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Week in review

Friday 4th April 2003

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Richina Pacific will proceed with a one-for-one rights issue to fund raw materials purchases for its Chinese leather factory after a dissenting director resigned. Ming Lu of shareholder JP Morgan had opposed the issue, saying there were better ways to raise the money.

Lion Nathan chief executive Gordon Cairns told a New York conference the company could spend up to $A800 million ($872 million) on wine acquisitions. He said Lion was accumulating cash at $A200 million a year.

Shotover Jet's auditors, Forrest Burns and Ashby, resigned. Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu will take on the job.

ANZ Bank and Export New Zealand have formed a "strategic partnership" to provide foreign exchange, banking, finance, economics and export risk resources to Export New Zealand and its members.

Life insurance and investment company Fidelity Life made a $1.3 million December half-year profit, more than double the result of the December 2001 first half.

Directors of Thistle Hotels again blasted a takeover offer from majority shareholder BIL International as "wholly inadequate, highly unsatisfactory and opportunistic."

Former Vector chief executive Patrick Strange has been appointed by the electricity industry's Grid Security Committee to co-ordinate the response to the possibility of power shortages this winter. The committee cited Dr Strange's experience as chief executive of Vector predecessor Mercury Energy in dealing with Auckland's 1998 blackouts.

Feltex Carpets is planning a $50 million bond issue and is contemplating a return to the sharemarket. A statement is expected next week.

Telecom shares climbed, reportedly on expectations it will lift its dividend in the next 18 months. The company flagged higher payments several weeks ago.

Walker Wireless added Northland to its broadband contracts with the Southland and Wairarapa regions.

A spike in wholesale power prices forced Fletcher Building to close its Pacific Steel mill in Auckland for half a week.

Talley's Fisheries is setting up a $30 million meat processing plant in Invercargill.

Burns Philp, majority owned by New Zealand entrepreneur Graeme Hart, went to compulsory acquisition of the remaining shares of Goodman Fielder after securing 90%.

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