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Stocks to watch: AIA, CEN, FBU, IFT, RAK, SCY

Stocks to watch: AIA, CEN, FBU, IFT, RAK, SCY

Dec. 22 (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: The New Zealand dollar held above 74 U.S. cents ahead of third quarter GDP data out later today. It was last trading at 74.11 U.S. cents. New Zealand’s economy probably grew 0.2% in the three months ended Sept. 30, according to a Reuters survey, as the recovery slowed through the second half of the year. Global equity markets continued their pre-Christmas rally. On Wall Street the Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 0.3% to 1257.74, while in Europe the Stoxx 600 closed 0.1% higher at 281.45, its highest level this year. Oil rose to a two-year high, boosted by a drop in U.S. oil inventories and cold weather on both sides of the Atlantic. Brent Crude was last trading at US$94.42 a barrel.

Auckland International Airport Ltd. (AIA): The country's busiest gateway has signed up to Earthcheck, a global sustainable tourism certification scheme. The airport, which is currently rated at the benchmark bronze level, is looking to achieve silver certification. Shares were unchanged yesterday at $2.17.

Contact Energy Ltd. (CEN): New Zealand's third biggest listed company on the exchange announced its resource consents for the 250 Megawatt geothermal power station, Tauhara 2, have been granted, as signalled in a draft decision last month by the government-appointed board of inquiry. The consents are the first granted under fast-track provisions of the amended Resource Management Act, which allows projects of national significance to be heard and consented within nine months. Shares fell 1.1% yesterday to $6.17.

Fletcher Building Ltd. (FBU): Shares in Australian takeover target Crane Group were last trading at A$9.37, two cents higher than Fletcher's bid. New Zealand's biggest construction company offered A$9.35 per Crane share, comprised of one Fletcher share and A$3.43 in cash, conditional on reaching 90% acceptance. Today the Commerce Commission said Fletcher has sought antitrust approval for the deal. Shares fell 0.5% yesterday to $7.79.

Infratil Ltd. (IFT): The infrastructure investment group is to close its offer of 2016 bonds in January, four months earlier than planned, due to strong demand and is mulling a further issue of 2017 debt. The Wellington-based investment group expects to sell $75 million to $100 million of June 15, 2016, bonds paying a coupon of 8.5%. Shares were unchanged yesterday at $1.92.

Rakon Ltd (RAK): The lack of currency hedging by the crystal oscillator manufacturer is likely to offset any benefits from its new plant in China and growing demand for femtocells, according to Craigs Investment Partners, quoted on the ShareChat website. The plant, which comes online in early 2012, is expected to lower input costs by 40%, but at least some of that improvement is likely to be offset by the strong currency. The stock, which the advisor rated as "hold", were unchanged yesterday at $1.16.

Smiths City Group (SCY): The owner of home appliances retailer L.V. Martin & Son reported a 22% drop in profit to $790,000 for the six months to Oct. 31. Revenue for the period came in at $109 million, down 2.7% compared to the same period previously. A dividend of 1 cent was declared, payable on Feb. 11. Shares were unchanged yesterday 31 cents, and last traded on Dec. 1.

(BusinessDesk)

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