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New Zealand Business Times November 2

Cullen Plots Auckland Shake-Up Page 1

Finance Minister Michael Cullen is spearheading government manoeuvres to force Infrastructure Auckland to sell some of its assets and use the funds raised to invest directly in a broader range of businesses. Mr Cullen has been meeting with local-government officials to try and make Infrastructure Auckland¹s liquidate its $1 billion asset pool, including Port of Auckland shares, and invest in a series of joint-venture transport projects with the private sector. The move is part of the government¹s strategy to win brownie points with Auckland voters ahead of next year¹s election. If the proposal goes ahead, there will be a surge in infrastructure spending next year that will both create further jobs and alleviate some travelling woes for Aucklanders.

Large NZ Companies Confident About Their Prospects Page 1

New Zealand¹s major companies continue to be confident about their business prospects over the next 12 months, despite the United States economic downturn and its expected washdown effect on the global economy. The optimisitic outlook by New Zealand¹s major listed companies flies in the face of a general consumer confidence survey that show the outlook for commercial activity has plunged since the September 11 attacks in New York. The New Zealand Business Times surveyed the stock exchange¹s top-20 listed companies and found that, with only one exception, corporates have not changed budget allocations or staff hiring intentions since September 11.

Howard Paterson To Float New Company Page 1

South Island entrepreneur Howard Paterson is set to launch another new biotechnology company in Dunedin. The new company will be floated on the unlisted securities board of the Stock Exchange in similar fashion to Botry-Zen, which is now confirmed to be operational after obtaining Biogrow registration late last week. The new company will be launched in three to four weeks and will develop products in the field of animal care and in particular scour prevention, which is a condition caused by worms in animals, a spokesman for Mr Paterson said. The new venture will be commercialised by Dunedin Pharmaceutical company Zenith Technology and Mr Paterson.

Brokers Try To Put Together Telecom Syndicate Page 2

Institutional investors have been approached to see if they want to form a syndicate to buy out Telecom¹s largest individual shareholder, Verizon of the United States. But the consortium proposal is struggling to take off, with investors having been burned by Telecom¹s $500 million placement of new shares with institutional investors in New Zealand and Australia in May. Those shares were placed at $5.50 each, or more than $1 above the company¹s current share price. At least one of those brokers has approached institutional investors here ­ including AXA, Acumen, BT Funds Management, AMP and Armstrong Jones ­ to put together a syndicate to take out the stake and split it up.

Fonterra Key To Solving Australian Dairy Industry Page 2

New Zealand dairy cooperative Fonterra has become the key to solving Australia¹s dairy industry rationalisation problem, described as a ³festering sore² hanging over the sector. Barry Irvin, chairman of Australian cheese giant Bega Foods, said Fonterra will be the generator of further rationalisation when it expands further into Australia. ³At the end of the day I would expect that the rationalisation of the Aussie dairy industry at an absolute maximum level will include Fonterra,² he said. Australia has been tangled in a bitter consolidation debate involving the four main companies, Dairy Farmers, National Foods, and Bonlac Foods as they look to create more efficiency in the sector.

Mathew Ridge Offer Should Have Been Considered ­ Judge Page 6

An offer of $1.35 million ­ personally guaranteed by sportsman Matthew Ridge ­ should have been explored further before a lower offer was accepted in the mortgagee sale of a St Mary¹s Bay property, according to a recent High Court judgment. Justice O¹Regan recently found that Harts Contributory Mortgage had no adequate explanation for its failure to deal with Mr Ridge and associated interests. It instead opted to sell the property for $1.2 million to Bryce Earwaker, the sales manager of the real estate firm instructed to sell the property.

Investors Urged To Bet On GM Bandwagon Page 4

Investors are being urged to take advantage of the government¹s decision to allow genetically modified field trials and get in early to avoid delays in processing their applications. The government confirmed this week it will legislate to stop the commercial release of genetically modified organisms for two more years but will lift a 16-month ban on field trials. Opponents have branded field trials as dangerous and say the research should be kept in the laboratory.

Auckland University Launches Cancer - Cure Company Page 2

Auckland UniServices will announce this morning the formation of a new cancer therapeutics company Proacta Therapeutics Limited. The new company, which will be based in Auckland, has been jointly founded with Cancer Research Ventures Limited and the Institute of Cancer Research, both based in London. UniServices chief executive John Kernohan said Proacta has secured seed funding in New Zealand and will seek $4 to $5 million from private investors to fund further expansion. Dr Kernohan also confirmed Proacta has signed a licensing agreement with an American therapeutics company, Seattle Genetics Inc for rights to a class of cell-killing drugs Proacta scientists have discovered.

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