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Stocks to watch: Auckland Airport, APT, Hellaby

Thursday 8th July 2010

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Auckland Airport signed a deal with Queenstown Airport that will see it acquire almost a 25% stake, while AMP NZ Office Trust says investors are favouring stocks such as property trusts because of the lower risk involved.

AMP New Zealand Office Trust (APT): Investors are favouring stocks with defensive earning streams such as property trusts, said Paul Robertshawe of Tower Asset Management. “Property stocks have that in the short run with contracted rents, so the risk is lower than the market on aggregate.” The stock rose 1.4% to 71 cents yesterday and Kiwi Income Property Trust rose 1.1% to 93 cents. 

Auckland International Airport (AIA): The nation’s busiest gateway signed a strategic alliance with Queenstown Airport to work together to boost tourism in the Queenstown District. As part of the accord, Auckland will acquire a 24.99% stake in Queenstown Airport for $27.7 million, and has the option to increase the holding to 30%-35% up until June 30 next year. The shares rose 2 cents to $1.93. 

Hellaby Holdings (HBY): The diversified investment company said yesterday that it had reduced debt by more than forecast in its latest year and said its balance sheet is strong enough to rule out converting capital notes to stock. The stock rose 5.3% yesterday to $1.60. 

New Zealand Oil & Gas (NZO): Crude oil for August delivery climbed 2.9% to US$74.07 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange as US stocks rallied. The stock fell 1 cent to $1.19 yesterday. 

Property for Industry (PFI): The property investor said changes to tax announced in the Budget would result in PFI’s distributable profit being reduced by 4% to 5% in the year ending December 31, 2011. The stock fell 0.9% to $1.14 yesterday. 

Spotless Group (SPT): The laundry and dry cleaning group said it settled a long-running dispute over alleged contamination from chemicals at a site in Melbourne. The agreement is worth about A$4 million, slashing earnings this year, the company said today. The company will take a one-time charge against 2010 earnings, which will erode EBIT by A$4.6 million and lop A$3.2 million off net income, it said. The ASX-listed shares fell 1.4% to $2.16 yesterday. 

Themes of the day: Stocks on Wall Street rallied after financier State Street Corp. gave an upbeat forecast, helping lift financial firms. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index jumped 3.1%. Crude oil rose above US$74 a barrel. The kiwi dollar rose above 70 US cents as rallying stock markets stoked investors' risk appetite.

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