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Stocks to watch: New Zealand equity preview

Wednesday 16th July 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 price of oil tumbled more than US$6 yesterday amid speculation demand for fuel will slow as the US economy weakens. Energy companies tumbled, at one stage pushing the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index down to the lowest level since 2005. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told a senate committee yesterday that there are “significant downside risks to the outlook for growth” and prospects of worsening inflation.

New Zealand Oil & Gas (NZO): The price of oil dropped more than US$6 yesterday. NZOG owns 12.5% of the Tui oilfield. The stock is a standout in the New Zealand market this year, soaring about 55% while the NZX 50 dropped 25%.

OceanaGold Corp. (OGC): Gold rose to the highest level since March as stocks declined and the US dollar weakened.

PGG Wrightson (PGW): The biggest rural services company on the NZX 50 today said it completed the sale of its strong wools business to The Wool Company at a revised price of NZ$37.5 million. The revised price excludes the exclusion of its mid-micron business, which was sold to New Zealand Merino.

Telecom Corp. (TEL): The biggest company on the NZX 50 anticipates “considerable cost savings” from consolidating 1,700 workers in the Wellington region into one new building, from six sites, according to spokeswoman Katherine Murphy.

Vector (VCT): Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings and Hongkong Electricity Network gained Overseas Investment Office approval for their NZ$785 million bid for the utilities Wellington electricity network.

By Jonathan Underhill

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