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Stocks to watch: New Zealand equity preview

Tuesday 12th August 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: The New Zealand dollar traded below 70 US cents and has declined about 10% in the past month. Oil fell to a 14-week low on speculation a slowing US economy will reduce demand for fuel. Telecom Corp. says it doesn't favour a plan to break up the company promoted by shareholder Elliott International. The price of gold fell to its lowest level this year.

Mainfreight (MFT): New Zealand's largest trucking firm was surprised by strikes that halted two freight-only sailings of Cook Strait ferries, managing director Don Braid said. The company has asked the government to investigate the stoppage by workers at newly nationalised Kiwi Rail. Mainfreight fell one cent to NZ$6.94 trimming its gain in the past month to 8%.

OceanaGold Corp. (OGC): Gold fell 4.2% to $828.30 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange as the US dollar strengthened, reducing the appeal of the precious metal as a haven. AngloGold Ashanti and other gold producers cut their forward sales in the second quarter to the lowest since 1987, according to researcher GFMS said. OceanaGold fell 10% to 72 cents yesterday.

ProvencoCadmus (PVO): The eftpos machine provider today named Gavin Sebire as chief financial officer, replacing Stewart McKenzie. The company has said it probably made an ebitda loss of about NZ$10 million in the 12 months ended June 30, on restructuring costs. The shares were unchanged yesterday at 21 cents and have tumbled 65% in the past year.

Telecom (TEL): Shares of the biggest company on the NZX50 Index fell 1.2% to NZ$3.36 yesterday after 3% shareholder Elliott International proposed two independent directors and a new strategy including breaking up the company. The stock decline followed its 7.6% slide on Friday after the company forecast earnings will drop as much as 30% this year.

Telstra Corp. (TLS): Australia's biggest phone company may exceed its forecast when it posts annual results tomorrow, AAP reported, citing analysts. In May, the company said ebit may rise as much as 8% to A$6.24 billion. Telstra's New Zealand shares fell 1% to NZ$7.72 yesterday and have gained 6% this year.

By Jonathan Underhill

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