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Stocks to watch: New Zealand equity preview

Thursday 27th November 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: Stocks on Wall Street rose for a fourth straight session, led by a jump in technology stocks that pushed the Nasdaq Composite index up 3.8% on perceptions companies like Apple have become relatively cheap after this month’s rout. In New Zealand, government figures today may showed the merchandise trade deficit narrowed last month as the weaker kiwi dollar lifted exports.

Australia & New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ):
As of today, the bank’s ANZ National bank unit in New Zealand is tightening access to home loans and will require borrowers to have a 20% deposit, up from its previous 10% requirement. In the last 12 months, the company's shares have fallen almost 50% to $16.78. 

Dorchester Pacific (DPC): The finance company yesterday released a three year repayment plan under which it pledges investors will get their money back. Debenture holders owed $164 million would get 12 payments over three years including an initial 20% payment before Christmas. The stock last traded on November 19 at 6 cents and has fallen 95% this year.

Fletcher Building (FBU): The construction company said yesterday it won’t proceed with the acquisition Fielders Australia. Chief executive Jonathan Ling said Fielders is “a good fit” for Fletcher and the decision not to proceed “is indicative of the current market volatility and uncertainty in the Australian economy.” The shares fell 1.9% to $5.57 and have declined 50% this year.

Heritage Gold (HGD): The mining company yesterday said its first half loss widened to $441,647 from $405,773 a year earlier. The shares were unchanged at 1.6 cents yesterday and are down 75% this year.

Sanford (SAN): The fishing company yesterday said annual profit increased to $53.3 million from $20.1 million. The earnings growth, which included one-time gains, reflected higher market prices for many species and improved operational results, the company said. The stock fell 0.9% to $5.35 and has gained nearly 35% this year, making it a stand-out on the NZX 50 Index, which fell by the same amount.

Telecom (TEL): The Commerce Commission plans to investigate an advertisement claiming Vodafone Group Plc has “New Zealand's largest and fastest mobile network.” Telecom made the complaint to the Commission, saying its EVDO 3G network is more extensive than Vodafone's WCDMA network. The company's share is $2.36 after bouncing back from a record low of $2.20 earlier this week.



By Jonathan Underhill

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