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Stocks to watch: New Zealand equity preview

Tuesday 26th August 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: US stocks had the biggest decline in two weeks amid speculation insurer American International Group will report a loss amid credit writedowns. Contact Energy posted a 1% decline in annual profit.

Air New Zealand (AIR): The national carrier today reported net profit fell 1% to NZ$218 million, amid high fuel costs. The stock has tumbled 35% this year, lagging behind the NZX 50 Index, amid rising fuel prices and rivalry on key routes across the Tasman Sea.

Auckland International Airport (AIA): Taiwanese airliner EVA Air will end its twice-a-week flights between Taipei and Auckland after 14 years, citing high fuel prices. The airport company yesterday said international passenger volumes fell 0.3% in July from the same month last year. Its stock was unchanged at NZ$2.01 yesterday.

Contact Energy (CEN): The biggest utility on the NZX 50 Index today said full-year profit fell 1% to NZ$237 million as constraints on the Cook Strait cable forced the company to buy power on the spot market to supply South Island customers. The stock fell 1.3% to $8.31 yesterday.

ING Property Trust (ING): The nation's fourth-largest property investor said its units are "inappropriately discounted" after slumping almost 28% this year, and rising rents will help make up for any decline in property values. ING units fell 1.3% to a record low 76 cents yesterday.

New Zealand Oil & Gas (NZO): Crude for October delivery rose 0.5% to $115.11 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Crude oil has gained 62% in the past 12 months.

OceanaGold Corp. (OGC): Gold futures for December delivery fell 0.9% to $825.70 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange amid concern its 5% rally last week was overdone. Silver also declined.

By Jonathan Underhill

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