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Week in review

Friday 3rd October 2003

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Investment company Aquiline Holdings increased its portfolio of importing and distribution companies to 13, buying plastic storage firm Stowers Group. Aquiline now has revenue of about $200 million.

Tranz Rail completed the repurchase of the ferry Aratere. Bidder Toll Holdings lent it money to terminate a troublesome sale and leaseback deal.

Tower is closing its annuity business and has appointed AMP Henderson to manage its ethical funds. The moves came as part of a revamping of its life company structure.

Tower appointed Maurice Loomes and John Spencer as directors. Chairman Olaf O'Duill upbraided board aspirant Hanover Group for its public barracking.

New Zealand Exchange accredited 10 "sponsors" for companies listing on its AX secondary board, ending sharebrokers' monopoly. Most of the sponsors are brokers anyway but the corporate finance arms of two accountancy firms, KPMG and Ernst & Young, venture capitalist Morel & Co and lawyers Quigg Partners are now accredited.

Air New Zealand went to the Australian Competition Tribunal with an appeal against an Australian Competition and Consumer Commission decision refusing authorisation for its strategic alliance with Qantas. A Commerce Commission decision is due by October 24.

Postie Plus Group reported a $1.2 million profit for the five months to July. The company said it was on track to meet its prospectus full-year profit forecast.

Vero, Promina's general insurance arm, confirmed it would exclude from farm liability policies claims for damage arising from genetically modified organisms. It said potential GMO liability risks couldn't be quantified.

Pohokura gas field operators Royal Dutch Shell, OMV and Todd Petroleum Mining said the field would be operating by mid-2006. They are not appealing a Commerce Commission decision denying them permission to market gas jointly.

Freightways shares, issued at $1.60, traded as high as $1.75 on their first day of listing.

Pyne Gould Corporation, the owner of Marac Finance and Perpetual Trust, announced plans to list in the first quarter of 2004.

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