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Stocks to watch: AIR, AIA, BTU, EBO, POT, SKT, TEL

Stocks to watch: AIR, AIA, BTU, EBO, POT, SKT, TEL

Aug. 29 (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: With no local data scheduled for release today, the market will again be looking offshore for its leads. Stocks on Wall Street rose on Friday in New York after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told the central bankers' summit at Jackson Hole that the U.S. economy is still growing, albeit at a slower than expected pace. The soothed the disappointment felt by some investors who were expecting a further round of quantitative easing to be announced. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index close 1.5% higher at 1,176.80, and the 19-commodity Thompson Reuters Jefferies CRB Index closed 1% higher at 335.25.

Air New Zealand Ltd. (AIR): The High Court has given the Commerce Commission leave to pursue its air cargo cartel case against airlines and freight forwarders after agreeing there was a local market for the services. Air New Zealand and the other eight airlines facing collusion charges contend that inbound air cargo didn’t come under New Zealand jurisdiction. They didn’t dispute outbound cargo. AIR shares were unchanged at $1.09 on Friday.

Auckland International Airport Ltd. (AIA): The country's busiest gateway is set to receive a payment of $821,000 after Queenstown Airport announced it would be paying a dividend of $3.28 million for 12 months ended June 30. Shares in AIA, which owns a 24.9% stake in the South Island airport, were unchanged on Friday at $2.26.

Bathurst Resources Ltd. (BTU): The Buller Coal Project developer has gained crucial resource consents that should allow its open-cast mining plans above Westport to meet a first production deadline of late this year. The stock last traded at $1.20 last week before it was suspended pending the announcement.

Ebos Ltd. (EBO): The pharmaceuticals and medical supplies distributor lifted annual net profit 38% reflecting the sale of its scientific operations, operational improvements and a small sales increase. Net profit rose to $31.6 million for the year ended June 30, which included an $8.2 million one-off gain from the asset sale. Profit before that sale was up 18.8% while sales rose just 2% to $1.34 billion. EBO shares rose 0.3% on Friday to $6.70.

Port of Tauranga (POT): The port said container volumes will rise as much as 25% this year, reflecting new services including a fortnightly visit from Mediterranean Shipping Co. linking New Zealand and Australia with North and Central America. The shares traded at $9.30 on Friday.

Sky Network Television Ltd. (SKT): The pay TV operator reported a 16.8% rise in annual net profit as subscriber numbers grew to a record and more switched to MySky. Net profit for the year ended June 30 rose to $120.3 million from $103 million the previous year as revenue rose 7.4% to $796.9 million. Subscriber numbers grew 3.4%, or by 27,024, to 829,421 during the year and Sky said it is now in 48.7% of New Zealand homes. SKT shares rose 1.7% on Friday to $5.85.

Telecom Corp. (TEL): The country's biggest phone company says it's prepared to challenge a $40-million tax bill that is hanging over the company, according to a Fairfax Media report. The Inland Revenue Department has demanded that Telecom pay tax of $23m plus penalties of $11m and interest on interest income that Telecom's overseas subsidies earned in 2008. TEL shares were unchanged at $2.74 on Friday.


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