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Stocks to watch: Allied Farmers, ING, NAP, NZO, SK

Stocks to watch: Allied Farmers, ING, NAP, NZO, SKC

Nov. 25 (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: Stocks on Wall Street pared their decline to close mixed after minutes of the last Federal Open Market Committee showed policy makers at the Fed upgraded their projections for GDP growth this year. The release came after Commerce Department revised figures showed U.S. gross domestic product grew at a slower annual rate than initially estimated in the third quarter. Milk processor Synlait Milk pulled its initial public offering yesterday, citing a tepid response from investors.

Allied Farmers (ALF): A rival bidder may emerge for the financial assets of Hanover Finance and its affiliate United Finance, the NZ herald reported, citing a market source that it didn’t identify. The new proposal would involve a “superior capital structure,” according to the report. Allied yesterday said Resimac, Australia's largest funder to non-bank lenders, has agreed to provide $7 million in new capital. Allied’s shares rose 5 cents to 31 cents yesterday.

ING Property Trust (ING): The shares rose 1.3% to 76 cents after the property investors reported a $5.6 million first-half loss, while saying the proceeds of asset sales have helped it slash bank debt to $405 million from $532 million a year earlier. “We expected ING to have some adjustments for the impact of valuations,” said Paul Richardson, chief investment officer at BT Funds. “Having said that, it looks like they’re doing a better job with their balance sheet and the sector’s probably past the worst.”

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National Property Trust (NAP): The property investor today announced a 1.5% increase in distributable profit of $4.85 million for the six months ended Sept. 30. The net loss was $9.1 million after $4.4 million of unrealised loss in property valuations and sales. The shares were unchanged at 47 cents yesterday.

New Zealand Oil & Gas (NZO): Crude oil declined in New York after revised Commerce Department figures showed the U.S. economy expanded slower than initially estimated in the third quarter, which may restrain demand for fuel. Crude oil for January delivery fell 2% to US$76.04 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Pumpkin Patch (PPL): Chief executive Maurice Prendergast told shareholders at their annual meeting yesterday that the children's clothing retailer believes it is through the worst of the global recession, with signs of stability and improvement in its Australasian operations. The shares were unchanged yesterday at $1.81.

Sky City Entertainment Group (SKC): The casino and hotel operator yesterday said it agreed to sell its cinema operations to Australia's Amalgamated Holdings for $59 million. The deal is expected to settle in February. The shares rose 0.9% to $3.34 yesterday.

Turners & Growers (TUR): Kiwifruit exporter Zespri claims Turners has attempted to enlist foreign governments to help lobby against Zespri’s monopoly on kiwifruit exports. The allegations, denied by Turners’ chairman Tony Gibbs, come after reports the U.S. has asked the government to explain Zespri’s role. Shares of Turners fell 0.7% to $1.50 yesterday.


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