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Stocks to watch: New Zealand equity preview

Friday 22nd 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: Commodity prices rallied overnight. The Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index surged 3.3%. Crude oil gained more than US$5 a barrel, gold and silver advanced as the US dollar weakened against the euro. The kiwi dollar climbed above 72 US cents.

Affco (AFF): Shareholders of Dairy Trust approved a plan giving Singapore's Olam International a 24.75% stake in the company as part of a transaction to take over Open Country Cheese Co. Dairy Trust was 44% owned by meat processor Affco. After the transaction, Affco's Dairy Trust stake reduces to 35.5%. Affco fell two cents to 58 cents yesterday and has jumped 14% in the past month.

Fletcher Building (FBU): The building products company is considering bidding for Cemex's Humes pipes business in Australia, chief financial officer Bill Roest said, according to Reuters. Humes may be worth A$250 million, according to a Deutsche Bank estimate. Fletcher shares rose 1.8% to NZ$7.16 yesterday.

Genesis Research and Development Corp. (GEN): The biotech company yesterday said its NZ$2.3 million loss in the first half was "substantially below budget." The stock has shed 55% in the past 12 months and traded at 14 cents yesterday.

New Zealand Oil & Gas (NZO): Crude oil rose 4.9% to $121.18 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the biggest advance since June 6. The stock rose one cent to NZ$1.46 yesterday.

Port of Tauranga (POT): Rival Ports of Auckland yesterday revived merger talk by saying it was interested in buying Tauranga's container business. Port of Tauranga stock has gained 12% in the past month.

South Port New Zealand (SPN): The Bluff-based port company yesterday posted a 12% gain in full-year profit and predicted higher earnings this year. Southland's primary industries, such as dairying, are helping insulate the company from the economic downturn, it said. The stock has held at NZ$2.16 for five straight sessions.

Turners Auctions (TUA): The vehicle auction company today said profit rose 55% to NZ$812,000 in the first half. While unit sales fell 7%, sales of repossessed vehicles by finance companies soared 106%. The stock was last at 85 cents and has gained 10% in the past month.

By Jonathan Underhill

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