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Stocks to watch: Guinness Peat, Hellaby, IFT, PGW

Stocks to watch: Guinness Peat, Hellaby, Infratil, Wrightson

Nov. 23 (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: The kiwi dollar fell almost half a U.S. cent to 72.40 U.S. cents as doubts about the pace of U.S. economic growth helped stoke the greenback. Shares weakened in the U.S. and Europe on Friday. President Barack Obama’s reforms of the US$2.5 trillion healthcare system cleared its first hurdle with Democrats casting enough votes to ensure it gets debated in the Senate.

Guinness Peat Group (GPG): The investment group today disclosed that Tan Chin Tuan Ltd. now holds voting rights over 97.6 million shares, amounting to 6.02% of the company. The shares were unchanged on Friday at 80 cents.

Hellaby Holdings (HBY): The diversified investment group, which sold the BBQ Factory chain in June 2008 for $5.8 million, said it is only likely to recoup 25% of that amount over the next three months. It has received only $1.35 million since the sale, “considerably less than the repayments scheduled under the original sale terms” and took a charge against the remaining $4.44 million in June. The shares fell 1.3% to $1.56 on Friday.

Heritage Gold NZ Ltd. (HGD): The mining company on Friday announced sampling results its three prospecting permits in Northland, reporting “highly anomalous gold, silver and copper on the Tangihua and Hikurangi permits. “The company believes a major new volcanogenic copper-gold discovery is possible,” it said. The shares tumbled 7.9% to 3.5 cents on Friday.

Infratil Ltd. (IFT): The investment group may seek buyers for its remaining European airports, Glasgow Prestwick and Kent, and potentially bus operator New Zealand Bus, the Dominion Post said, citing analysts’ reaction to the company’s briefing on Friday. The shares fell 1 cent to $1.50 on Friday.

Kathmandu Group (KMD): The outdoor equipment chain is to join the NZX 50 Index as of today, replacing tapware manufacturer Methven Ltd. (MVN). Kathmandu was unchanged at $2.17 on Friday and Methven fell 1 cent to $1.49.

PGG Wrightson (PGW): The rural services group finally announced details of its capital raising plans on Friday, announcing a rights issue to raise $180.1 million to slash debt. China’s Agria Corp. will become its biggest shareholder under the transactions. The underwritten issue is nine shares for every eight held at 45 cents apiece. Wrightson fell 1.5% to 64 cents on Friday. Pyne Gould Corp. (PGC) fell 2.1% to 47 cents after the rural investment and finance company said it will take up the Wrightson entitlement from its 20.7% stake.

Postie Plus Group (PPG): Chief executive Ron Boskell said the retailer should “significantly reduce” its first-half loss compared to the year-earlier loss of $2.6 million. The company today reported a 15% increase in first-quarter sales and said it is having “good growth in both sales and margins.” The shares were unchanged on Friday at 39 cents.

Rakon Ltd. (RAK): The stock is rated ‘hold’ by Goldman Sachs JB Were analyst Tristan Joll, according to the ShareChat website. He forecasts earnings of $5.1 million, below the consensus of analysts of $6.4 million. Its latest results showed it’s the margin from its Auckland operations was squeezed, he said. The shares rose 2 cents to $1.18 on Friday.


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