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Stocks to Watch: New Zealand Equity Preview

Tuesday 23rd December 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 Zealandís economic recession probably worsened in the third quarter, with figures today expected to show a contraction of 0.5%, more than twice the Reserve Bankís expectation, according to a Reuters survey. Stocks fell on Wall Street amid concern corporate earnings will be hurt by the economic slump

†††† Auckland International Airport Ltd. (AIA): The nationís largest airport reported a fall in international and domestic passenger numbers, despite an increase in international air traffic of 7.1%. Its stock is trading at NZ$1.64, having fallen almost 45% in the last 12 months.

†††† Mainfreight Ltd. (MFT): Richard Prebble, a director of the nationís largest trucking company, reduced his holding, according to a filing yesterday. Prebble sold 16,000 shares at an average $4.49 apiece, reducing his holding to 110,274 shares. The stock jumped 12 cents to NZ$4.60 yesterday and has fallen 32% this year.

†††† New Zealand Oil & Gas (NZO): Crude oil for February delivery fell 5.8% to US$39.92 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Yesterday, amid speculation OPEC production cuts wonít be enough to underpin prices in a slowing global economy. The oil companyís stock fell 3 cents to NZ$1.25 yesterday. Crude oil fell about 27% last week.

†††† PGG Wrightson (PGW): Shares of the rural services company fell for a fourth straight day yesterday, sliding 8.7% to NZ$1.05 after issuing a profit warning last week. The stock is down almost 50% this year.

†††† Pulse Utilities New Zealand Ltd. (PLU): The developer of smart electricity meters and power management systems said will raise about NZ$2 million from the sale of capital notes with a 12% coupon. It is close to the 20% threshold for capital raising and plans to call a special meeting to ratify the sales. The shares last traded on Oct. 2 at 55 cents on the NZAX market.

†††† Rakon Ltd. (RAK): The maker of navigation system components fell 3.7% to NZ$1.30 after the company said director Peter Maire had further sold down his stake to focus on other investments. The stock has declined 65% this year.

†††† Telecom Corp. (TEL): A Commerce Commission report on broadband found the nationís largest phone company is losing its share of the retail broadband market as local loop unbundling is proving popular in those exchanges where it is available. The report found the market is becoming increasingly competitive. The stock has fallen close to 50% this year to NZ$2.26. The watchdog separately said it expects to reach a decision on whether regulation on
national roaming should include price early next year.

By Jonathan Underhill

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