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Stocks to watch: Extensions and expansions

Friday 2nd July 2010

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Allied Farmers has been granted an extension on its term debt facilities, Lyttelton Port is to buy 7.3 hectares of industrial land, while National Property Trust continues talk around internalising management.

Allied Farmers (ALF): The finance company gained a three-month extension of its debt facilities with Westpac, while it continues to renegotiate the arrangements. Its term debt facilities had expired yesterday. The shares fell 2.5% to 3.9 cents yesterday.

Lyttelton Port (LPC): The South Island's largest port will acquire 7.3 hectares of industrial land next to its existing "inland port" site six kilometres from the port facility itself. The CityDepot has "grown significantly over the last year through the addition of a number of new customers," it said. The shares last traded at $2.32.

National Property Trust (NAP): The retail, commercial and industrial property owner's proposal to internalise the management contract means "we may see a listed vehicle whose interests will be 100% aligned with unitholders," First NZ Capital analyst Jason Lindsay said in a report on the ShareChat website. The proposal includes the manager and associates selling back 32 million units at 51 cents each in December this year. The internalisation of the management contract adds 5% to his valuation as he estimates costs will fall by $550,000 a year, raising it to 55 cents from 51 cents. Yesterday its stocks sold at 52 cents.

Restaurant Brands (RBD): The fast-food restaurant operator yesterday lifted its full-year profit forecast to between $24 million and $26 million, excluding some items. The shares rose 3.5% to $2.38 yesterday, a 13-year high.

Telecom (TEL): Communications Minister Steve Joyce said bidders for the government's $1.5 billion ultra-fast broadband fund would now be invited to supply plans for "lit" fibre, and signalled a prolonged period of price certainty for fibre infrastructure providers while the market remained "immature". The shares fell 3.2% to $1.83 yesterday.

Themes of the day: Equities slid overnight as fears of economic weaknesses in China, Europe and the US permeated the market. The Dow Jones fell 0.3%, the Standard & Poor's 500 declined 0.16% and the Nasdaq composite dropped 0.22%. The pace of Chinese manufacturing activity slowed in June to the lowest level since February, while factory output in Europe weakened for a second month. America's latest manufacturing, home and labour market data also pointed to a slower pace of growth in the world's largest economy. The Dollar Index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, slid 1.7% to 84.54. Overnight, the kiwi fell to US$0.6849 from US$0.6894.

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