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Stocks to watch: New Zealand equity preview

Thursday 6th 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: Stocks on Wall Street fell on further signs the world's biggest economy is in a slump and speculation president-elect Barack Obama won't be able to do enough to reverse the slide. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 4.1% In New Zealand. Figures may show the jobless rate rose to 4.3% last quarter, a sign of the prolonged economic slump.

Air New Zealand (AIR): The carrier's TAE unit acquired Australia's Masling Industries, an engineering firm that overhauls gas turbine engines in helicopters and medium-sized aircraft. The stock traded at 92 cents yesterday.

Botry-Zen (BOZ): The biotech company yesterday said it is seeking to delist from the NZX and will instead list on the Unlisted market to reduce costs. The move is subject to shareholder approval. Botry-Zen shares last traded at 2 cents on November 3 and are down 50% this year.

New Zealand Oil & Gas (NZO): Crude oil fell more than $4 a barrel after a report from the US Energy Department showed gasoline inventories increased. Gasoline supplies rose 1.12 million barrels to 196.1 million barrels last week, according to the report. Crude oil for December delivery fell 6.9% to US$65.69 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The stock rose to $1.40 yesterday.

Postie Plus Group (PPG): The unprofitable retailer yesterday said it has instituted a profit improvement program after off-loading its Arbuckles manchester chain, which contributed about half of last year's $10.8 million loss. The stock was unchanged at 33 cents yesterday and has declined 55% this year.

Telecom (TEL): The Commerce Commission will investigate whether mobile termination access, the conditions of network-to-network calls and messages, should be regulated. The Commission believes New Zealand rates are significantly above the cost of providing the service, it said in a statement today. Telecom's share price is up 4% this week to $2.36.

Zintel Group (ZIN): The company said its Zintel Communications 0800 unit lost a "significant revenue stream from its largest customer." As a result, second half profit will be hurt, said chairman Nick Gordon. The loss won't affect its first-half results, due November 21 which will be "a sound half year result" though below the year-earlier period. Zintel last traded at 21 cents on September 8.

By Jonathan Underhill

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