Tamsyn Parker 's Opinion

Tamsyn Parker is the NZ Herald's Money Editor

Stock takes: Precious metal

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The metal in the gold medals of New Zealand double scullers Joseph Sullivan and Nathan Cohen is worth over $1700. Photo / Brett Phibbs
The metal in the gold medals of New Zealand double scullers Joseph Sullivan and Nathan Cohen is worth over $1700. Photo / Brett Phibbs

While Stock Takes is sure that it's the winning that matters not the value of the medal around their necks for Olympic gold medallists, it is interesting to note that the value of the London Games medals are the highest value of any gold medal in the history of the modern games because of the current high price of gold and silver.

According to the World Gold Council the current gold medals are worth US$708 each ($870) even though they only have 6g of gold in them.

The Olympic committee specifies that both the gold and silver medals must be made of at least 92.5 per cent silver. The London gold medal has 1.34 per cent gold and the rest is copper. The rest of the silver medal is copper and bronze medals are made up of of 97 per cent copper, 2.5 per cent zinc and 0.5 per cent tin.

According to Forbes if all 302 London gold medals were made of solid gold they would have cost nearly $40 million to make. The last time pure gold medals were presented was at the 1912 Olympics.

Gold, silver and bronze medals were first presented in 1904.

The price of gold and silver has been pushed up in recent years as investors have fled to safe havens in the economic turmoil.

PUSHED OUT?

Prime Minister John Key made his first mention this week of the possibility of the first SOE float, Mighty River Power, being pushed out to March or April next year.

The water rights issue is proving to be more than a minor hurdle. The Government has given the Waitangi Tribunal until August 24 to provide an interim report on the situation.

Mighty River will announce its full-year result on August 28. The Government will be pretty keen to get a prospectus out as soon after that as possible.

If it does get pushed out to next year it's likely to go ahead after the half-year result, which came out in the last week of March this year, when most investors are well back from their summer holidays.

Provided Mighty River goes ahead in September as expected Stock Takes understands the next two floats would probably be set down for April and October next year.

FULL SWING

Reporting season will get in to full swing on Monday with bellwether stock Freightways due to report early in the week and Contact Energy and SkyCity Entertainment Group later in the week.

It will be interesting to note if SkyCity has anything to say on the progress of its convention centre.

The Auditor-General announced on June 13 that it would investigate how SkyCity's proposal to build a convention centre in Auckland in exchange for more pokies was chosen as the best option for the Government. The arrangement was criticised as a backroom deal by opposition parties.

But there has been no news on the investigation as yet. SkyCity shares closed up 5c on $3.68 yesterday.

SHOWING SUPPORT

There has been some frustration from investors this year about the number of annual general meetings being held in Christchurch.

Both Goodman Property Trust and Kiwi Income held their AGMs in Christchurch this week while Infratil and Air New Zealand will also use it as a base for their meetings in coming weeks.

Goodman's John Dakin said around 20 per cent of its shareholders were from Christchurch and it liked to rotate the meeting around the country.

The property trust had a turnout of around 200 people at the meeting.

Kiwi Income's Chris Gudgeon said theirs attracted 80 to 90 people, a similar number to that which typically came every year.

Some market sources say it is understandable as companies want to show their support for the earthquake-hit region but others say it makes it difficult for investors to attend.

POPULAR JOB

More than 40 people have applied for the role of head of cash markets at the stock exchange.

The Auckland-based role will involve overseeing the development of the NZX's equity and debt listings with a focus on encouraging new listings.

An NZX spokeswoman said it had had a "massive number of applicants" for the position and was in the process of creating a short-list.

Interest has come from both locals and ex-pats.

A second role of chief financial officer, which will be Wellington based, is also in the short-list process.

New NZX boss Tim Bennett announced the roles at the end of June and at the time expected them to take three months to fill but it could be much shorter if the interest is anything to go by.

Stock Takes wonders if interest has been spiked by the near sure knowledge that there will be some major floats coming in the form of the state-owned power companies.

FIRED UP

Infratil's annual general meeting could be an interesting one on Monday as it asks shareholders to vote on raising the directors' fees for itself and its subsidiary companies Lumo Energy Australia, Infratil Energy Australia, Wellington International Airport and New Zealand Bus.

It will be the second year in a row it has asked for a directors' fee hike. Last year the pool was increased from $660,000 to $680,000. This year the company wants to increase it further to $705,000.

Some market players believe the fee increases aren't justified in these times of frugality and are also upset that as well as receiving directors' fees the company pays a management fee to related party Morrison & Co Infrastructure Management. Last year it was paid $18.3 million.

The board believes the directors' fee increases are valid given the experience and responsibility of the directors, the size of the company, the level of governance and the time commitment required.

Shares in Infratil closed down 3c on $2.08 yesterday.

MORE INTEREST

There could be some good news waiting in the wings for Guinness Peat Group investors.

The Australian Financial Review reported speculation of more interest in Australian listed wealth management company ClearView Wealth this week.

GPG owns a 47.8 per cent stake in ClearView but rebuffed an offer of A50c per share last month from private equity bidder Crescent Capital saying the offer was too low.

The AFR said Sydney-based Emerald Partners was understood to have sent out a one-page document on the company trying to drum up interest in a counter offer.

It also noted that ClearView was believed to have appointed a second adviser to help its defence on top of Emerald.

Shares in GPG closed steady on 50.5c yesterday.

- NZ Herald

Tamsyn Parker

Tamsyn Parker is the NZ Herald's Money Editor

Tamsyn Parker is the NZ Herald's Money Editor. A business journalist for ten years, she has worked in the UK and NZ for the New Zealand Herald, the National Business Review and a specialist publication on investment products for financial advisors. She is passionate about helping readers learn more about to make their money work for them.

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