Australian, N.Z. Stocks: BHP, Rio Tinto, Gloucester, NAB Bank

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index (AS51) fell 1.4 percent to 4,204.7 at the close of trading in Sydney. New Zealand (ANZ)’s NZX 50 Index added 0.4 percent to 3,401.83 in Wellington.

The following were among the most active shares in the market today. Stock symbols are in parentheses after company names.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) fell 2.3 percent to A$34.58. The world’s biggest mining company declined after the London Metal Exchange Index of six metals dropped 1.4 percent yesterday. Rio Tinto Group (RIO) slipped 2.3 percent to A$63.62.

Echo Entertainment Group Ltd. (EGP) (EGP AU) dropped 0.7 percent to A$4.26. Echo said Crown Ltd. (CWN) and its controlled bodies corporate became a substantial shareholder in Echo on March 2. Crown dropped 1.8 percent to A$8.24.

Gloucester Coal Ltd. (GCL) fell 3.7 percent to A$8.15. The Australian producer recommended shareholders accept an amended A$2.05 billion ($2.2 billion) takeover offer by Yanzhou Coal Mining Co. (1171) after the Chinese company completed a study of its books.

National Australia Bank Ltd. (NAB) fell 0.2 percent to A$23.48. The Australian lender’s stock rating was raised to “buy” from “hold” by analysts at Deutsche Bank AG.

Westfield Group (WDC) fell 2.7 percent to A$8.69. The Sydney-based retailer is in talks to become a partner in a south London shopping mall with co-owners who may default on a loan for the property after the main office tenant moved out.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jacob Greber in Sydney at jgreber@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Gentle at ngentle2@bloomberg.net

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