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Stocks to Watch: NZ Equity Preview 4/2/09

Stocks to Watch: New Zealand Equity Preview

Feb. 4 – The following stocks may be active on the New Zealand exchange after developments since the close of trading yesterday.

Themes of the day: the average price of milk powder slumped a further 8.2% to US$1,851 per metric ton in Fonterra Cooperative Group’s online auction this week, bringing the decline since the auctions were started last July to 58%. Stocks rose on Wall Street after Merck & Co. posted better than expected earnings. The kiwi dollar gained almost 1 cent to 51.35 U.S. cents.

Fletcher Building Ltd. (FBU): Australia’s government yesterday announced a A$42 billion fiscal stimulus package including infrastructure projects, school building, insulating homes and construction of housing. Fletcher, which competes with Boral Ltd. in Australia, fell 0.7% to NZ$5.54 yesterday.

ING Property Trust (ING): ING (NZ) Ltd. has acquired the 50% holding of ING Property Trust Management, the manager of the publicly traded property trust, from Symphony Investments (2007) Ltd., it said in a statement. The management company also manages ING Medical Properties Trust (IMP). ING fell 1 cent to 63 cents yesterday, while ING Medical was unchanged at NZ$1.16.

Mascot Finance Ltd. (MASCOT_RPS): The South Island finance company’s preference shares trade on the Unlisted market, where they are offered at 95 cents. The company today released its interim report, showing a net loss of NZ$1.62 million in the six months ended Sept. 30, on impairment provisions and bad debt write-offs. The charges mainly reflecting the deterioration of its property development unit. No further charges are anticipated and the company today said it had been accepted into the Crown Retail Guarantee Scheme.

Nuplex Industries Ltd. (NPX): The resins and specialty chemicals maker fell 2.6% to NZ$2.60 yesterday, extending its three-day slide to almost 12%, after the company lowered its profit forecast. The company “is fairly close to the wind at a time when markets are pretty bleak – it’s another risk factor,” said Paul Robertshawe, fund manager at Tower Asset Management.

People Telecom Ltd. (PEO): The telecommunications company said it will write down the value of goodwill on its balance sheet by about 33% to NZ$10 million. The company plans to release its first-half results on Feb. 27. The stock hasn’t traded since June 2006, when it was at 12 cents, according to NZX data. On the ASX, the stock fell 4.9% to 3.9 cents yesterday.

Sky Network Television (SKT): The pay-TV operator’s shares have gained about 13% this year amid optimism demand for its My Sky HD service is outpacing supply of the equipment. The shares rose 0.7% to NZ$4.18 yesterday.


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