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Stocks to watch: New Zealand equity preview

Friday 27th June 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's economy shrank 0.3% in the first quarter, figures due today are expected to show. Some economists predict the contraction heralds a recession this year. Crude oil rose above US$140 a barrel for the first time. US stocks tumbled yesterday, sending the Standard & Poor's 500 Index down 2.9%. Warehouse Group cut its profit forecast.

Auckland International Airport (AIA): Infratil and New Zealand Superfund increased their holdings in the airport to more than 10%, enough to block a full takeover.

Briscoe Group (BGR): The operator of Briscoes Homewares, Living & Giving, Urban Loft and Rebel Sports stores yesterday cut its first-half profit forecast for the second time in two months and forecast a decline in second-half earnings. Briscoe fell 10% to 99 cents yesterday and earlier reached a record low 96 cents.

Dorchester Pacific (DPC): The shares have tumbled the past two days after the property and auto loan company withdrew its prospectus and will seek more time to repay debenture holders.

Pike River Coal (PRC): Shares of the coalmine developer have more than doubled in the past year. They jumped 6% yesterday, adding to gains since announcing this month it will join the benchmark NZX 50 index from July 1.

New Zealand Refining (NZR): Shares of New Zealand's only oil refinery have recovered from a more than 12-month low this month. Crude oil rose to a new record above US$140 a barrel.

Warehouse Group (WHS): New Zealand's largest discount retailer cut its full-year profit forecast by about 10% to between NZ$84 million and NZ$88 million citing a "marked downturn" in consumer spending.

By Jonathan Underhill

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