Markets: Stocks to watch at the open

Fortescue starts to pay down some of its debt, while Medibank Private raises payments for Ramsay Health Care services.

Fortescue Metals Group

Fortescue Metals Group plans to redeem their Redeemable Preference Shares in a bid to reduce costly debt.

The outstanding Preference Shares, which total $140 million, cost Fortescue 9 per cent per annum. The company’s balance sheet can now support the redemption, helping to further reduce their gearing levels.

Fortescue shares are up 1.3 per cent for the week.

Ramsay Health Care

It has been revealed that Medibank Private will raise payments by 7.55 per cent for services provided by Ramsay Health Care over the next three years.

It appears that the payment increases will be more closely linked to inflation expectations as opposed to a fixed rate.

Ramsay’s expansion into Asia is also progressing – it has opened its first hospital with joint venture partner Sime Darby Healthcare in Malaysia. 

Newcrest Mining

Gold futures fell again for the fifth time in six sessions, closing out at $US1310.4.

Newcrest and other gold stocks have moved in tandem with changes in gold future prices. If the trend continues today, it could see the gold miners in the red early.

Since reaching a high on 28 August, gold has lost 7.5 per cent. Over this same time, Newcrest has lost 8 per cent.