Canadian listing on cards

MICHAEL BERRY
Last updated 05:00 15/06/2012

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New Zealand's L&M Energy is considering listing on Toronto's Venture Stock Exchange to increase its investor pool.

The coal and petroleum explorer, which is listed on the NZX and the ASX, has enlisted Canadian brokerage Casimir Capital to help with the process to become triple listed.

The broker has previously helped several Canadian oil and gas producers in New Zealand to raise capital.

L&M chairman Geoff Loudon told the NZX a wider share listing and greater depth of shareholders would mean the shares traded more often, benefiting all shareholders.

Having a more robust bloc of shareholders would strengthen the firm as it stepped up its Taranaki exploration programme, he said.

In the next 18 months, the firm plans to drill at Kahili and drill at least two wells in Alton. It will also seek new exploration blocks in Taranaki when the Government offers them in September.

The Taranaki region produces 55,000 barrels of oil each day from 18 oil and gas fields, which provides about a third of the country's needs.

Although the worldwide economic climate was decidedly patchy, the firm was well-placed, with rights over some of New Zealand's most promising exploratory sites, Loudon said. More than 800,000 hectares of land was held by the company for exploration.

The Government had made a "concerted effort" to stimulate the industry and encourage exploration by moderating tax and royalty payments.

Chief financial officer Bruce McGregor said L&M's shares were undervalued. Listing in a big market, such as Canada, would hopefully get the shares trading and help lift the share price to where L&M believed it should be.

"We don't have any liquidity. We can go days and days without anyone trading anything [on the NZX and ASX]."

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- BusinessDay.co.nz

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