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Stocks to watch: Contact, TrustPower, Infratil

Stocks to watch: Contact, TrustPower, Infratil, Sealegs

Dec. 10 (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: Reserve Bank Governor Alan Bollard has left the Official Cash Rate unchanged at a record low of 2.5%, but is signalling rates hikes earlier than the previously signalled second half of next year, as the economy recovers more quickly than anticipated, in part owing to increased government spending and recovery in the residential housing market.

Contact Energy (CEN): Energy Minister Gerry Brownlee yesterday announced changes to the electricity industry including an asset ‘swap’ among state-owned power companies that will see Genesis Energy take over Meridian Energy’s two Tekapo power stations, potentially bolstering competition in the South Island, one of Contact’s most profitable region. Contact fell 1.2% to $5.83 yesterday.

TrustPower (TPW): TrustPower can also expect to face stiffer competition in its high margin regional networks, especially in the South Island, as a result of the Brownlee reforms announced yesterday. Whether the reforms will dampen inevitable price increases or will constrain supply and increase price pressure over the medium term by forcing more conservative operational and capital investment decisions remains to be seen. The company has five and seven year senior bond offers in the market at present. A former Genesis Energy executive and current ceo at Tasmania Hydro, Vince Hawksworth, has been appointed as TPW's its new chief executive. Its shares traded unchanged at $7.30 yesterday. Kirkcaldie & Stains Ltd.

(KRK): H&G Ltd., the investment company associated with businessman Selwyn Cushing, lifted its stake in the upscale Wellington department store to 11.6% from 9.6%, according to a substantial shareholder notice to the NZX this week. The shares last traded on Dec. 1 at $2.65 and have gained 18% in the past six months.

Sealegs Corp. (SLG): The manufacturer of amphibious boats has demonstrated one of its vessels to the Malaysian defence forces including a ‘circumnavigation’ of the Southeast Asian nation. Malaysian Defence Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was “impressed” with the boat and would “talk to the Finance Ministry about procurement” once his ministry has made its recommendation, Sealegs said in a statement.

The shares were last at 22 cents yesterday.Infratil Ltd. (IFT): Founding Infratil director Lloyd Morrison has made his first public appearance since stepping down for cancer treatment in January, saying he is on the mend, but his return to an executive role is part-time at this stage.

The company is in the final throes of a joint transaction with the NZ Super Fund to purchase Shell New Zealand's downstream refining, distribution and retail assets. Infratil closed unchanged at $1.65 yesterday.SmartPay Ltd. (SPY): The merchant services provider yesterday announced an agreement to supply 106 Paper Plus stores and 58 Take Note stores with updated eftpos and "point of decision" in-store marketing systems. The stock gained 2.4% to 4 cents yesterday.

(BusinessWire) 09:38:03

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