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Stocks to watch: New Zealand equity preview

Tuesday 29th July 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: New Zealand building consents for June may highlight weakness in the housing sector though the numbers were volatile in the previous two months. Wall Street tumbled after the International Monetary Fund said the US housing slump may not end soon.

A2 Corp. (ATM): The company that owns and licenses techniques to identify milk with a protein variant claimed to have health benefits said yesterday that shareholders approved a plan to raise NZ$10.8 million via a 3-for-4 renounceable issue at 10 cents a share. Major shareholder Mountain Road Investments will underwrite the sale. The stock was unchanged at 9 cents yesterday.

Australian Foundation Investment Co. (AFI): The company that invests in Australian stocks including BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Commonwealth Bank yesterday said annual operating earnings fell 8.5% to A$205 million. Net income surged 61% to A$416 million, reflecting capital gains on stakes in companies that were acquired. The shares also trade on the NZX and fell 0.8% to NZ$6.35 yesterday.

Fletcher Building (FBU): The International Monetary Fund yesterday said there are no signs that the US housing recession will end anytime soon and credit conditions are likely to worsen further. Fletcher in May said the downturn in the US market hurt its Formica unit profit. The shares traded at NZ$6.49 yesterday and has gained 3% in the past 10 days.

OceanaGold Corp. (OGC): The Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines said it is awaiting a report from its regional office on an investigation into complaints involving OceanaGold's Didipio Gold Copper Project in the north of that country. The stock has declined 12% in the past month and was at NZ$1.10 yesterday.

Warehouse Group (WHS): The biggest retailer on the NZX 50 Index said it has been studying consumer habits on the TradeMe auction site and intends to bolster its own online presence, The New Zealand Herald reported. A redesigned website will be launched on August 6. The stock traded at NZ$3.91 yesterday and has dropped about 7% in the past month.

Windflow Technology (WTL): The manufacturer of turbines for wind generators yesterday reminded shareholders they have until September 30 to exercise options to buy more shares on a one-for-one basis at NZ$3.30 apiece. Should all options be exercised, the company would raise NZ$5.5 million, it said. Windflow Technology 30/09/08 $3.30 Options (WTLOA) last traded at 50 cents. The stock rose 3.6% to NZ$3.99 yesterday.

By Jonathan Underhill

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