Monday 24th November 2008
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Themes of the day: Stocks on Wall Street rallied strongly on Friday, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average up more than 6% on reports President-elect Barack Obama has chosen the next Treasury secretary. Prices of aluminium and other metals rebounded. The New Zealand dollar traded below 54 US cents in New York on Friday.
Energy World Corp. (EWC): The company said production has commenced at the 65 megawatt Sengkang Power Plant expansion, five-and-a-half months ahead of schedule. The company is now in talks for a further expansion at the plant, lifting total output to 315MW from 195MW by adding an additional 65MW gas turbine and heat recovery steam generator. The shares last traded on the NZX on March 5 at $1.45. On the ASX, the shares were at 29 Australia cents on Friday and have tumbled about 70% in the past 12 months.
Lyttelton Port (LPC): Christchurch City Holdings confirmed it has increased its stake in the South Island’s largest port company to 76.89% from 75% after a stand in the market on Friday. The port company is exploring the potential for a merger or alliance with Otago Port Co. The shares jumped 19% to $2.68. The city’s investment company had been aiming for 78.16% and was offering $2.75 a share.
New Zealand Oil & Gas (NZO): Venezuela will ask OPEC to cut oil output by 1 million barrels this year, according to that nation’s Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez.
Crude oil for January delivery rose 1% to US$49.93 a barrel, trimming its decline last week to 13%.
Port of Tauranga (POT): Rival operator Ports of Auckland is expecting disruptions and lost revenue as some 265 workers prepare to strike over a long-running pay dispute. The workers plan to strike for 24 hours on December 2. Port of Tauranga shares fell 4.7% to $6.05 on Friday and are down about 12% this year, just a third of the NZX 50 Index’s decline.
Rakon (RAK): The manufacturer of components for navigation systems said it may eliminate about 45 jobs as it streamlines its Auckland manufacturing operation, cutting costs to cope with the economic downturn. The company posted a 66% decline in first-half profit this month and said it expected a similar result, or lower, in the second half. The shares rose 3 cents to $1.03 on Friday, having plummeted from $1.69 before its results were released.
Richina Pacific (RPL): The diversified company plans to separate its businesses into four units targeting its leather, construction and consulting operations as a precursor to spinning them off into separate companies. As a result, the company plans to delist its existing shares from the NZX. The plans will go to a shareholders’ meeting on Dec. 15. The stock rose 4.4% to 24 cents on Friday. Should the transaction not take place, investors will be allowed to exit the stock as 45.47 cents a share.
Ryman Healthcare (RYM): Jumped 3.7% to $1.40 on Friday after the biggest retirement home operator on the exchange posted a 10% gain in first-half profit to $26 million. It forecast a similar second-half result on demand for its units and lifted the interim dividend to 2.4 cents a share from 2.2 cents.
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