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SYDNEY, Nov 29 AAP

November 29 2012, 4:21PM

Stocks to watch on the Australian stock exchange at close on Thursday:

BHP - BHP BILLITON LTD - up 21 cents at $34.21

BHP Billiton has been forced to defend the size of its dividends and other cash returns by some angry shareholders at its annual general meeting..

IAG - INSURANCE AUSTRALIA GROUP LTD - up five cents at $4.60

The former head of eBay in Australia, Alison Deans, has joined the board of Insurance Australia Group (IAG).

QAN - QANTAS AIRWAYS LTD - up one cent at $1.32

A decision by Qantas to pour millions of dollars into state-based bodies after ditching Tourism Australia could be "very dangerous", former Victorian premier Jeff Kennett says.

RIO - RIO TINTO LTD - up 48 cents at $57.18

Mining giant Rio Tinto plans to cut spending and make savings worth billions of dollars in the next few years due to volatile market conditions.

SEK - SEEK LTD - down eight cents at $6.60

Online employment group Seek says job ads in Australia and New Zealand are down so far in 2012/13.

SGP - STOCKLAND - up five cents at $3.43

Property group Stockland has appointed a fund manger with UBS, Mark Steinert, as its new chief executive.