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Stocks to watch: New Zealand equity preview

Thursday 3rd July 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: The price of crude oil rose to a new record of US$144.32, sending the Standard & Poorís 500 Index down almost 2%. The surge in oil also caused a record surge in European producer prices. The government is considering changes to the way the central bank fights inflation using an interest rate target, the Dominion Post reported, citing Associate Finance Minister Trevor Mallard.

The Government is signaling a change in the way the Reserve Bank fights inflation in what could mark the first major shift away from the bank's focus on interest rates as its sole weapon.

Dorchester Pacific (DPC): The financial firmís shares soared 64% to 22 cents yesterday after the company denied media reports on reduced payments to investors and said it expects to make full repayment to debenture and note holders under a deferred payment plan.

Mainfreight (MFT) and Freightways (FRE): Truck drivers are preparing for a series of on-road protests today over an increase in road user charges for diesel vehicles.

New Zealand Oil & Gas (NZO): The nationís self-sufficiency in oil more than doubled last year, reflecting output from the Tui oilfield the Pohokura project in Taranaki, The New Zealand Herald reported, citing government figures. Shares of NZOG, which owns 12.5% of Tui, reached a record NZ$1.91 yesterday before closing at NZ$1.81. The stock has gained with the price of oil and as shareholders flocked to take up options.

Pyne Gould Corp (PGC): The company today said that while asset growth in the second half of the financial year slowed at its MARAC Finance unit, its asset quality remains strong and installment arrears remain at normal levels circa 0.5% of receivables.

Sealegs Corp (SLG): The designer and maker of amphibious boats yesterday said it raised NZ$2.9 million from the sale of rights to fund its expansion. The take up was about 90%, it said.

Telecom Corp (TEL): The largest company on the benchmark NZX 50 Index fell yesterday to a new 15-year low NZ$3.39, as global stocks continued to slide.

By Jonathan Underhill

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