MIDDAY UPDATE: Govt awards 10 new exploration permits

By Paul McBeth

Dec. 11 (BusinessDesk) - The government has signed off on 10 new oil and gas exploration permits in the Great Southern, Taranaki and Pegasus basins.

The Crown put up 23 blocks for tender in June but only got bids on 13, representing some $82 million of committed spending. Texan explorer Anadarko picked up the two permits in the as-yet unexplored Pegasus Basin off the bottom tip of the North Island, while Shell, OMV and Mitsui got a permit in the Great Southern Basin.

The remaining seven blocks were in the Taranaki Basin, with successful bids from Todd Exploration and Cue Energy, NZ Oil & Gas, Cheal Petroleum and East West Petroleum, TAG Oil, and NZ Energy and NZOG.

NZ houses sell at record median price

New Zealand houses are selling at a record median price in the strongest sales volumes for five years.

Sales rose 24 percent to 7,454 in November from a year earlier and were 12.3 percent up on October, according to the Real Estate Institute. The median price climbed 4.3 percent to $383,250 from a year earlier.

The country's property market has come back to life after a couple of years in the doldrums, and rocketing prices in Auckland amid a small supply has sparked fears of another housing bubble.

Port Napier overtakes Ports of Auckland in export volumes

Napier Port now trumps Ports of Auckland as the North Island's second biggest export port after lifting its volumes 2 percent to 3.7 million tonnes.

The port increased revenue 11 percent to $60.3 million as it posted a profit of $11.1 million in the year ended Sept. 30. Port of Tauranga is still the biggest exporter port in the country.

DNZ's Duffy cashes in at share price peak

DNZ Property Fund chief executive Paul Duffy sold 9.9 percent of his stake in the property investor worth $1.65 million, cashing in as the share price tests record-highs since listing two years ago.

Duffy sold 964,150 shares at an average price of about $1.625 last week, netting him $1.57 million, having sold 50,000 shares for $79,250, or $1.585 a share, in November, according to disclosure statements lodged with the NZX.

DNZ shares have traded as high as $1.65 intraday, though the $1.625 price Duffy sold at is its highest closing price. The stock has climbed 68 percent since switching its listing to the NZX from the Unlisted platform in August 2010.



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