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AXA tops up Advantage stake

By Phil Boeyen, ShareChat Business News Editor

Friday 28th July 2000

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Advantage is getting the thumbs up from the investment arm of AXA New Zealand.

AXA has increased its stake in the NZ tech stock from 6.54% to 8.11%, or just over 4.7 million shares.

AXA chief investment officer, Barry Lindsay, says he is viewing Advantage positively because it offers strong growth prospects combined with a good balance sheet.

"I like the fact that it is financially sound. We don't view it as a dot.com stock with a high cash burn rate, but as a growth company with a range of activities."

Mr Lindsay says AXA purchased its shares in the $2.50 to $2.60 range, which he says is good value. AXA had previously paid over $3.00 per share for some of its holding.

While he admits some may view Advantage as a higher risk stock, Mr Lindsay says higher risk has its appeal and can be tempered by balancing a portfolio with low risk investments.

"We follow the notion that risk must be understood rather than avoided," he says.

Mr Lindsay says Advantage is also in favour with AXA because it has a high market capitalisation for a local tech stock and good liquidity.

Advantage shares traded over $5.50 before the tech bubble burst in April this year, and have been trading consistently under the $3.00 mark in past weeks

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