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Stocks to watch: ALF, GEL, MVN, NZO, PPP, PGW

Friday 11th June 2010

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Allied Farmers has secured a conditional buyer for stage two of the Five Mile Queenstown development, Glass Earth Gold has raised almost $1 million through its private placement, while Macquarie has given Methven a 'neutral' recommendation and NZOG shares jump 3.7%.

Allied Farmers (ALF): The finance company that took on the Hanover and United loan books in a debt-for-equity swap has secured a conditional buyer for the second stage of the Five Mile development near Queenstown, that’s north of the $23.2 million valuation as at December 31. Managing director Rob Alloway told Good Returns that the sale would easily cover the prior-ranking mortgage with Stephen Lockwood’s Uno Finance, formerly known as Lockwood Finance, which had been organised by Hanover. The shares climbed 4.4% to 4.7 cents in trading yesterday.

Glass Earth Gold (GEL): The company completed the final tranche of its private placement, raising $996,300 selling 4.98 units at 20 cents apiece. The funds will be used for a drilling programme at Muirs Reef. The shares last traded on June 4 at 31 cents on the NZX.

Methven (MVN): The tap and showerware manufacturer’s robust New Zealand operation and stand-out Australian business are being held back by its UK unit, according to Macquarie Equities analyst Brooke Bone, the Sharechat website reported. Bone said “while management has a good track record” in its Australasian businesses, its British venture is a “difficult challenge half a world away,” and has given Methven a ‘neutral’ recommendation. The shares rose 0.6% in trading yesterday.

New Zealand Oil & Gas (NZO): An exploration well being drilled into the highly prospective Tui licence area encountered hydrocarbons in the target sands, the companies said today. NZOG, which owns 12.5% of Tui, climbed 3.7% to $1.41 yesterday, and Pan Pacific Petroleum (PPP), with 10%, jumped 12% to 28 cents.

PGG Wrightson (PGW): New Zealand’s biggest rural services company yesterday announced it will restructure its divisions into two businesses – Agriservices, which will handle everything from finance and real estate, to livestock and rural supplies, and AgriTech, which will hold the seeds, grain and nutrition assets. The stock rose 1.9% to 54 cents yesterday.

Themes of the day: Stocks rebounded in Europe and the US amid optimism Europe's debt crisis will be brought under control after strong demand for a sale of Spanish bonds and as investors returned to beaten-up energy stocks. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index climbed about 3% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed back up above 10,000. The New Zealand dollar extended its gains after China confirmed a reported surge in exports of almost 50% last month from a year earlier.

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