have 42 sales reps now, " he says. " The commissions are now based on rewards. We have cut the boats, cars, and all the frills...We are aggressive, but not what we used to be. Right now, we are actively talking to investors, strategic partners."

He blames credit tightening, more competition, more sources for the dramatic change in the small ticket market.

" It is not the internet, " he explains. " We are with Live Capital, get leads off our web site, but the business is very small. Not much is being done on the world wide web. We are going to weather the storm with a tight budget, running lean and mean, taking very good care of all our funding sources."

He and Louis Schneider are basically managing the company. David Murray left on November 7, 2000.

"Basically David didn't like laying off his friends, facing the financial difficulties of a downsized company, closing offices, and didn't want to remain in the leasing business any more, " Seif explains. " It wasn't fun... And yes, the small ticket market is no longer what it used to be. "

For more about this company, please go our original story:

Old Kent Financial Sale

Fifth Third Bank (Cincinnati, Ohio) on announced on Nov. 20th that they were going to acquire Old Kent Financial (Grand Rapids, Michigan) including Old Kent Leasing Services Corp. (Lombard, Illinois). Closing expected in the second quarter, perhaps by April.

The acquisition of Old Kent appears on the Fifth Third stock announcement board (FITB). The purchase amount was $4.9 Billion on 11/20/00 and should be completed in April, 2001 according to the press release.

It will be interesting to see how this acquisition impacts Old Kent Financial Services (which has been small ticket oriented, both direct and indirect) when they become part of Fifth Third whose leasing activities have principally been middle market and large ticket leases to excellent credits. (In 1997 Gateway Leasing to Fifth Third, Bruce Kropschot was involved, and in 1999 they decided to exit the small ticket leasing business by selling Gateway to Sierra Cities.)

Unicapital--No response form Steve Dallas about taking on new business, as suggested would happen this year. The companies dealing with them say, "no change."

" No checks. No docs. No return calls. I did send Steve an e-mail to which he responded about a week ago. He basically lamented the treatment by Lehman and said he was doing all he can. I empathize. It has been a problem for us, though. "

Name With held

BSB Leasing is BACK!!!!!

Don Meyerson bought back the company and they are back in business at 303-329-09227. Official announcement to be made soon. They are notifying brokers to start sending them business again.

61 Leasing Companies Major Changes

( For specific stories, use search on our site, or go to archives: http://www.leasingnews.org/archives.htm )

Advanta Leasing ( 9/2000 for sale, former prez now at eOriginals,others let go like Kaye Lee.)
Affinity Leasing, Washington ( 12/2000 to close and concentrate on Financial Pacific biz )
American Business Leasing ( gone )
Balboa Capital ( 9/2000 Founder Pat Byrne "...office available any time he wants to use it" ).
Banc One Leasing ( 12/2000 Lays Off 60, Closes 5 offices )
The Bancorp Group, Inc. (Southfield, MI) (Not accepting news business. The BOD of the parent bank is assessing what to do with the leasing subsidiary.....currently servicing portfolio but not originating. no longer in business )
Bankvest (bankrupt)
Bayview Capital ( 12/2000 announces $17 million loss/later does not issue dividend )
Bombadier ( 12/2000 reported having leasing problems, not confirmed, company strong in other divisions, but appears backing out of leasing division )
BSB Leasing ( 1/2001 Don Meyerson bought back the company and they are back in business at 303-329-09227. Official announcement to be made soon. They are notifying brokers to start sending them business again. 12/2000 Don Meyerson says to be "re-born"11/2000 closed to accepting new business.)
Charter Financial ( purchased by Wells Fargo 9/5/2000 )
Colonial Pacific (11/98) purchased by GE Capital 5/2000 no more re-brokered applications, except from one or two sources, such as Steve Dunham's Leasing Associates )
Commerce Security ( 9/99 closed to leasing broker program )(11/99 last fundings)
Comstock Leasing ( 3/2000 Unicapital then Linc and discontinued operation this date )
Conseco Finance Vendor Service ( 12/2000 purchased by Wells Fargo Leasing. Copelco ( 4/2000 sold to Citibank/10/2000 stock down rated/10/2000 ceases broker business, many complaints in manner turning off faucet )
Dana ( 7/2000 sold off portfolio, active as captive lessor )
DVI Capital (12/2000 out of broker )
El Camino Leasing, Woodland Hills, Caifornia (10/2000 No longer taking broker business 11/2000 struggling to stay in leasing business, according to insider reports )
eLease ( June/July/2000 senior management changes )
Finantra (11/2000 will eliminate its commercial finance operations in order to focus on its two core finance platforms, consumer finance and services and consumer mortgage lending. )
FMA Finance ( 4/2000 reportedly closed to brokers )
Fidelity ( 4/2000 acquired by EAB, a wholly owned subsidiary of ABN AMRO Bank N.V., headquartered in the Netherlands, raising funds )
Finova ( 12/2000out of market place, many problems, raises $250 MM, but not enough ) ( 10/2000 Dow Jones headlines "Finova Stock Falls As Buyout Hopes Wane 10/2000 Dow Jones notes stock falling and problems at Finova 11/2000 Announces they will discontinue business, sell units 11/2000 Suspends Dividend 11/2000 Leucadia National to Invest $350 Million in Finova 11/2000 reports $274 million loss ))
First State Bancorp, Albuquerque, N.M ( 3/2000 sold leasing division-$64 million---)
Franklin Leasing, Des Moines, Iowa--owned by Liberty Bank-- (2/2000)-no longer writing leases ( limited by regulations and leases are for sale ).
Franchise Mortagage Acceptance Corporation (FMAC) 11/1999 purchased by Bay View Commercial Corporation (Bay View Bank) 9/2000 discontinuing all franchise loan and lease production.
Golden Gate Funding ( 2/99 purchased by Westover Financial )
Heller Financial's Commercial Services Unit ( 10/99 purchased by CIT )
Imperial Credit Industries (ICII) ( sold portfolio )
Japan Leasing Credit claims ( JLC --6/99 purchased by Orix )
Lease Acceptance Corp---( ceases broker business 7/26/2000 )
Leasing Solutions ( bankrupt )
Liberty Leasing ( closed, California company )
Linc Capital ( out of vendor and broker business, Nasdaq halts stock sales, $13.4 loss last quarter,10/2000 assets for sale )
Lyon Credit Corporaton ( 9/99 purchased by Hudson United Bancorp )
Manifest Group--( 9/1/2000 purchased by US Bancorp Leasing and Financial, "...a win for all the parties involved," Brian Bjella. Matsco Financial (12/2000 purchased by Greater Bay Bank )
Merit Leasing ( gone )
Metwest Leasing, Spokane Wa. ( 9/2000 advising brokers that they have run out of funds so they are unable to fund a transaction we have there for funding. 11/2000 Metwest Leasing Spokane, WA. is pulling the plug, confirmed by five sources. )
Metrolease--( 5/2000 reports closing operation,John Blazek at Evergreen Leasing, Hathcock losing assets, will not confirm nor deny; many serious rumors of serious fraud floating around the marketplace, including debt to Textron Financial, reported to file bk.)
NationsCredit, Business Leasing Group (1/29/99 sold to Textron**)
*"The Business Leasing Group of Nations Credit was sold to Textron and we still do broker business," say Jim Merrilees, past UAEL president.
NIA National Leasing ( 3/2000 purchased by Lakeland Bancorp )
New England Capital ( 6/2000 sold to Network Capital Alliance a division of Sovereign Bank. Sovereign did hire two people who will run a sales office in CT, doing basically the same deals with the same people as before. Little will change in that aspect.
Newcourt ( 8/2000 sold off )
Old Kent Financial ,GrandRapids, Michigan ( 11/2000 Fifth Third Bank,Cincinnati, Ohio announces acquirement, to close second quarter 2001-Gateway Leasing sold to Old Ken in 1997, small ticket leasing specialists )
Onset Capital ( 9/2000 Irwin buys 87% equity )
Orix 11/10 First Six Month Profits up 14% at Orix! ) 10/2000 "long-term Outlook has been revised from Stable to Negative" Credit Allianchat it has changed its name to ORIX Financial Services, 9/2000 Japanese Bank President Committs Suicide (Orix is a 14.7% shareholder in bank having problems ), ( 8/2000 closes small ticket vendor division in Portland, Oregon, "Business as usual (in New Jersey and with brokers)," says Steve Geller 11/8 New President at Orix appointed 11/10 First Six Month Profits up 14% at Orix! No negative reports, company appears to be doing very well. )
Phoenix ( 5/2000 both divisions closed )
Preferred Capital ( 12/2000 On the block. David Murray left 11/7 "didn't like letting his friends go." 01/2000 Mark Seif confirms )
Republic Leasing, South Carolina 9/27/2000 ( "The expected result will be a sale of Republic Leasing"---Dwight Galloway )
Resource Leasing, Herndon, Virginia ( 11/2000 MicroFinancial/Leasecomm acquires major portion of the assets.)
Rockford ( sold to American Express )
Scripp Financial ( 6/29/2000 ( purchased by US Bancorp )
Signature Leasing, Dublin, California ( 11/2000 no longer in small ticket marketplace )
SDI ( 5/2000 closed to broker programs )
SFC Capital ( 9/15/2000 purchased by Trinity Capital )
SierraCities (11/2000 to be acquired by Vertical Net Credit on December 29, now extended to January 16,2000 , Sells Off UK Assets )
T&W, Washington (10/2000 filed Chapter 11. Creditors meeting on 12-4-00 Seattle. Case # 00- 10868 US Bankruptcy Court Western District of Wash. 206-553-7545. Debtor Attorney-Marc Barreca 206-623-7580)
Transamerica ( 11/2000 for sale, but no buyers, so taken off marketplace, no longer for sale )
Unicapital ( 12/2000 files bk ) *** series of company that may be affected, end of report )
United Capital, Austin Texas ( 12/2000 no new deals until after the 1st of year, Steve Dallas says, " We will survive." Varilease ( 11/2000 closed down )
USA Capital Leasing ( gone-bk )

any corrections, additions, comments will be appreciated.

We are presently working on dividing the list into last twelve months and prior. We are close to completion on this project

***Original Purchases by Date by Unicapital
American Capital Resources 2/98
Boulder Capital Group 2/98
Cauff, Lippman Aviation 2/98
Jacom Computer Services 2/98
Matrix Funding 2/98
Merrimac Financial Associates 2/98
MunicipalCapital Markets Group 2/98
The NSJ Group 2/98
PortfolioFinancial Servicing 2/98 --aquires assets of Unicapital
Vanlease 2/98
The Walden Group 2/98
K.L.C., Inc. dba Keystone Leasing 5/98
Jumbo Jet 7/98
HLC Financial 7/98
Saddleback Financial Corporation 7/98
U.S. Turbine Engine Corp. 7/98
The Myerson Companies dba BSB Leasing 9/98

--- to start again says Don Meyerson Please note, we are continuing to fill in the dates, so we can break this list into a "current" and " recent" list. We have also deleted smaller companies and sales of portfolio's as the list was getting too large. Editor had not completed new chronological section.

We give you permission, and in fact, encourage you to pass on information to your colleagues. If you would like to join our leasing news network, we are free, with no advertising or banners, too--- all you need to do is e-mail us. View Us on Line, too: www.leasingnews.org
Vote for the "Pioneer of Leasing"


The Equipment Financing Journal (EFJ), published by R.H. Caruso & Co., Inc. is currently accepting online nominations for the distinction of "Pioneer of Leasing" for a feature article slated for mid-2001. The EFJ is requesting reader assistance in determining which individuals have made the most impact on equipment leasing during its formative years between 1960-1980. Categories included are: Big-Ticket, Middle-Market, Small-Ticket, Captive, Vendor and Service Provider. Those interested can obtain more information and cast their votes online at http://www.efj.com/pages/poll_form.asp until January 31.

When the voting is completed, a panel of judges will determine the top two "Pioneers of Leasing" in each category. These significant individuals will be the focus of a comprehensive feature that covers the history of equipment leasing.

For more information contact The EFJ at 716-885-0444 or editor@efj.com.

New UAEL Exec. Joan Dalton Lacks Experience???

On December 15, 2000 you published Bob Rodi’s, UAEL’s out going President, “Letter on the Year,” in which he states “... the desires of the UAEL leadership [is] to position our Association as the premiere trade organization in the equipment leasing industry,” and “delivering maximum value” for our dues. On December 29, 2000, you subsequently published the UAEL ANNOUNCEMENT , ...”Joan Dalton is appointed Managing Director of the United Association of Equipment Leasing effective January 1, 2001, ...Joanie replaces Dr. Raymond Williams.”

I am concerned as a member that the appointment of somebody with less than two years experience in leasing and association management does not instill confidence that the UAEL is on a course to being the “premiere trade organization in the equipment leasing industry.” I am sure that this maybe a concern of others as well.

My intent in writing is not to vilify Ms. Dalton, but to ask if others beside myself are searching for a reasonable answer as to why this particular choice was made? Is she the strongest candidate for this important position, or are there others who would be better qualified? The announcement clearly indicates a replacement has been made and prompts the question of the value in my membership.

I feel that we need a strong person for this position that understands our industry and association management with the leadership capabilities to help guide us in this new millennium.

D. Paul Nibarger, CLP
Nibarger Associates
(310) 541-8609

( This e-mail was not alone, except it was the only one who wanted us to use their name. We received many who were "afraid" to voice their opinion about the alleged "lack of experience" and/or ability to go to regions, not being a members of the American Society of Executives. Most were very pro Ray Williams, mentioning things he had done for them.. Normally w will print "off the record," but not in this regard. If you don't have the guts to use their name for an adverse opinion...then NO. In my personal opinion, Dalton can do the job and handle the crticism. Whether you agree or disagree with Mr. Nibarger, he has the courage to speak his opinion and we should applaud him for that. He has many valid points, and we should respect him for his opinion and leadership to speak out. editor. )

More Competition for Leasing Says Major V.C. Play

"Bearish," were the first words out of William "Boots" Del Biaggio mouth. He is president and CEO of Sand Hill Capital, one of the panelist at the Economic Trends 2001 "Commonwealth Club of California" meeting held at the San Jose Fairmont Hotel this morning, also sponsored by The Silicon Valley San Jose Chamber of Commerce and Silicon Valley Business Ink.

The Moderator was Robert T. Parry, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve of San Francisco, and among the other panelists we Daniel McFadden, 2000 Nobel Laureate in Economics, and Gary Burke, vice-president of the Nasdaq Stock Market. Burke said yesterday was the best day ever in Nasdaq's history, largest volume they have ever recorded, and strengthens their trend to keep expanding overseas to provide money to emerging companies.

" There is $80 billion out there to spend by venture capitalist, " Del Biaggio said. "But you will now see VC's look inward, see what to keep, what to sell off. There is a new way to look at investments this year. Management that can change, and make profit. Look also for VC to invest in public companies not performing well." " There will be less angel financing, few "B" round financing, as investors will want to look at profits and not lack of profits." They will start investing in companies in smaller dollar amounts, in companies performing, completing more with banks and leasing companies. " Only 20% to 30% of the $80 billion is committed and watch for the V.C. investor to be bearish..." and they will be looking for more proven companies with solid management and history of profit."

Westar Financial Reports $105 Million in 3Q01 Revenue, Up 300%

TUMWATER, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--1--Westar Financial Services Incorporated (OTC:WEST), the leading automobile e-finance portal, today reported continued record growth.

The company generated revenues of more than $105 million for its third fiscal quarter ended December 31, 2000, an increase of 300% from $26 million in the year ago period, and 76% from $60 million in the prior quarter of this year. For the first nine months of fiscal 2001, revenues increased 140% to more than $202 million compared to $84 million in the like period a year ago. Westar has reported record revenues for each of its most recent four quarters.

"For the five years it took us to build and prove our business model, the most common comment we heard from others was, `That's not the way it's normally done.' We agree. Today, Westar is delivering on its promise to meld exciting new technologies with older concepts of high-touch service in order to deliver quality growth," said R. W. Christensen, Jr., President. "Westar is capitalizing on its recognition that `e-commerce' is a tool, rather than an end in itself. The business models and practices we've developed to serve the B2B2C marketplace have positioned Westar on the leading edge of the financial services industry of the future in terms of revenue growth, margin expansion and operating efficiency. In February, we will report full fiscal third uarter results, and expect the final quarterly results will be significantly improved and approaching breakeven. The widening margins and strengthening operating results are a direct result of the economies of scale we are beginning to generate in finance and operations."

"We expect Westar will have more opportunities presented to it in the coming year as large competitors continue to exit the automobile segment of consumer financial services. In particular, we expect more major institutions to look to outsourcing their auto finance operations, essentially similar to their earlier large-scale departures from personal loans, mortgages and credit cards. This will create additional possibilities for Westar in terms of revenues, market share and margins," he added.

WEST is the leading publicly traded automobile-oriented financial portal. Westar originates, decisions, commits to and fulfills consumer financings for itself or others, using sophisticated decision tools and high-speed communications to assure transparency to all parties to the transaction. Through DriveOff.com, recently acquired by MSN CarPoint, Westar completed the first entirely electronic Internet automobile purchase and lease transaction in October 1999. The company operates its Dealer Direct Retaill Leasing program in 14 western states and is rapidly expanding its e-finance activities nationally through alliances with DriveOff.com, AmSouth Bancorporation, Mellon Bank and others.

Statement regarding "Forward-Looking Statements": Statements concerning future performance, developments or events, including projected profit and loss levels, expansion of operations, growth of loan originations, quality of the company's lease portfolio, the ability to place securitizations, success of the e-commerce model, trends in interest rates, various statements concerning expectations for growth or profits and any other guidance on future periods, constitute forward-looking statements which are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties which might cause actual results to differ materially from stated expectations.



R.W. Christensen, Jr., President & CEO, 360/754-6227


What is the Problem????

I don't think the problem is that we are all "down" on the leasing industry. I think many of us have been very skeptical, from the start, concerning the use of the World Wide Web as a source for business, and as a means for efficiently underwriting that business. If we look at the experience of another industry that started from scratch, namely biotech, we should be optimistic that eventually a business model, and the related management depth, can be developed that will result in a leasing dot.com being successful. The lesson we should draw from Biotech is - don't hold your breath.

I had lunch recently with a friend of mine who is CEO of a successful, publicly traded biotech company. He had some interesting insights on dot.coms. As you may know Biotech is one sector that has remained strong throughout last year. He thinks, based on his experience of 20 years in the biotech industry, an industry that was started from scratch in the early 80's much like the dot.coms were in the mid-90's, that it will take 10-15 years for the dot.com industry to really mature and be successful.

Prior to becoming CEO of his current company my friend was a senior manager at Genentech, probably the earliest "pure" biotech company. Biotech was an industry, like dot.com, that was started from scratch. My friend is one of the few senior managers who have been in the Biotech Industry, in a major role, almost from the inception of the Industry. He reminded me that when Genentech was founded no major drug company used biotech as a means of developing commercially successful drugs. No one knew if a biotech company could be successful on its own. Now there is not a single drug company that does NOT use biotech as a means to develop commercially successful drugs. There are now a large number of very successful "pure" biotech companies whose market value is collectively worth hundreds of billions of dollars.

My friend thinks that it is impossible that many senior managers in dot.coms know what they are doing. He feels that way because, looking back on his 20 year career in biotech, there were very few senior people in biotech, at the time that industry was in its infancy, that knew what THEY were doing, and he doesn't think he is any less smart than Jeff Bezos, Tom Depping, et al. I reminded him of a conversation I had with him over 10 years ago, when he was still at Genentech, about his Genentech colleagues who were borrowing against stock options to buy fancy houses in Pacific Heights. Keep in mind that Genentech was the "E-Bay of its day;" the "gold standard" against which all other biotech companies were measured. Genentech had the backing from Kleiner, Perkins, as many of the premier dot.coms do today, the best people, etc., etc. He said, "it is interesting you remember that conversation because I see the same 'gold rush' frenzy going on with dot.coms today, as went on in biotech in the mid-1980's, and it is only in the past few years that biotech has really developed the management depth and experience to reduce the likelihood of that happening once more."

Also, as conventional drug companies have embraced biotech, as a way of developing new drugs, conventional financial services companies are embracing the World-Wide Web. GE Capital is one example. ATEL might be another. Rather than getting "down" on the leasing industry, because of some of the failures resulting from the decisions of a few to become a pure dot.com, one should also look at the successes that some of the other companies in the industry have had from using the World Wide Web to become more productive and expand their services.

Frankly, I am less concerned about the collective psyche of the leasing industry than I am about this recent Fed rate decrease, which may be perceived by the markets as "monetizing" higher asset prices and higher inflation, but that is another story.

Bob Homans/Norden Capital

Hartcourt Subsidiary and IBM Form Software Partnership in China

SinoBull Financial Group Integrates IBM Open Standards Software for Chinese e-Finance Applications

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- The Hartcourt Companies Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: HRCT; Frankfurt: HCT), www.hartcourt.com, today announced that its subsidiary, SinoBull Financial Group, has agreed to become an IBM Partner (NYSE: IBM) for Software in China. The agreement entitles SinoBull Financial Group to integrate IBM's best available software technology into SinoBull's e-solutions for the banking and securities industry in China. The partnership was structured to assist SinoBull's efforts in delivering greater value to its customers, including proven ways to cut costs, speed up business processes and software development, and increase productivity for e-finance applications.

Under the partnership arrangement, SinoBull will receive IBM partnership benefits including free trainings and technical support in China. IBM will help SinoBull to choose from more than 3,000 products and components for redistribution, resale and repackaging. These are open standards-based, ready-to-use, high-quality software technologies, components, sub-products and packaged products that SinoBull can embed, integrate, preload or bundle with its own products.

Ms. Xiaohong Liu, the lead manager of IBM Software Partner World in China, said, "IBM (China) welcomes SinoBull Financial Group as a new member of IBM China Partners for Software. We recognize SinoBull's leading position in China's e-finance market and are offering SinoBull engineers all necessary training and technical support to enhance the value of our working together as strategic partners in China."

Dr. Charlie Q. Yang, CEO of Hartcourt commented, "We are very excited with the opportunity of becoming an IBM Software Partner for China. Former joint activities between SinoBull and IBM dealt with other technical areas, including voice recognition technology development for online stock trading. We are now more focused on offering competitive solutions to our clients operating within the highly profitable financial industry. We believe that the marketing of proven software solutions should translate into meaningful revenue growth for the current year and beyond, and look forward to a long-term and enriching relationship with IBM."

About SinoBull Financial Group

SinoBull Financial Group, a Hartcourt subsidiary, is a financial technology developer and Internet service provider. SinoBull's operating companies include: Beijing UAC E-Commerce Networks, Shanghai Guo Mao Science & Technology, SinoBull Network Technology (formerly Shangdi Networks), and Financial Telecom Ltd. In addition to quality financial news, real-time market data, financial analysis and commentary via the SinoBull portal, www.sinobull.com.cn, the SinoBull platform enables brokerage firms to provide their clients with the ability to securely trade securities online. The company's E-Finance platform is an integration of the most advanced Internet, telecommunication and wireless access systems available on the market today. The service platform and collateral content is offered via subscription to leading securities brokerages, investment firms, banks, as well as media companies throughout Greater China. The Hartcourt Companies, Inc. owns approximately 51% of SinoBull Financial Group.

About Hartcourt

The Hartcourt Companies is a holding and development company that is building a network of Internet and telecommunication service companies in The People's Republic of China (China), including Hong Kong, in partnership with Chinese entrepreneurs as well as Chinese government-owned entities. Hartcourt's business goal over the next three years is to complete a series of IPOs or spin-offs focused on four main divisions: StreamingAsia, the streaming content (video/audio) web-casting and web hosting leader in Hong Kong; SinoBull Financial Group, the multi-media financial data provider and online securities trading platform; the Broadband ISP and Internet Infrastructure Group; and Hartcourt Capital Inc., the financial E-Finance transactions platform offering online banking, securities, insurance, equipment leasing, credit, and B2B transaction settlements. Detailed information on Hartcourt can be obtained via the company's Web site, www.hartcourt.com. Forward-looking statements Certain statements in this news release may constitute "forward looking" statements within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Such forward looking statements involve risks, uncertainties and other factors, which may cause the actual results, performance or achievement expressed or implied by such forward looking statements to differ materially from the forward looking statements.

The Hartcourt Companies, Inc. CO: Hartcourt Companies, Inc.; SinoBull Financial Group; IBM ST: California, China

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