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Stocks to Watch: New Zealand Equity Preview

Friday 7th November 2008

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The following stocks may be active on the New Zealand exchange after developments since the close of trading yesterday.

Themes of the day: Telecom Corp. said first-quarter profit tumbled by about a third, joining companies worldwide including Toyota and News Corp. in announcing poorer trading performance. Shares tumbled in the U.S. and Europe, oil and metals paced a decline in prices of commodities and the kiwi dollar weakened.

AMP NZ Office Trust (APT): The commercial property investor said it has renewed 50%, or NZ$242.5 million, of bank debt that was due to expire next October with a new three-year term with Bank of New Zealand and Westpac. The remainder of the facility will be address before it is due to mature, it said. Chief executive Robert Lang said the funding line "demonstrates ANZO's ability to access credit in challenging and difficult credit market conditions." Its units fell about 1% to NZ$1.02 yesterday and have fallen about 12% this year.

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ): The Australian bank yesterday said it has credit exposures to ABC Learning Centres Group of about A$182 million. The childcare centre chain appointed voluntary administrators and subsequently a group of secured creditors appointed receivers and managers. The bank's New Zealand shares fell 8.8% to NZ$20.20 yesterday.

New Zealand Oil & Gas Ltd. (NZO): Crude oil fell to a 19-month low in New York on the prospects of waning demand for fuel as global economic growth dwindles. Crude oil for December delivery fell 7% to US$60.71 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The company's shares fell 4 cents to NZ$1.36 yesterday and are up almost 20% this year.

Pike River Coal (PRC): Mining companies Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton may reduce prices for iron ore next year because of slowing demand from steel mills in Asia, Bloomberg reported, citing its own survey. That may signal less demand for coking coal to fire the mills. Pike fell 5.4% to NZ$1.23 yesterday, when analysts at BNP Paribas said coking coal contract prices may fall 57% next year.

TeamTalk Ltd. (TTK): Managing director David Ware told shareholders at their annual meeting yesterday that the company was well positioned to see out the economic contraction. "Our revenue was at its highest point ever, earnings before interest and depreciation were also at the highest point, as was profit after tax," Ware said. The shares last traded on Oct. 30 at NZ$1.95 and are down 5% this year, outperforming the NZX 50 Index.

Telecom Corp. (TEL): The telephone company today said profit tumbled 34% to NZ$149 million in the first quarter as costs rose and the carrier increased capital spending. The stock traded at NZ$2.27 yesterday and has tumbled 47% this year.

By Jonathan Underhill



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