BusinessDesk: Stocks to watch: Argosy, Fisher and Paykel Appliances, NZX, Rakon, Telecom, Telstra

BusinessDesk: Stocks to watch: Argosy, Fisher and Paykel Appliances, NZX, Rakon, Telecom, Telstra

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: Global equities rose for a fourth session as investors appeared to be putting the volatility of August behind them, with increased demand for risk assets such as stocks and commodities.

Europe's Stoxx 600 Index closed 2.9% higher at 237.43, and the Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 0.5% to 1,218.63 although gains were capped by the U.S. government's bid to block AT&T Inc. $39 billion takeover of T-Mobile USA Inc. Commodities rose 0.5% to 342.57, as measured by the 19-commodity Thompson Reuters Jefferies CRB Index.

Argosy Property Trust (ARG): The buyout of the trust's management contract, which is owned by ANZ New Zealand's OnePath Ltd. unit, was approved by shareholders, netting the bank $20 million after an extended battle with unit holders. Of the 62.4% of investors who voted, 80.7% voted in favour of the deal, representing 50.3% of the total unit holders. ARG shares rose 2.6% yesterday to 80 cents.

Fisher & Paykel Appliances Holdings (FPA): Kiwi exporters are increasingly optimistic about their prospects in Asia as demand from traditional Western markets falls off according to DHL New Zealand's annual Export Barometer survey, with Korea, China and Taiwan see as the most promising in the year ahead. Shares in FPA, the whiteware manufacturer and exporter, were unchanged yesterday at 49 cents.

NZX Ltd. (NZX): The security market operator's chief executive Mark Weldon is backing investment banks with local offices to win mandates in the government's plan to sell up to half of its stake in certain state-owned enterprises. The Treasury estimates the winner will earn between 2% and 9% of the targeted sale price. Shares in NZX, which stands to benefit from the listing of SOEs, rose 0.9% yesterday t0 $2.30.

Rakon Ltd. (RAK): The manufacturer of crystal timing devices said annual operating profit could fall as much as 44% for the year ending March 2012 if the New Zealand dollar remains are current levels, with EDITDA coming in at between $14 million and $18 million for the year ending March 2012. RAK shares fell 5.8% yesterday to 81 cents.

Telecom Corp. (TEL): The phone company's plans to may result in lower credit ratings for the separated units, according to Standard & Poor's. The international ratings agency said it is likely to cut services company New Telecom's rating one notch below Telecom's current rating to "A-" and that it will rate network company New Chorus an investment grade "BBB". TEL shares fell 0.8% yesterday to $2.54.

Telstra Corp. (TLS): The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission says its concerns over the Australian phone company's retail and wholesale separation undertakings shouldn't delay the National Broadband Network roll-out. That comes despite the fact that separation forms a key part of the federal Government's plan for the NBN. TLS shares rose 1.6% yesterday to $3.81.


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