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Stocks to watch: New Zealand equity preview

Thursday 14th August 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: The New Zealand dollar rebounded overnight to more than 70.50 US cents after plunging to as low as 68.26 cents yesterday. Some traders said currencies of commodity-producing nations gained as prices rose. Gold rose for the first time this month and crude oil futures advanced more than US$2 a barrel.

Auckland International Airport (AIA): The nation's busiest gateway dropped plans to reduce the number of duty free retailers in its terminals to one from two after intervention from the Commerce Commission. The shares rose about 1% to NZ$2.05 yesterday and have dropped 30% this year.

Kiwi Income Property Trust (KIP): The trust yesterday said it will seek an additional revaluation of its properties this year because of deteriorating markets. Kiwi Income doesn't expect to reduce its distributions to unit-holders if property values fall, it said. Its units fell 0.9% to NZ$1.12 yesterday and have fallen 16% this year.

Northland Port Corp. (NTH): The port company said Sea-tug and barge operator Sea-Tow had settled a NZ$5.5 million loan after the sale of some international assets. The shares were unchanged at NZ$2.70 yesterday and have declined 23% this year.

Opus International Consultants (OIC): The engineering consultancy today posted a 38% gain in first-half profit to NZ$2.5 million on sales of NZ$38 million. Opus has gained 14% in the past month, about twice the gain of the NZX 50 Index.

Telecom Corp. (TEL): Two prospective board members of the phone company, being promoted by activist shareholder Elliott International, say they plan to be truly independent and not just represent the US fund, according to the New Zealand Herald. Elliott advocates splitting up Telecom and abandoning its business strategy. Telecom rose 1.5% to NZ$3.38 yesterday and is down 22% this year.

By Jonathan Underhill

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