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Stocks to watch: FBU, HGD, NZO, THL

Stocks to watch: FBU, HGD, NZO, THL

Dec. 30 (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: Shares edged higher in the U.S. and Europe amid optimism 2011 will yield more concrete signs of global economic growth. Crude oil held near a 26-month high and copper reached a record US$9,437.50 a tonne on the London Metal Exchange. In light holiday trading, the NZX has issued a warning after shareholders in the biggest companies on the bourse were approached with low-ball offers for their shares from a Christchurch businessman, Bernard Whimp.

Fletcher Building Ltd. (FBU): The nation’s biggest building products company said yesterday that an offer by Cargill Securities, a limited partnership set up by Whimp on Dec. 17, to buy shares below market prices "appears to be an opportunistic bid to acquire shares cheaply" and shareholders should “ignore the documents sent to them.” The shares fell 2 cents to $7.73 yesterday.

Heritage Gold NZ Ltd. (HGD): The price of gold crept up 0.5% to a three-week high US$1,410.35 an ounce. Demand for the rare material has climbed to record highs this year as ongoing debt problems in Europe and a stalling economy in the U.S. prompted investors to seek out so-called safe havens. Shares in gold miner Heritage Gold were unchanged at 2.3 cents in trading yesterday and have dropped 36% this year.

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New Zealand Oil & Gas (NZO): Crude for February delivery fell 0.2% to US$91.32 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, slipping from US$91.88 earlier this week, the highest price since October 2008. The shares rose 1 cent to 85 cents yesterday and have lost a third of their value in the past two months after the explosion and subsequent receivership at its 29%-owned Pike River Coal. Pan Pacific Petroleum (PPP) rose 4.8% to 22 cents.

Tourism Holdings Ltd. (THL)): New Zealand was named No. 2 on a list of must-visit destinations for 2011 by CNN, which cited a Rugby World Cup and the nation’s luxury lodges. Shares of the campervan rentals and tourist services company were unchanged at 76 cents yesterday.


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