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Stocks to watch: Allied Farmers, CHA, IFT, NZO

Stocks to watch: Allied Farmers, Charlie’s, Infratil, NZOG

Nov. 18 (BusinessWire) – The following stocks may be active on the New Zealand exchange after developments since the close of trading yesterday. All prices are in New Zealand dollars unless specified.

Themes of the day: Allied Farmers is reportedly about to announce a tie-up with ailing finance company Hanover Finance. Fonterra Cooperative Group holds its annual meeting in Ashburton today. Shares on Wall Street were mixed after figures showed lower-than-expected growth in industrial production and tame whole inflation.

Allied Farmers Ltd. (ALF): The shares were halted from trading pending an announcement amid reports it is close to a merger with ailing finance company Hanover Finance. On Nov. 13, Allied said it has been “considering a number of strategic opportunities across its business sectors, none of which are currently concluded.” It said “considerable work is being undertaken to determine whether any proposals can be completed.” The shares were unchanged at 33 cents yesterday.

Charlie’s Group Ltd. (CHA): Chief executive Stefan Lepionka told shareholders that first-quarter trading was similar to a year earlier, with a pick-up in volumes expected over the summer, helping the juice maker achieve a full-year profit. The shares traded unchanged yesterday at 7.6 cents.

Contact Energy (CEN): The utility today released figures showing it is continuing to shed electricity customers, though this was offset by a pick-up in LPG customers. Electricity customers fell by 500 in October and have declined 40,000 since October 2008. The shares tumbled 16 cents to $5.94 yesterday.

Cynotech Holdings (CYT): The shares climbed 3.5% to 15 cents yesterday, adding to its 32% surge on Monday, when chairman Allan Hawkins said he plans to make a takeover offer for the diversified company.

Infratil Ltd. (IFT): The shares fell about 2% to $1.51 yesterday after the airport, bus and power company investor posted a first-half loss on a charge against the value of its U.K. airports and to revalue financial derivatives. The investment group has lifted its holdings of cash by selling non-core assets as it negotiates with Shell.

New Zealand Oil & Gas (NZO): The government today announced an ‘Action Plan’ to speed development of the nation’s oil and gas resources, including a review of state management of assets and a conscious effort to let global oil companies know New Zealand is pro-development, according to a statement from Energy Minister Gerry Brownlee. B the shares were unchanged yesterday at $1.70.


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