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Stocks to watch: Hallenstein, Infratil, RNS, TTK, Telecom

Tuesday 2nd February 2010

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One of the key events today will be the Reserve Bank of Australia's cash rate announcement. On the New Zealand sharemarket companies two telephone companies, Telecom and TeamTalk will be in the spotlight following recent announcements and oil buffs will be watching to see if PPP continuues its slide.

International themes of the day: Stocks rose on Wall Street after figures showed manufacturing and spending picked up. President Barack Obama unveiled a record budget deficit for 2010 of US$1.56 trillion. Local data included the Labour Cost Index and the Quarterly Employment Survey. In Australia, the central bank may raise its benchmark interest rate 25 basis points to 2% - 1.5 percentage points more than New Zealand’s.

Hallenstein Glasson Holdings (NZX: HLG ): The clothing retailer led the NZX 50 higher for a second day yesterday, climbing 2.8% to $3.70 after surging 11% on Friday when it announced that first-half profit would jump 50% on buoyant trading over the Christmas-New Year period. The retailer also raised its dividend.

Infratil (NZX: IFT ): The investment group said its acquisition of Shell's New Zealand sales and distribution activities are “progressing satisfactorily” and completion is expected shortly. It made the comments in its monthly update. The shares fell 1.2% to $1.63 yesterday.

Pan Pacific Petroleum (NZX: PPP ): Shares of the oil explorer declined almost 7% to 40 cents yesterday, the lowest since May last year, as concern China will take steps to cool its economy drove down commodity prices including crude oil.

Renaissance (NZX: RNS ): The computer distribution company is to face new competition from a company set up by former managing director Paul Johnston. Simms International, a UK. and Australia based distribution company will open for business this month with five or six staff, offering similar products to Renaissance, which employs 400 people and has an NZX value of $13.5 million. The shares dropped 3 cents to 27 cents yesterday.

TeamTalk (NZX: TTK ): The communications company yesterday said it teamed with construction firm Fulton Hogan to make a submission on the government’s Ultra Fast Broadband initiative. TeamTalk said if it is successful in winning some of the work, its wholly owned subsidiary CityLink join forces with Fulton Hogan to build and operate a fibre optic based telecommunications network in Wellington. The shares last traded on January 26 at $2.25.

Telecom (NZX: TEL ): The national mobile phone company’s chief executive Paul Reynolds will announce a compensation package for customers caught by last week’s XT network outage. He will reveal in Dunedin today how customers will be recompensed, the choice of announcement partly a reflection that southern customers were hardest hit by the breakdown. Telecom shares dropped 2 cents yesterday to close at $2.37.

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