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Stocks to watch: BGR, DNZ, FPH, GFF, HNZ, SKT

Stocks to watch: BGR, DNZ, FPH, GFF, HNZ, SKT

Aug. 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: All eyes will be on the New Zealand market open today as a litmus test for risk appetite after Standard & Poor's slashed the U.S. credit rating to AA+ from AAA and placed it on negative outlook. Global market leads were weaker. Declines on Wall Street limited by better than expected July nonfarm payroll data, with the Standard & Poor's 500 Index falling 0.1% to 1199.38, its lowest level since November last year.

Briscoe Group (BGR): The homewares and sporting goods retailer on Friday said first-half net profit will come about 10% higher than last year on the back of improved second quarter sales. Net profit was at least $10.2 million in the six months ended July 31, up from $9.3 million in the same period previously, according to a statement by the company. That’s on a 4.8% rise in second quarter group sales to $97.8 million compared to the same period last year. BGR shares were unchanged on Friday at $1.43.

DNZ Property Fund Ltd. (DNZ): The listed property investor advised that it wants to change two resolutions that are to be put Argosy unit holders at the trust's annual meeting at the end of the month. The company is now calling for an independent adviser to be appointed to reassess DNZ's merger proposal, and advise whether it is in the interests of unit holders to internalise the trust's management function. DNZ shares were unchanged on Friday at $1.25.

Fisher and Paykel Healthcare Corp. (FPH): The respirator and breathing mask manufacturer is moving some of its clinical trials for new medical products overseas due to regulatory red tape in the local market, according to the ONE News website. The company spends close to $40 million a year developing medical technologies to help treat respiratory illnesses like sleep apnea. FPH shares fell 2.4% on Friday to $2.49.

Goodman Fielder Ltd. (GFF): The Australian food ingredient manufacturer is opening a dedicated gluten-free bakery in Huntly later this month, according to a report by Fairfax Media. The plant, which is due to open in a few weeks, will be situated on the company's existing Huntly site. GFF shares fell 6.1% on Friday to $1.08.

Heartland New Zealand Ltd. (HNZ): The financial services company looking to transform itself into a bank launched its $35 million fully underwritten share purchase plan today. The offer represents a 5% discount on the average end of day market price of HNZ shares between Aug. 19 and Aug. 25. HNZ shares fell 3.3% on Friday to 59 cents.

Sky Network Television Ltd. (SKT): The pay TV operator is said to be potentially looking at buying cash-strapped rival TV3, according to Fairfax Media. The television channel, which is grappling with $560 million debt load, is part of the MediaWorks group which is owned by Australia's Ironbridge. SKT shares fell 2.1% on Friday to $5.64.

(BusinessDesk)

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