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Stocks to watch: New Zealand equity preview

Thursday 26th June 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: US stocks rose after the Federal Reserve kept its target rate unchanged at 2%; figures may show New Zealand's current account gap shrank; more consumer credit companies face credit squeeze.

Air New Zealand (AIR): The airline yesterday said passenger numbers in May rose 6% from the same month a year earlier.

Dorchester Pacific (DPC): The shares fell to a record low 21 cents yesterday after the property and auto loan company withdrew its prospectus and will seek more time to repay debenture holders. The move mirrors a decision by St Laurence this week, a lender that's 25% owned by Dorchester.

Fisher & Paykel Appliances Holdings (FPA): The nation's biggest maker of home appliances is vulnerable to a takeover after a slump in its shares, Reuters reported yesterday, citing Managing Director John Bongard. The stock has almost halved in value in the past year.

PGG Wrightson (WHS): The rural services company's shares have climbed 16 percent in the past month. Government figures today will probably show the current account deficit narrowed in the first quarter, helped by record prices for dairy products. The deficit narrowed to NZ$13.32 billion in the 12 months ended March 31, according to a Bloomberg survey.

Warehouse Group (WHS): Consumer confidence slumped to a 17-year low in the June quarter, according to a survey released yesterday. Shares of New Zealand's biggest discount retailer fell 5 cents to NZ$4.50 yesterday.

By Jonathan Underhill

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