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Stocks to watch: ALF, GMT, KMD, KIP, RYM, THL, VHP

Stocks to watch: ALF, GMT, KMD, KIP, RYM, THL, VHP

Aug. 2 (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: Prices of dairy products fell for the fourth sale in a row at Fonterra Cooperative Group’s latest online auction, with the GDT-TWI Price Index slipping 1.3% to US$3,716 a metric tonne, tracking a broader decline in global commodity prices. U.S. economic growth fears and fresh concerns on Europe's debt crisis saw global equities fall, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index dropping 2.6% on weaker-than-expected U.S. consumer spending, which fell for the first time in nearly two years.

Allied Farmers Ltd. (ALF): The rural services company will sell its merchandising stores to rural supplies chain RD1 Ltd. as it seeks to raise funds and repay outstanding debt from its ill-fated purchase of the Hanover and United Finance loan books in 2009. The deal is for an undisclosed sum, and will be completed next week once RD1 completes a Land Information Memoranda review on the stories. ALF shares were unchanged yesterday at 0.7 cent.

Goodman Property Trust (GMT): The wave of internalisations sweeping the listed property sector has now caught Goodman Property, with directors under fire at the annual meeting yesterday over the value of its current management structure, according to Fairfax Media. Unitholders received a cash distribution of 7.74 cents per unit for the 2011 year, but distributions for the coming year are expected to range between 6.2 cents and 6.3 cents a unit. GMT shares were unchanged yesterday at 99 cents.

Kathmandu Holdings (KMD): The outdoor clothing and equipment retailer rose 6.8% to $2.30 after it said full-year pretax earnings rose between 31% and 36% on new store openings, favourable weather and better inventory management. Earnings before interest and tax were $63 million to $65 million in the year ended July 31, up from $47.9 million a year earlier. Sales rose 25% to $306 million, or a gain of 22% in constant currency terms. Same store sales rose 15.7%.

Kiwi Income Property Trust (KIP): The country’s biggest listed property investment vehicle has announced the sales of two properties. The sales were for 50 The Terrace in Wellington, which sold for $6.37 million, and 1-17 Broadway Avenue in Palmerston North, which sold for $2 million, according to the trust with both on par with book value. KIP shares were unchanged yesterday at $1.02.

Mercer Group (MGL): The stainless steel manufacturer has appointed former printing and publishing industry executive Rodger Shepherd as its new chief executive following the resignation of Howard Milliner. Shepherd has previously held the roles of chief executive of PMP and deputy chief executive of the Fairfax Group in New Zealand. MGL shares were unchanged yesterday at 6.5 cents.

Ryman Healthcare Ltd. (RYM): The retirement village operator plans to build its 26th retirement village in the Howick suburb of Auckland. The planned village will provide the full continuum of care from independent and serviced apartments, a village centre and rest home, hospital and dementia care facilities. RYM shares rose 0.4% yesterday to $2.72.

Tourism Holdings (THL): The campervan rental company fell 2.9% yesterday to 66 cents after a takeover bid by Switzerland-based investor John Grace closed short of its acceptance target after an independent valuation said the company was worth more. Grace’s Ballylinch LP investment vehicle had offered 67.5 cents a share to lift its stake to between 50.01% and 52.2%. Ballylinch has a 19% stake in Tourism Holdings.

Vital Healthcare Property Trust (VHP): The specialist investor in medical clinic properties announced that it will increase is foreign exchange hedging to between 90% and 100% of the value of its net assets in Australia to counter the strength of the local currency. VHP shares rose 0.9% yesterday to $1.16.


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