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Stocks to watch: New Zealand equity preview

Wednesday 5th 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 rallied in Europe and on Wall Street, led by financials and energy companies, on optimism credit markets are starting to thaw and as oil and metal prices gained. The New Zealand dollar strengthened against the US dollar and the yen.

APN News & Media (APN): Shares of the media company that owns the New Zealand Herald rose 3.7% to A$3.09 on the ASX yesterday amid speculation Seven Network or West Australian Newspapers may bid for Tony O'Reilly's 39% stake.

Auckland International Airport (AIA): The nation's busiest gateway today said its offer of $130 million of retail bonds was fully subscribed. The subscription included an exchange offer reserve of $50 million, which closed yesterday. Chief financial officer Jason Dale said the successful sale is "a strong signal that investors view Auckland Airport as a relatively safe port in an economic storm." The stock traded at $1.81 yesterday and is down 37% this year.

Dairy Equity (DEL): The company set up to trade Fonterra Fair Value shares said it plans to buyback about 5% of its stock, using proceeds from the sale or redemption of so-called SWAP shares. The company has a net tangible asset backing of about 41 cents a share and the stock last traded on October 30 at 22 cents, it said.

Fletcher Building (FBU): The Reserve Bank of Australia yesterday cut its benchmark rate a greater-than-expected 75 basis points to 5.25%, which may help revive demand for the company's building products. The stock rose 0.7% to $5.84 yesterday and has declined 50% this year.

New Zealand Oil & Gas (NZO): Crude oil surged more than US$6 a barrel as stocks rallied and the US dollar fell against the euro. Oil for December delivery rose 10% to US$70.43 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Ryman Healthcare (RYM): Some 20.8 million shares, amounting to more than 4% of the company changed hands yesterday, when the stock dropped 3.8% to $1.51. Ryman has declined 24% this year.

Tenon (TEN): New York-based fund manager Third Avenue Management reduced its holding to 14.05% from 15.08%. Tenon's share price, which has fallen 65% over the last 12 months, is unchanged this week at 59 cents.

By Jonathan Underhill

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