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BusinessDesk: Stocks to Watch: Bathurst Resources, Comvita, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, Heartland New Zealand, OceanaGold, Vital Healthcare

BusinessDesk: Stocks to Watch: Bathurst Resources, Comvita, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, Heartland New Zealand, OceanaGold, Vital Healthcare

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:

Expect the carnage on offshore markets to spill over onto Asia Pacific share markets today with investors abandoning risk on the Federal Reserve's downbeat assessment of the U.S. economy, lower than expected European and Chinese PMI readings, and a fresh U.S. government funding battle looming.

On Wall Street, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index tumbled 3.2% to 1,129.56, Europe's Stoxx 600 Index dropped 4.6% to 214.89, and the 19-commodity Thompson Reuters Jefferies CRB Index fell 4.4% to 307.24.

The so-called safe haven assets saw massive demand with yields on U.S. 10-year Treasury bills falling to 1.7%, its lowest level since 1945, and the Dollar Index gaining to 78.46, its highest level since mid-February. Gold fell to US$1,727.34 an ounce from US$1,770.74 yesterday, as the resurgent greenback eroded its value.

Bathurst Resources Ltd. (BTU): The coal miner will have the backing of the West Coast Regional Council and Buller District Council as it tries to head off appeals to the Environment Court against resource consents for open-cast mining in the hills above Westport. The appeals were filed by Royal Forest & Bird Protection Society, West Coast Environmental Network and the Fairdown Residents Association. BTU shares fell 6.3% yesterday to 90 cents.

Comvita Ltd. (CVT): The manuka honey wound care manufacturer has settled the British patent dispute with Brightwake Ltd. that plunged it into the red last year, and won’t have to make a 226,000 pound payment. The deal will give a sub-licence to the British company to manufacture, distribute and sell its Algivon in the U.K., Europe, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Singapore and Japan. CVT shares fell 1.4% yesterday to $2.03.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corp. (FPH): Workers at the breathing mask manufacturer's Highbrook plant in Auckland have rejected a second pay increase offer, with negotiations to continue into next week, according to a Fairfax Media report. Union member want a 5.75% increase in a one-year period, while FPH offered a 3.3% increase in the first year, 2% in the second, and a one-off $300 cash payment. FPH shares rose 3.5% yesterday to $2.38.

Heartland New Zealand Ltd. (HNZ): The financial services company looking to transform itself into a bank yesterday announced that it had completed the acquisition of PGG Wrightson Finance Ltd. The gross purchase prices was $99 million, down from the original estimate of $103 million due to changes in the value of the loan book. HNZ shares were unchanged yesterday at 53 cents.

OceanaGold Corp. (OGC): The miner which operates the Macraes and Reefton goldfields fell 4.4% yesterday to $3.26 after a wave of global volatility saw investors flock to the U.S. dollar, devaluing gold in the process. The hedge metal recently traded at US$1,727.34 an ounce, down from US$1,770.74 yesterday.

Vital Healthcare Property Trust (VHP): Australia & New Zealand Banking Group has taken a 9% stake in the specialist property investor. ANZ subsidiary AUT Investments Ltd. paid $31.2 million for 26.1 million units of Vital. Part of that acquisition came from ANZ subsidiary OnePath New Zealand Ltd., which made a substantial disclosure notice saying its stake had reduced to 4.6% from 7.8%. VHP shares 2.7% yesterday to $1.16.

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