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Stocks to watch: New Zealand equity preview

Wednesday 1st October 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: PGG Wrightson said it can't settle its NZ$220 million purchase of a half stake in Silver Fern farms because some banks involved in the financing can't finalise credit approvals in the wake of the global credit squeeze. Stocks on Wall Street rebounded on speculation the US will salvage its US$700 billion rescue. The first phase of the government's tax cut package kicks in today, amounting to a reduction of $12 to a week for full-time workers.

Colonial Motor Co. (CMO): The Ford and Mazda motor vehicle dealership said forward orders for heavy trucks are "much less" than at the same time a year ago. "The general decline in economic activity is making our life difficult but we are confident," the company said in its annual report, adding that it predicts a pick-up in the economy in 2009. The stock fell 7.7% to NZ$3 yesterday, bringing its decline this year to 10%.

Dominion Finance (DFH): NZX Discipline has censured the finance company for failing to meet deadlines to produce its annual report. The company was also fined NZ$65,000.

Geneva Finance (GFL): The finance company yesterday said it repaid a further 10% of its investors principal plus interest, bringing total payments 25%, or NZ$23 million since its capital restructure in April. The shares of the company began trading on the NZAX on July 1 and have sunk 45% since then, last trading at 7 cents on September 17.

Nuplex Industries (NPX): The maker of resins and chemicals used in paints, glue and printing inks said difficult trading conditions in 2008 will likely continue through 2009. Still, the company is well positioned for future growth, Chairman Fred Holland said in the annual report. The shares have gained 14% in the past three months and traded yesterday at NZ$5.90.

PGG Wrightson (PGW): The company is unable to settle on its acquisition of a half stake in Silver Fern Farms because a number of banks have been unable to finalise their credit approvals in time, it said today. The company has been raising funds via the sale of shares, aiming for about NZ$100 million, to help fund the NZ$220 million purchase.

ProvencoCadmus (PVO): The eftpos and retail scanning technology company said its budget assumptions
show a return to profitable trading in 2009. It has sold assets and cut costs since posting a full-year loss of NZ$36.3 million. The shares have slumped 68% this year, to trade at 15 cents yesterday.

By Jonathan Underhill

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