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Stocks to watch: ARG, GEN, GLL, HNZ, TEL, TLS

Stocks to watch: ARG, GEN, GLL, HNZ, TEL, TLS

Aug. 31 (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: Today's National Bank New Zealand Business Outlook survey for August will dominate the local session today, with sentiment levels likely to have cooled since July as the financial seen in the month likely to weigh on activity levels. The National Bank Business Outlook is due out today, giving an update of business confidence.

Argosy Property Trust (ARG): Trevor Scott, an independent director at the trust, lashed out at DNZ Property Fund at its annual meeting yesterday for using the media to further its merger bid, according to the New Zealand Herald. Scott said DNZ violated an agreement not to push its claim in the press, and urged investors to vote against resolutions looking to depose manager OnePath New Zealand Ltd. ARG shares fell 2.5% yesterday to 78 cents.

Genesis Research & Development Corp. (GEN): The biotechnology company posted a first-half net loss of $148,000 in the six months ended June 30, compared to a loss of $511,000 a year earlier. With just $1,000 of total income, the company burned through $160,000 in the period, and had $178,000 in cash or equivalents as at June 30. The company said it is awaiting funds from UBNZ Funds Management as part of a new capital injection. GEN shares were unchanged yesterday at 4 cents.

GuocoLeisure Ltd. (GLL): The diversified investment company said annual net profit rose 61.2%, mainly due to better performances in both its hotel and gaming operations. GuocoLeisure’s net profit for the year ended June 30 rose to US$79.8 million (NZ$94.3 million) from US$49.5 million the previous year. Revenue rose 18.1% to US$391.1 million. While GuocoLeisure is still listed on NZX, its primary listing is on the Singapore Stock Exchange. GLL shares were unchanged at 53 cents yesterday on the NZX.

Heartland New Zealand Ltd. (HNZ): The would-be bank announced it raised two-thirds of its capital from underwriters and sub-underwriters in its $35 million share purchase plan. Some 1,090 investors holding 15% of the lender bought 23.3 million shares at 52.2 cents apiece, raising $12.1 million, leaving underwriters Pyne Gould Corp. and Impact Capital Management, and unnamed sub-underwriters to buy 35.2 million at 65 cents a share, raising $22.9 million. HNZ shares were unchanged yesterday at 56 cents.

Telecom Corp. (TEL): The country’s biggest phone, which was yesterday cleared by government to demerge, says the process will be complete by Nov. 30, according to a report released today. The company's Chorus unit will take on $1.7 billion in new debt, while the retail business will take on $750 million to $950 million in new debt. The company also said it will begin looking for a replacement for chief executive Paul Reynolds in 2012 to 2013. TEL shares fell 1.3% to $2.73.

Telstra Corp. (TLS): The Australian competition watchdog yesterday raised "serious concerns" over Telstra's commitment to separate its wholesale and retail businesses, a critical part of its A$11 billion ($13.8 billion) deal with the NBN Co. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission preliminary view said further important changes would be required. TLS shares fell 2.9% yesterday to $3.75.

(BusinessDesk)

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