Monthly Archives: September 2012

2012
09/22

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Finance

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Scots Finance Secretary John Swinney Promises A Budget For Jobs

Scotlands Finance Secretary John Swinney has pledged that next weeks budget will probably be one dedicated to boosting our economy.

He said having been actively exploring the particular government could do to create jobs and grow the development sector.

Mr Swinney made his promise as the latest Government Economic Strategy (GES) report was published.

The SNP minister said the document demonstrated that the federal government was continuing to provide its priorities.

Mr Swinney said: Next weeks budget will build on the foundations for long-term economic prosperity that individuals set out in 2007 and focuses our actions on six strategic priorities which will accelerate recovery, drive sustainable growth and develop a more resilient and adaptable economy.

Retaining Scotlands position as the most supportive environment for business in the UK is vital in making sure our ambitious, innovative companies can thrive and capitalise on opportunities in new international growth markets.

The six priority areas set out are;

  • capital investment
  • digital infrastructure
  • addressing youth unemployment
  • procurement
  • renewables
  • and support for business.

The economic strategy report explained economic conditions remained challenging and this uncertainty inside the eurozone had acted like a fatigue confidence.

It added that Scotland had not been immune to the people pressures and the recovery which began in 2009 remains fragile.

Against that backdrop, the report said the governments immediate priorities remained boosting public sector capital investment; tackling unemployment and inspiring private sector investment.

Could do more

Before outlining the details of his 2012/13 budget, Mr Swinney said: Our actions to boost growth will include a tax relief package worth over £500m this year and bringing forward a further £105m package of economic stimulus.

We are doing all we can within our current powers to excercise our economy but it is obvious that with the full fiscal and economic powers of independence, the Scottish government could do a lot more to reinforce our economy.

More and more successful business leaders and wealth creators recognise that through independence, we can best determine produce the best environment for economic success and deliver a more prosperous and fairer Scotland.

Scottish Conservative housing spokesman Alex Johnstone said he hoped Mr Swinney meant what he said about boosting construction.

Mr Johnstone added: But if this boost is just according to large public works, that alone is not going to take the step-change the requires.

The things we do need is private housebuilders constructing homes again and our key industries investing for future years in developing their properties and facilities.

That will only result from a Scottish government that provides real confidence within the long-term, and doesnt simply depend on big public contracts.

2012
09/20

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Finance

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TEXT-S& P: NTT Finance’s Shelf Registration Assigned Prelim Debt Rtg

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    Sept 10 – Regular Poors Ratings Services today assigned its preliminary AA debt rating to NTT Finance Corp. s (AA/Stable/A-1+) JPY200 billion shelf registration regarding domestic senior…

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2012
09/20

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Finance Minister Affirms Thailand Is On Road

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong has reassured the government the economy is on the right course by stimulating domestic consumption to balance declining exports despite his critics pushing for sustainability and prudence.

The government pursued many of its election pledges in after assuming office _ a 300-baht daily minimum wage, 15, 000-baht salaries for university-graduate civil servants, paddy pledging at 15, 000 baht a tonne and debt suspension of 280 billion baht for 2. 5 million farmers and small debtors.

Mr Kittiratt said during his one-year assessment he feels these policies have generated the expansion in the domestic economy.

The corporate tax was also cut to 23% this coming year and can drop to 20% next year. The governments tax incentive for first-time car buyers is expected to be taken by 169, 000 car buyers causing 12 billion baht worth of tax losses. The ministry approved 844, 000 charge cards for farmers with 621 million baht being charged.

The governments emergency decree to borrow 350 billion baht for construction of flood prevention structures must be drawn down by the middle of next year, as well as believes it will save budgetary space. This move would allow the ministry to start an idea to lessen this deficit, with the deficit in fiscal year 2013 rising by 20 billion baht from second . 4 trillion this year, he said.

But Korn Chatikavanij, an ex finance minister from the Democrat Party, warned that just a little handful of large businesses will enjoy the governments corporate tax reduction, with all the many smaller businesses receiving no help.

He said Mr Kittiratt needs to have introduced a great framework to compensate for that corporate revenue tax losses and also the fiscal liabilities in the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives paddy-pledging scheme. Losses from pledging are estimated at 100 billion baht.

While Mr Kittiratt said the us government was successful in reducing fiscal liabilities by utilizing funds from the Deposit Protection Agency to pay for the interest burden of financial bailout fund from 1997 recession, Mr Korn said the move undermined the countrys deposit insurance system.

Sompop Manarungsan, an economist, said many government policies will make merely a short-term impact in strengthening the domestic economy. Much of this years growth comes from higher auto sales as a result of tax incentives and rehabilitation after the flood.

Thanavat Polvichai, the vice-president for research in the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, said while government policies targeted at stimulating the economy are sound theoretically, they have got not proven they could drive growth after a year.

2012
09/20

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Finance

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Clean Power Finance To Unveil National Solar Permitting Database

One of the greatest hindrances for the installing of solar technology is obtaining the correct permit to accomplish this. The guidelines and regulations change from city to city, state to mention, and therefore are costly in which.

Soon at Solar powered energy International 2012, Clean Power Finance plans to unveil the first prototype from the National Solar Permitting Database which it has been taking care of.

2012
09/20

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Minn. Campaign Finance Provision \’Most Likely Unconstitutional\’

A Minnesota law requiring all associations to create independent political expenditures through a fund is most probably unconstitutional, the Court of Appeals for your Eighth Circuit has ruled, finding the reporting requirements to get onerous.

On September 5, the complete appeals court, in a 6-4-1 ruling, partially reversed a reduced courts denial from the plaintiffs preliminary injunction motion against several Minnesota campaign finance laws.

Almost all opinion in Minnesota Citizens Concerned forever, Inc. v. Swanson, authored by Chief Judge William Jay Riley, reversed the denial of a preliminary injunction on ongoing reporting requirements for associations that are not Minnesota political action committees (PACs) and remanded the case. Judges Bobby Shepherd, Duane Benton, Raymond Gruender, James Loken and Roger Wollman joined him.

The majority also affirmed the low courts denial of the preliminary injunction on Minnesotas ban on corporate political contributions.

Riley noted that this Eighth Circuit does not have any opinion at this time of the case is any of the other obligations Minnesota imposed upon associations speaking through political funds would, on their own or collectively, survive exacting scrutiny.

Judge Michael Melloy filed a judgment concurring simply and dissenting partly, joined by judges Kermit Bye, Diana Murphy and Lavenski Smith.

Judge Steven Colloton filed a separate concurring-in-part and dissenting-in-part opinion.

Three Minnesota organizations sued several Minnesota officials in July 2010 to challenge the constitutionality of certain Minnesota campaign finance laws. Under Minnesota law, companies that desire to make independent election-related expenditures can bring about a current political fund or create their own political fund. Political funds must make disclosures for the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board.

The plaintiffs claimed the laws violate their rights to make contributions to candidates and political parties and independent expenditures promoting the support or defeat of a particular candidate.

In September 2010, Judge Donovan Frank from the District of Minnesota denied the plaintiffs motion for any preliminary injunction.

In May 2011, a divided Eighth Circuit panel affirmed that denial, and the court later decided to hear the truth en banc.

Within the courts en banc opinion, Riley wrote, By subjecting political funds to the same regulatory burdens as PACs, Minnesota has, essentially, substantially extended the reach of PAC-like regulation for all associations that ever make independent expenditures.

After detailing the Minnesotas reporting requirements for political spending, Riley wrote the collective burdens associated with Minnesotas independent expenditure law chill political speech.

Because Minnesota hasn\’t advanced any relevant correlation between its identified interests and ongoing reporting requirements, we conclude Minnesotas requirement that every associations make independent expenditures via an independent expenditure political fundhellip; is most likely unconstitutional, Riley wrote.

Riley then looked to the plaintiffs challenge to Minnesotas prohibition on corporate contributions. He found this ban apt to be constitutional using the US Supreme Courts 2003 ruling in FEC v. Beaumont. Quoting out of this ruling, Riley wrote, Simply put, restrictions on contributions require less compelling justification than restrictions on independent spending.

In the concurring and dissenting opinion, Melloy agreed using the majority that Minnesotas ban on corporate political contributions is probably constitutional.

Melloy then wrote that the majority does not fully apply the Supreme Courts 2010 holding in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission towards the analysis of Minnesotas reporting requirements. Citizens United held that the First Amendment bars government restrictions on corporations and unions independent political expenditures.

First, corporations possess a First Amendment right to speak through political contributionshellip; and second, the voting public features a right to know where the money is coming fromhellip; Within my view, most gives short shrift for this second fundamental principle of Citizens United, Melloy wrote.

Melloy also wrote that although the Minnesota laws impose some burden on associations wanting to make political expenditures, that burden is not really disproportionate with either the states fascination with the legislation in order to other administrative burdens associations bear on a regular basis.

Collotons opinion agreed using the other two opinions that Minnesotas ban on corporate political contributions is most likely constitutional.

Colloton also concurred with Melloys opinion on the disclosure requirements aside from language in regards to a state interest in deterring improper or suspect relationships between elected officials and supporters making independent expenditures: Another interests invoked through the State are sufficiently essential to justify the disclosure requirements at issue here.

James Bopp Jr. in the Bopp Law practice in Terre Haute, Ind., who argued for your plaintiffs, said, I think this is a decision that will turn the corner on the post-Citizens United claims that Citizens United gave carte blanche authority for that government to require disclosure.

Minnesota solicitor general Alan Gilbert who argued for the Minnesota Attorney Generals Office referred questions to Gary Goldsmith, the executive director from the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board. Goldsmith said the board is the main respondent in case. On this initial reading in the opinion, we do not believe it has the sweeping effect that some commentators have suggested, Goldsmith said.

He also explained the board believes its policy and application of the statute will remedy the issues the appellate court has pointed out, but it would contemplate proposing legislation being a long-term solution.

This short article originally appeared within the National Law Journal.

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2012
09/19

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TEXT-Fitch Affirms Michigan Finance Auth State Revolving Fund Bonds

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  • September 10 – Fitch Ratings has affirmed its AAA rating about the following Michigan Finance Authoritys (MFA) state revolving fund (SRF) bonds:

    –Approximately $1. 73 billion in outstanding clean water and water to drink revolving fund revenue…

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2012
09/18

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Finance ministry cautions against hasty coal cancellations

The finance ministry has raised serious questions on whether the government may face a legal backlash from aggrieved parties – power and steel companies that had been awarded captive coal blocks – if it chooses to de-allocate the blocks.

With less than 48 hours before the

2012
09/17

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For India’s new finance minister, there is no time to waste

* Chidambaram focused on improving investor perceptions

* Pressing banks to lend more to boost manufacturing

* Culture change at finance ministry

By Manoj Kumar and Arup Roychoudhury

NEW DELHI, Sept 10 (Reuters) – P. Chidambaram has a simple
message for investors disillusioned by Indias policy drift: it
is no longer business as usual in the corridors of North
Block, the sandstone colonial building that houses the finance
ministry in New Delhi.

For months, critics have accused Prime Minister Manmohan
Singhs government of being asleep at the wheel. Frustrated
investors accuse it of both over-confidence and complacency in
the face of an economic slowdown that has shattered the
countrys reputation as Incredible India.

We have come to a stage where something concrete has to
happen, said Rupa Rege Nitsure, chief economist at Bank of
Baroda in Mumbai. The current period is very, very critical for
India.

But in the 41 days since his appointment as finance
minister – for a third time – Chidambaram has shaken up the
ministry and impressed analysts. He has sought to signal that
Asias third-largest economy finally has someone willing to take
tough decisions.

Indias economic policy-making has been blocked for months
by dithering and political gridlock. While the timing of
big-bang reforms remains uncertain, the Harvard-educated
Chidambaram is trying to work around bickering politicians and
is drawing up a package of smaller measures to stop the rot,
such as improving tax collection, fast-tracking stalled
infrastructure projects and asking state banks to ease lending
to small manufacturers.

His ministry is ratcheting up pressure on wayward coalition
allies of the ruling Congress party to agree on a long-overdue
increase in heavily subsidised fuel prices.

Ministry officials warned for the first time last week that
if the hikes did not take place soon, spending cuts might be
necessary to keep the budget deficit under control. The cabinet
may consider making a move on fuel prices this week.

Chidambarams appointment may have bought the government a
reprieve from international credit rating agencies, which have
threatened to downgrade India to junk status over New Delhis
policy paralysis, ministry officials said.

But he does not have much time. Investors, weary of empty
rhetoric and broken promises, are impatient for action now.

Chidambaram has made clear he understands the importance of
winning back investors confidence. That stands in stark
contrast with his predecessor, Pranab Mukherjee, now Indias
president, who scared off foreign investors with confusing tax
reform proposals and failed to drive through any major reforms
during his near four-year term.

PICKING UP THE PACE

Nowhere are the winds of change clearer than in North Block,
where officials are working longer hours and weekends, and with
a new sense of urgency and accountability.

His message is very clear. Either you have to perform or
find a way to move out of the ministry, said one official, who
attended Chidambarams first meeting with senior staff.

Reinforcing the message of change was the appointment of
Raghuram Rajan, the outspoken former chief economist to the
International Monetary Fund, as Chidambarams top adviser.
Earlier this year, Rajan offered a stinging critique of the
governments economic policies at an event attended by Singh.

Since Chidambarams arrival, senior ministry officials have
been logging their arrival and departure each day using
fingerprint scanners located at the buildings entrances.
Earlier, only junior staff were required to do so.

What he has done is put everyone on their toes and made
them accountable, the official said.

Interviews with a series of officials, who mostly asked to
remain anonymous, paint a picture of a no-nonsense man who is
constantly questioning, hands-on, meticulous and intolerant of
people who cannot manage their time.

Mukherjee typically arrived at his office around 11 am and
would then spend much of his day meeting constituents and
Congress party officials. He tended to read ministry documents
late in the day and would often leave around 10 in the evening.

Chidambaram comes in by 9 am, is very business-like, does
his work, does not meet people to make small talk, clears his
files fast and goes home by 6 pm, said an official.

The minister takes a dim view of officials who talk to
journalists roaming the ministrys corridors. He would rather
see them work, said one. Chidambaram underwent minor surgery
last week and was not available for an interview.

A former lawyer, he has a reputation for intellectual
prowess, and also arrogance that has won him enemies within the
ruling Congress party and on occasion alienated public opinion.
His eloquence, however, has made him arguably the most effective
spokesman for the troubled Congress party.

BETTER TIES WITH CENTRAL BANK

The last time Chidambaram was finance minister, in
2004-2008, growth was motoring at a near-double-digit clip,
fuelled by the transformational reforms that Singh introduced in
1991 to open up a state-stifled economy.

It will be no easy ride this time.

Growth was just 5.5 percent in the June fiscal quarter, its
slowest rate in three years, in large part due to the global
economic crunch. Investment has shrunk and the fiscal deficit
has also ballooned, fuelled by hefty subsidies on diesel,
kerosene and fertilisers.

Growth is slowing, there are lots of issues in the world
economy. Everybody else is slowing, said Dipak Dasgupta,
principal economic adviser in the ministry. We have to pick up
the pace with which we do things.

A key part of Chidambarams strategy to work around the
political gridlock has been to forge better ties with the
Reserve Bank of India (RBI), which frayed under Mukherjee. The
two were at odds over which should come first – fiscal reforms
or cutting high interest rates.

The ministry and the RBI are now working on a coordinated
plan that would see Chidambaram take the first step by unveiling
some fiscal reforms, possibly in September. That could give the
central bank room to ease interest rates.

Chidambarams strategy to improve investor perceptions may
already be paying some dividends. Deutsche Bank analysts
returned from a recent trip to Delhi encouraged by the moves to
boost infrastructure spending and private investment.

Its not all doom and gloom, Deutsche said in a research
note. Our recent trip … left us with the impression that
there may be an undue concentration of pessimism which may be
ripe for some upside surprise.

(Additional reporting By Ross Colvin and Nigam Prusty in NEW
DELHI and by Suvashree Dey Choudhury and Swati Bhat in MUMBAI;
Writing by Ross Colvin; Editing by John Chalmers and Raju
Gopalakrishnan)

2012
09/16

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Finance

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Think Finance Announces the Appointment of Robert L. Johnson to Its Board of …

Think
Finance, a developer of next-generation financial products that help
people manage lifes everyday expenses, today announced the appointment
of Robert L. Johnson to its Board of Directors.

“We are thrilled to formalize our long-standing relationship with Bob,”
said Think Finance Chief Executive Officer Ken Rees. “He shares our
strategic vision for developing new, innovative financial technology
that provides better options for the underbanked. His vast experience
across many industries, including financial services, will help us grow
and evolve.”

Johnson is the founder and chairman of The RLJ Companies, including RLJ
Financial which markets innovative financial solutions for underserved
consumer and business communities. The RLJ Companies is an innovative
business network that provides strategic investments in a diverse
portfolio of companies. Prior to forming The RLJ Companies,
Johnson was founder and chairman of Black Entertainment Television
(BET), the nation’s first and leading television network providing
quality programming for the African American audience. Under his
leadership, BET became the first African American-owned company publicly
traded on the New York Stock Exchange. In 2001, Johnson sold BET to
Viacom for approximately $3 billion and remained the Chief Executive
Officer through 2006. In July 2007, he was named by USA Today as
one of the 25 most influential business leaders of the past 25 years.

“I have always been passionate about the need for financial solutions
that meet the unique needs of underserved consumers,” Johnson said. “As
a member of Think Finance’s Board of Directors, I look forward to
helping the company further its mission of developing innovative and
responsible financial products for consumers who are frequently ignored
by the broader marketplace.”

In addition to Mr. Johnson’s board appointment, Kathy Boden Holland, the
current president of RLJ Financial, will join Think Finance as executive
vice president of corporate development. Ms. Boden Holland is an
experienced executive and entrepreneur with a diverse background that
includes leadership positions in banking, venture capital and
consulting. Prior to her role at RLJ Financial, she was an executive
vice president at Urban Trust Bank, responsible for establishing and
building the National Products division. In addition, Ms. Boden Holland
was a founding partner at Katalyst, LLC, a successful investment bank
and consulting firm. She also held senior roles at Legg Mason Wood
Walker, Deloitte Consulting and Bluehouse Capital LLC. Ms. Boden Holland
received her undergraduate degree at the Wharton School of the
University of Pennsylvania, where she graduated cum laude. She received
her MBA from the University of North Carolina, where she was a Dean’s
Scholar.

About Think Finance

Think Finance is a leading developer of next-generation financial
products for underbanked consumers. The company’s products provide
increased convenience, transparency and value to the millions of
consumers whose needs are not being met by traditional banking products.
Think Finance is privately held, with offices in Fort Worth, Texas and
the United Kingdom, and is backed by some of Silicon Valleys most
respected venture capital firms including Sequoia Capital and Technology
Crossover Ventures. To learn more, please visit www.ThinkFinance.com.

About The RLJ Companies

The RLJ Companies, founded by Robert L. Johnson, is an innovative
business network that provides strategic investments in a diverse
portfolio of companies operating in a publicly traded hotel real estate
investment trust; private equity; financial services; asset management;
insurance services; automobile dealerships; sports and entertainment;
and video lottery terminal (VLT) gaming. The RLJ Companies is
headquartered in Bethesda, MD, with affiliate operations in Charlotte,
NC; Little Rock, AR; Los Angeles, CA; San Juan, PR; and Monrovia,
Liberia. Prior to founding The RLJ Companies, Johnson was founder and
chairman of Black Entertainment Television (BET). For additional
information please visit: www.rljcompanies.com.

2012
09/13

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Finance

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Fifth Street Finance Corp. Commences Public Offering of Common Stock

Fifth Street Finance Corp. Commences Public Offering of Common Stock

WHITE PLAINS, NY, Sept. 10, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Fifth Street Finance Corp. (Nasdaq:FSC) (Fifth Street) today announced that it has commenced a public offering of 7,500,000 shares of its common stock. Fifth Street plans to grant the underwriters for the offering an option to purchase up to an additional 1,125,000 shares of common stock. All shares will be offered by Fifth Street. UBS Investment Bank, Goldman, Sachs amp; Co., JP Morgan and Wells Fargo Securities will act as joint book-running managers for the offering.

Fifth Street intends to use the net proceeds from this offering to repay debt outstanding under its credit facilities. However, through re-borrowing under its credit facilities, it intends to make investments in small and mid-sized companies in accordance with its investment objective and strategies described in the prospectus supplement and accompanying prospectus and for general corporate purposes.

The offering is being made pursuant to Fifth Streets existing effective shelf registration statement on Form N-2 previously filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The offering will be made only by means of a prospectus supplement and accompanying prospectus, copies of which, when available, may be obtained from: UBS Investment Bank, 299 Park Avenue, New York, New York 10171 (Attn: Prospectus Department or tel: (888) 827-7275); Goldman, Sachs amp; Co., 200 West Street, New York, New York 10282 (Attn: Prospectus Department, tel: (866) 471-2526 or prospectus-ny@ny.email.gs.com); JP Morgan, c/o Broadridge Financial Solutions, 1155 Long Island Avenue, Edgewood, New York 11717 (Attn: Prospectus Department or tel: (866) 803-9204); and Wells Fargo Securities, 375 Park Avenue, New York, New York 10152 (Attn: Equity Syndicate Department, tel: (800) 326-5897 or cmclientsupport@wellsfargo.com). Investors are advised to carefully consider the investment objective, risks, charges and expenses of Fifth Street before investing. The prospectus supplement and accompanying prospectus contain a description of these matters and other important information about Fifth Street and should be read carefully before investing.

This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy nor will there be any sale of the shares referred to in this press release in any state or jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to the registration or qualification under the securities laws of such state or jurisdiction.

About Fifth Street Finance Corp.

Fifth Street Finance Corp. is a specialty finance company that lends to and invests in small and mid-sized companies, primarily in connection with investments by private equity sponsors. Fifth Street Finance Corp.s investment objective is to maximize its portfolios total return by generating current income from its debt investments and capital appreciation from its equity investments.

The Fifth Street Finance Corp. logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=5525

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains certain forward-looking statements, including statements with regard to Fifth Street Finance Corp.s securities offering and the anticipated use of the net proceeds of the offering. Words such as believes, expects, projects, anticipates, and future or similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are subject to the inherent uncertainties in predicting future results and conditions and no assurance can be given that the securities offering discussed above will be consummated on the terms described or at all. Completion of the securities offering and the terms thereof are subject to numerous factors, many of which are beyond the control of Fifth Street Finance Corp., including, without limitation, market conditions, changes in interest rates, failure of customary closing conditions and other matters set forth in Fifth Street Finance Corp.s prospectus supplement and accompanying prospectus. Fifth Street Finance Corp. undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

CONTACT: Investor Contact:
Dean Choksi, Senior Vice President of
Finance amp; Head of Investor Relations
Fifth Street Finance Corp.
(914) 286-6855
dchoksi@fifthstreetfinance.com

Media Contact:
Brendan McManusCJP Communications
(203) 254-1300 ext. 216
CJP-FifthStreet@CJPCom.com

Source: Fifth Street Finance Corp.