MARKET CLOSE: PGC leads NZX higher

Article – BusinessDesk

May 31 (BusinessDesk) – New Zealand stocks fell for the first time in three sessions, with Pyne Gould Corp leading gainers after distributing its stake in Building Society Holdings among shareholders. APN News & Media Ltd. led decliners.

MARKET CLOSE: New Zealand stocks rise; Pyne Gould leads gainers, APN falls

By Jason Krupp

May 31 (BusinessDesk) – New Zealand stocks fell for the first time in three sessions, with Pyne Gould Corp leading gainers after distributing its stake in Building Society Holdings among shareholders. APN News & Media Ltd. led decliners.

The NZX 50 Index rose 4.65 points, or 0.1%, to 3,547.64. Within the index, 15 stocks rose, 20 fell, and 15 were unchanged. Turnover was a higher-than-usual $170.8 million as trading desks squared their books for end of end-of-the-month reporting. The benchmark index rose 1.4% in the month.

Pyne Gould, the financial services company, rose 8.1% to a six-month high of 40 cents, with the stock continuing to attract investor now the distribution of its stake in BSH and cancellation of 73.2% of its shares is complete.

The drive behind the company’s price gains, 7 cents in two days, had left a number of market participants “scratching their heads”, said Rickey Ward, domestic equities manager at Tyndall Investment Management, with a number of “question marks” still hanging over the company.

Building Society Holdings, which will change its name to Heartland New Zealand Ltd. and ticker from BSH to HNZ tomorrow, fell 7.9% to 70 cents.

Guinness Peat Group, the investment holding company, rose 1.8% to 86 cents after indexation adjustments on the ASX saw the company’s stock climb in the rankings, prompting investors who track the index to increase their holdings in the company, Ward said.

Fletcher Building Ltd., the country’s biggest listed company, rose 1.3% to $8.93.

Vector Ltd., the Auckland electricity and gas distributor, rose 1.2% to $2.53 after its deal with Transpower become unconditional.

The agreement, initially signed in June last year, provides Transpower with access to some of Vector’s electricity network assets to allow the installation of a high voltage cable circuit between Transpower’s Penrose and Albany substations.

Contact Energy Ltd., the electricity company, rose 1% to $6 after the company today officially opened the its underground gas storage facility and a 200 megawatt gas-fired peaker plant at Stratford power station.

APN, which publishes the New Zealand Herald newspaper and operates the Radio Network, fell 3.7% to $1.82 leading decliners on the exchange. The stock is rated as a “hold” according to a consensus poll of 13 analysts compiled by Reuters.

Tower Ltd., the general insurer controlled by GPG, fell 3.4% to $1.73.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corp., the manufacturer of breathing masks and respirators, fell 2.7% to $2.88, with the effects of the surging New Zealand dollar weighing on the company.

The New Zealand dollar today hit a fresh post float high of 82.62 U.S. cents on the back of a rebound in business confidence in April, according to the monthly National Bank survey. FPH earns about 54% of its revenue in U.S. dollars.

Restaurant Brands New Zealand Ltd., the fast food franchise operator, fell 1.5% to $2.68 after it reported a 4.4% fall in first-quarter sales as the February earthquake in Christchurch keeps stores closed at a cost of some $2.5 million.

The Auckland-based company sold $72.5 million worth of food in the three months ended May 23 compared to $75.9 million a year earlier, with Pizza Hut and Starbucks outlets struggling to attract customers.

Argosy Property Trust, which is being courted by rival DNZ Property Fund, fell 1.2% to 84 cents after full-year results showed the trust had returned to profit in the year through March even as rental income declined.

The Auckland-based trust made a net profit of $26.3 million, or 4.85 cents a unit, in the 12 months ended March 31, compared to a loss of $59 million, or 11.05 cents, a year earlier.

DNZ Property Fund Ltd. fell 0.8% to $1.32.

(BusinessDesk)

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