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Stocks to watch: New Zealand equity preview

Monday 22nd September 2008

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The following stocks may be active on the New Zealand exchange after developments since the close of trading Friday.

Themes of the day: Stocks on Wall Street rounded out a two-day rebound on Friday as the US government stepped up plans to use hundreds of billions of taxpayers' dollars to buy up toxic assets related to mortgages. The New Zealand dollar rose to above 69 US cents. Government figures today will show how much New Zealanders were spending on their credit and debut cards in August.

Air New Zealand (AIR): Rival carrier Qantas Airways will next month begin flying the Airbus A380 to New Zealand next month. Emirates plans to introduce the super-jumbo plane on the Tasman starting in February.

Dorchester Pacific (DPC): The finance company's Dorchester Finance unit suspended interest payments as of September 17 after agreeing to changes to its deferred repayment plan for investors. The changes "place increased emphasis on achieving full and early repayment of principal," the company said in a statement. Dorchester stock last traded at eight cents on September 15 down from as much as NZ$1.20 in the past year.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare (FPH): The New Zealand dollar has rebounded to more than 69 US cents, eroding the value of US dollar revenue when the exporter of medical equipment brings it home. The stock traded at NZ$3.16 on Friday.

Goodman Fielder (GFF): The food ingredients company told shareholders in a letter from chairman Max Ould last week that it sees little improvement in underlying earnings in 2009 because of uncertainty about prices of raw materials and economic growth in Australia and New Zealand. The company's New Zealand shares traded at NZ$1.71 on Friday.

NZX (NZX): The stocks exchange manager said today it has signed an MOU with new London stock exchange PLUS Markets Group to explore the potential to align regulatory requirements and allow dual listings. The shares rose 2.2% to NZ$6.38 on Friday and have declined 33% this year.

Telecom (TEL): The biggest company on the NZX 50 Index may lead a rebound in shares after Wall Street rallied Friday on a US government rescue plan for financial institutions. The stock traded at NZ$2.72 on Friday and has dropped 38% this year.

Tenon (TEN): The wood mouldings company has agreed terms to acquire the remaining 24.5% of Southwest Moulding Co. for about US$8.6 million. The initial 51% investment by Tenon in Southwest was made in 2005, and Tenon added 24.5% in August 2007. The purchase will underpin Tenon's position in the Texas market. The stock traded at 71 cents on Friday.

By Jonathan Underhill

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