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Stocks to Watch: New Zealand Equity Preview

Wednesday 31st December 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 gained on Wall Street on the federal government’s US$6 billion of financial aid for GMAC, the finance unit of General Motors. Crude oil fell on concern stockpiles of petroleum in the U.S. are rising.

Air New Zealand Ltd. (AIR): The national airline successfully completed a test flight using a biofuel blend. The 50:50 mix of jatropha and Jet A1 fuel was used to power an engine on a Boeing 747-400 from Auckland International Airport. The shares rose 3.5% to 89 cents yesterday.

Australia & New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ): Australia’s No. 4 bank faces a U.S. class action suit that alleges it failed to adequately disclose risks from loans to failed margin lender Opes Prime Group, Bloomberg reported, citing a suit on behalf of purchasers of the bank’s American Depositary Receipts. The bank’s NZX-listed stock rose 2.2% to NZ$18.09 and its ASX-listed stock fell 0.3% to A$15.25.

Fletcher Building (FBU): The nation’s largest construction company fell 1.6% to NZ$5.51 yesterday, extending last week’s slide after figures showed the biggest drop in U.S. home sales for 21 years. The stock is down almost 50% this year.

New Zealand Oil & Gas (NZO): Crude for February delivery fell 1.7% to US$39.36 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The price of oil has slumped some 60% this year. The shares rose 2 cents to NZ$1.24 yesterday and have gained about 9% this year.

Pike River Coal (PRC): The coal miner has issued 12.3 million shares after the maturity today of 11 million convertible notes. The average price used for the conversion was 91 cents, the company said in a statement today. The stock traded unchanged at 90 cents yesterday and is down 20% this year.

Telstra Corp. (TLS): Australia’s biggest phone company faces potential regulation to gain access to its network if the government pushes ahead with building the national broadband network in a process that excludes the carrier, Reuters reported. The company’s NZX listed shares last traded on Dec. 29 at NZ$4.44. Its ASX-listed stock rose 0.5% to A$3.73.

Tourism Holdings Ltd. (THL): Australia is expecting the lowest number of tourists since 1989, reflecting the global financial crisis, according to a report from Tourism Australia. The campervan operator, with operations in Australia and New Zealand, fell 2.9% to 68 cents yesterday and has tumbled 70% this year, making it one of the worst performers on the NZX 50.


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