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Stocks to watch: New Zealand equity preview

Tuesday 30th September 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: Stocks on Wall Street tumbled, sending the Standard & Poor's 500 Index down 7% after the US House of Representatives voted 228 to 205 against a US$700 billion financial sector bailout plan. Crude oil for November delivery fell 9.9% to US$96.26 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. New Zealand's dollar dropped almost 2%.

Hallenstein Glasson Holdings (HLG): The clothing chain operator yesterday posted a 26% drop in annual profit and said earnings will decline in the first half of the current year. The shares traded unchanged at NZ$2.87 yesterday and have dropped about 25% this year.

New Zealand Oil & Gas (NZO): Crude oil had its biggest slide in seven years, pacing declines in commodities. The stock traded at NZ$1.38 yesterday and has declined 12% in the past month.

Pyne Gould Corp. (PGC): The company today said it will seek a banking licence and restructure its MARAC and Perpetual units to form the core of a new bank. At the same time, Pyne Gould is reviewing ownership of non-banking assets and may consider a distribution to shareholders of its stake in PGG Wrightson (PGW), it said. Pyne Gould was last at NZ$3.30 and has fallen 12% this year. Wrightson fell to NZ$1.74 yesterday and has sunk 36% in the past month.

Steel & Tube Holdings (STU): The shares had their biggest gain in at least five years yesterday after Australia's OneSteel offered to buy the 49% of shares that it doesn't already own. OneSteel offered NZ$4.00 cash, a 33% premium to its price on Friday. Steel & Tube jumped 29% to $3.86 yesterday.

Telecom (TEL): The biggest stock on the NZX 50 Index may pace declines today after stocks slumped on Wall Street. The stock was at NZ$2.78 yesterday and has fallen 36% this year.

By Jonathan Underhill

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