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Stocks to watch: GPG's future firmly in the spotlight

Monday 28th June 2010

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The small company making all the big headlines at the moment, and one worth watching, is GPG. Since its New Zealand-based director Tony Gibbs issued a dissenting view on the future of the company on Friday the board has come out with its take.  Also Tower will be watched today following its successful court case with ANZ. NZO may benefit from some better news on crude oil prices.

Themes of the day: Fonterra’s farmers are scheduled to meet this week to vote on whether to allow shares of the cooperative to become tradable among shareholder-suppliers.

Shares on Wall Street ended the week little changed ahead of the Group of 20 meeting in Toronto. Data out this week includes visitor arrivals for May, today, and building consents scheduled for release tomorrow.

Guinness Peat Group (GPG): New Zealand-based director, Tony Gibbs, criticised a plan to spin off the investment company's Australian assets, saying the demerger proposal should be abandoned. GPG later issued a statement saying Gibbs' statement hadn't been approved by the board. The shares climbed 3% to 66 cents on Friday. GPG is also the featured stock in Daily Sharechat with ASB giving its view on the stock. More details here

Tower (TWR): The insurer won Court of Appeal backing to renew policies sold through ANZ and National banks after the two parties fell out with the lenders wanting to transact with another policy writer. The Court of Appeal has upheld a March 2009 decision in the High Court that Tower was entitled to $70 million of premium income from customers of the lenders. The shares fell 2.7% to $1.83 on Friday. 

New Zealand Oil & Gas (NZO): Crude oil rose to a seven-week high on Friday on concern a tropical storm will disrupt production in the Gulf of Mexico. Crude for August delivery climbed 3.1% to US$78.86 a barrel. The stock was unchanged on Friday at $1.27.

Allied Farmers (ALF): The company said on Friday it has yet to reach agreement with its banks over an extension of its facilities, which expire on July 1. The finance and rural group is talks with Westpac and another lender. The shares fell 2.3% to 4.3 cents on Friday.

Freightways (FRE): The courier and logistics firm said tax changes announced in the Budget will lift its deferred tax liability and reduced net profit by about $6 million in the year ending June 30. The shares rose 1 cent to $2.85 on Friday.

NZ Farming Systems Uruguay (NZS): The developer of dairy farms in South America needs to raise about US$60 million to complete the development of the company, chairman John Parker said, according to the NZ Herald. The company could sell another bond in Uruguay and sell some of its properties, he said. The shares jumped 7.5% on Friday to 43 cents.

Pyne Gould (PGC): The listed financial services company has provided $15 million of the $100 million Torchlight facility extended to South Canterbury Finance Ltd. through PGC’s asset management unit. The balance of the fund is provided by third parties, and has a prior ranking to SCF’s debenture holders. The shares were unchanged on Friday at 40 cents.

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