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Stocks to watch: Contact, NZ Refining, Nuplex

Stocks to watch: Contact, NZ Refining, Nuplex

Dec. 30 (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 New Zealand dollar gained to above 72 U.S. cents and was recently at 71.90 cents. Crude oil held near US$79 a barrel and shares were mixed on Wall Street. Trading is likely to be light with many investors taking a break between Christmas and New Year.

Allied Farmers (ALF): Shares of the company, which is vastly enlarged since the issue of new stock to Hanover Finance investors, sank 4% to 12 cents yesterday, nearing the record low of 10 cents reached last week and valuing the company at $244 million. Shares soared to more than 1.9 billion from 37.7 million with the Hanover deal.

Contact Energy Ltd. (CEN): New Zealand risks running short of power by 2013 because generators have reduced planned capacity increases, says the Electricity Commission. The shares rose 0.5% to $6.09 yesterday.

New Zealand Refining (NZR): The nation’s only oil refinery dropped 4.2% to $3.69 yesterday and has declined 14% in the past month. Its gross refining margin shrank to US$1.16 in September and October from US$9.35 at the beginning of the year, the company said this month. “There remains considerable uncertainty with respect to our final result," the company said.

Nuplex Industries (NPX): Managing director John Hirst raised his holding in the specialty chemicals company to 218,904 shares from 205,904 in two transactions before Christmas, paying $2.82 apiece. Shares of Nuplex fell 0.3% to $2.93 yesterday.

Westpac Banking Corp. (WBC): Chief executive Gail Kelly sold about A$7 million of her almost A$40 million of stock, the Australian reported. Kelly sold 242,580 shares and the Kelly family trust also sold about $763,160 worth of shares and A$596,737 shares in two trades, according to the report. The shares rose 75 cents to $31.75 on the NZX yesterday.


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