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Stocks to watch: ANZ, DGL, HLG, MVN, NZO, PGC, TEL

Stocks to watch: ANZ, DGL, HLG, MVN, NZO, PGC, TEL

Dec. 8 (BusinessDesk) – The following stocks may be active on the New Zealand exchange after developments since the close of trading. All prices are in New Zealand dollars unless specified.

Themes of the day: Global equity markets rallied after U.S. President Barak Obama looked likely to extend tax breaks for another two years, which investors saw as a shot in the arm for the world's largest economy. In late afternoon trade the Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 0.4%, while in Europe the Stoxx 600 rose 0.9%. The New Zealand dollar declined amid speculation Ireland will not be able to implement its tough austerity budget, which slashes 15 billion euros of government spending over the next four years. The kiwi slipped to 76.02 U.S. cents from 76.23 cents yesterday. The Reserve Bank is expected to keep rates on hold at 3% when its releases its monetary policy statement tomorrow. Oil prices jumped above the US$90 mark for the first time in more than two years, with Brent Crude last trading at US$91.83 a barrel.

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ): The lenders local unit said it plans to lend $3 billion to small and medium-sized businesses in 2011, on top of the expected $3.5 million needed to refinance existing customers. Shares rose 1% yesterday to $30.50.

Delegat's Group Ltd. (DGL): The wine maker yesterday increased its stake in takeover target Oyster Bay Marlborough Vineyards Ltd. to 74% after it lifted its bid last month to $2.08 from $1.80 a share. Independent directors, who have unanimously recommended shareholders accept the offer, said the closing date of Dec. 14 could not be extended unless the offer is declared unconditional by Delegat's. Shares rose 1.6% yesterday to $1.90.

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Hallenstein Glasson Holdings (HLG): The clothing retailer told share holders at its annual meeting that sales had stalled for the first four months of the financial year as a hike in local consumption tax and rising Australian interest rates cut demand, with market conditions likely to remain challenging. Shares fell 3.1% yesterday to $4.07.

Methven Ltd. (MVN): The tap and bathroom fitting maker is rated a 'buy' according to Goldman Sachs & Partners analyst Adrian Allbon, quoted on the ShareChat website. He said operationally the company's strong performance in Australia in the first-half of the year was offset by flat growth in New Zealand and declines in the U.K.. However this is expected to change over the course of the year with the restructuring of U.K. operations already underway. Shares fell 1.9% yesterday to $1.62.

New Zealand Oil & Gas (Ltd): The energy and exploration group could be forced to write-off its 29% stake in Pike River Coal Ltd., with the company likely to face receivership after the explosion at its West Coast mine, according to press reports. Pike chairman John Dow said this week that the board wanted to get back in business, but it may cost as much as $200 million to reopen the mine after a series of blasts killed 29 miners. Shares were unchanged yesterday at 89 cents.

Pyne Gould Corp. (PGC): The financial services company came one step closer to transforming itself into a South Island bank after Southern Cross Building Society investors voted in favour of merging with the company's Marac unit and Canterbury Building Society. Shares rose 2.7% yesterday to 38 cents.

Telecom Corp. (TEL): A joint bid by the country's largest telephone company and Vodafone New Zealand Ltd. was on the three shortlisted for the for the government’s $300 million rural broadband initiative. The other contenders are Torotoro Waea and FX Networks/OpenGate. Binding contracts are expected to be signed in early 2011. Shares fell 1.4% to $2.15.


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