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Australian, N.Z. Stocks: BHP, Cabcharge, Gryphon, Transfield

Sept. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index dropped 0.7 percent to 4,601.90 at the close 4:10 p.m. close of trading in Sydney. The measure slipped 0.8 percent this week.

New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index fell 0.5 percent to 3,211.16 at the 5 p.m. close in Wellington. The gauge was little changed for the week.

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

Airlines: Air New Zealand Ltd. (AIR NZ) said it disagrees with a ruling by Australia’s antitrust regulator blocking its proposed alliance with Virgin Blue Holdings Ltd. (VBA AU) for flights across the Tasman Sea. The regulator is at serious risk of killing off competition, Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Rob Fyfe told the annual meeting in Auckland today.

Air New Zealand fell 0.8 percent to NZ$1.28. Virgin Blue, Australia’s second-largest airline, dropped 3.4 percent to 43 Australian cents.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP AU), the world’s largest mining company, fell 0.5 percent to A$39.04. BHP approved a $1.5 billion Macedon natural gas project in Western Australia to increase supplies of the fuel to the domestic market. Its share of the Macedon costs will be about $1.05 billion.

Cabcharge Australia Ltd. (CAB AU), the operator of Australia’s largest taxi-payment system, surged 14 percent to A$5.95, its highest close since May 18.

The company said the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission finalized legal proceedings launched in June, alleging the company breached the Trade Practices Act and misused its market power. Cabcharge, which will pay a penalty of A$15 million ($14.2 million), is “pleased to have avoided a lengthy trial,” it said in a statement.

Gryphon Minerals Ltd. (GRY AU), owner of gold mines in West Africa, jumped 5.5 percent to A$1.53. The company said it raised A$48.2 million selling shares in a placement to fast-track the implementation of its exploration projects Burkina Faso and Mauritania.

Redflex Holdings Ltd. (RDF AU), a distributor of traffic-management software, climbed 4.7 percent to A$2.46. Redflex is in talks with a number of potential bidders for the company, the Australian Financial Review reported in its Street Talk column, without saying where it got the information.

Transfield Services Ltd. (TSE AU), a provider of maintenance services to mining and infrastructure companies, declined 3 percent to A$3.57. The company had its stock rating downgraded to “neutral” from “outperform” at Credit Suisse Group AG.

Westfield Group (WDC AU), the world’s largest owner of shopping centers, lost 0.2 percent to A$12.31. The Auckland City Council has delayed approving a plan by Westfield to double its St Lukes center in New Zealand’s biggest city after complaints by local residents, the New Zealand Herald reported.

To contact the reporter for this story: Lisa Pham in Sydney at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Darren Boey at

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