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Stocks to watch: Affco, Auckland Airport, GPG

Thursday 2nd September 2010

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Talley's has extended its offer deadline for Affco for a second time, Auckland Airport's plans to buy a stake in Queenstown Airport have been put on hold, while Guiness Peat looks set to appoint four new directors in a bid to resolve disputes between the GPG board and shareholders.

Affco Holdings (AFF): Talley's Group has extended the deadline on its 37 cents a share offer to minority shareholders in listed meat processor Affco to October 8. This is the second time the Nelson-based conglomerate has extended the deadline on its bid to buyout Affco's minority shareholders. Shares in Affco fell 1 cent yesterday to 36 cents. 

Auckland International Airport (AIA): The sale of a second tranche of Queenstown Airport shares to Auckland Airport has been put on hold while a legal challenge to the deal is heard before the High Court. The original sale of 25% in Queenstown Airport in being contested by business group Queenstown Community Strategic Assets Group and Air New Zealand. AIA shares were unchanged yesterday at $2.02. 

Guinness Peat Group (GPG): The investment holding company looks set to appoint four new independent directors in order to resolve an ongoing dispute between GPG's board and shareholders, according to press reports. Shares were unchanged at 63 cents. 

NZX (NZX): Accident Compensation Corporation announced had taken advantage of a seven-year-low price to lift its holding in the securities market operator to 6.8%. The shares were unchanged at $1.40 yesterday.

Sky City Entertainment Group (SKC): The casino and hotel operator was cut to ‘accumulate' from ‘buy' by Nachiket Moghe, an analyst at Aegis Equities Research, according to ShareChat. The company gave an uncertain outlook statement while warning that gaming markets and economic conditions remain uncertain, which will erode earnings. The shares rose 2.8% to $2.95 yesterday. 

South Port NZ (SPN): the company forecast a net profit of between $3.5 million to $3.9 million for the 2011 financial year, up from $3.1 million last year, taking into account the increased funding and depreciation expenses associated with the $6 million replacement of the mobile harbour crane. If the profit target is met, the company expects to pay dividends of about 13 cents, the port company said in its annual report. The shares last traded at $2.70. 

Telecom (TEL): Charges by the Commerce Commission's over Telecom's 0867 dial-up internet fees in 1999 were quashed by the Supreme Court. The shares rose 2.5% to $2.05 yesterday. 

Themes of the day: Equities on Wall Street and across Europe rallied as manufacturing data in the US and China exceeded expectations and provided some much-needed optimism about the global economic outlook. The average price for whole milk powder climbed 19% to US$3,522 a tone in Fonterra Cooperative Group's online auction as the Russian drought raises concerns about buyers' ability to secure milk in the future. The New Zealand dollar broke back above the 70 cents to the dollar mark this morning, and was last trading at 71.21 cents to the greenback.

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