Article – BusinessDesk
July 29 (BusinessDesk) – New Zealand stocks closed mixed with investors bracing for a potential U.S. default after Republican lawmakers abandoned a plan by House Speaker John Boehner to raise the debt ceiling. Heartland New Zealand Ltd. led decliners, …
MARKET CLOSE: NZ stocks mixed; Heartland falls, NZX rises
By Jason Krupp
July 29 (BusinessDesk) – New Zealand stocks closed mixed with investors bracing for a potential U.S. default after Republican lawmakers abandoned a plan by House Speaker John Boehner to raise the debt ceiling. Heartland New Zealand Ltd. led decliners, while NZX Ltd. rose.
The NZX 50 Index fell 1.16 points, or 0.03%, to 3,395.62. Within the index, 20 stocks fell, 21 rose, and nine were unchanged. Turnover was $139.9 million. On the week, the index dropped 1.5%.
“Investors are not prepared to do too much as we get closer to U.S. debt deadline, they’re just waiting and watching,” said Grant Williamson. “All eyes will be locked on America.”
Heartland, the would-be bank looking to acquire PGG Wrightson Finance Ltd. for $100 million, fell 1.6% to 61 cents, a level on par with its all time low.
AMP Ltd., the Australian wealth manager, fell 1.5% to $5.81.
Ebos Group, the medical supplies company, fell 1.3% to $6.69. AMP NZ Office Ltd., the specialist investor in office properties, fell 1.2% to 84 cents.
Rakon Ltd., the maker of crystal timing components used in electronics, fell 1.1% to 92 cents.
Telecom Corp., the country’s biggest phone company, fell 0.9% to $2.62.
NZX, the securities market operator, rose 6.7% to $2.40, leading gainers on the exchange. The company yesterday reported a 28.3% increase in the number of trades on its indices to 344,344 in the six months ending June 30 compared to the same period last year.
That was again led by a spike in equity trading, with activity up 32.7% in the period, while activity on the debt market fell 18.3%.
Methven Ltd., the tapware manufacturer, rose 4.7% to $1.57, with the stock continuing to attract investors’ attention after it last week predicted that net profit for the year ending March 2012 will jump 90% to $9 million while net debt will drop 20%.
Pacific Edge Ltd., the biotech start-up that has embarked on global sales of its cancer tests, rose 8.3% to 26 cents after it announced that it was tapping investors for more funds after burning through half of the $4.88 million it raised selling shares last year.
The company, whose flagship product is the Cxbladder diagnostic test for bladder cancer, had cash and cash equivalents of $2.49 million at March 31, mainly in a Bank of New Zealand call account. It had $604,346 of liabilities coming due within three months.
Total expenses in its latest 12 months were $3.45 million, while operating revenue was $305,000, which included $201,116 of grants. The 2011 accounts don’t reflect any revenue from the Cxbladder. Accumulated losses were $24.4 million.
Retail stocks saw improved performance on the day, with the eventual onset of cold weather spurring tradition winter sales.
Hallenstein Glasson Holdings, the fashion retailer, rose 2.6% to $3.55.
Kathmandu Holdings, the outdoor clothing and equipment chain, rose 2.3% to $2.20.
Restaurant Brands NZ Ltd., the fast food franchise operator, rose 2.1% to $2.40.
New Zealand Oil &Gas Ltd., the energy exploration and production firm, rose 1.5% to 68 cents, with the stock clawing back some of the losses seen earlier this week when after reserves at the Tui field were downgraded by between 17% to 21%. NZO owns a 12.5% stake in the field.
Mainfreight Ltd., the trucking company, rose 1.5% to $10.50 after managing director Don Braid told shareholders yesterday that sales will soar 42% next year, helped by the acquisition of Dutch transport operator Wim Bosman.
DNZ Property Ltd., the property investor, rose 0.8% to $1.29. The High Court in Auckland today threw out its bid to force a special meeting for Argosy
Property Trust unit holders to vote on dumping the ANZ Bank-owned manager.
The court found that Argosy’s manager and its trustee, New Zealand Guardian Trust Co., made an “understandable decision in the circumstances” not to hold a special meeting, and that there wasn’t a breach of the trust deed or of statutory duty.
Hospital operator Wakefield Health Ltd. was unchanged at $5.24 after it announced that it now holds 28.7% of takeover target Norfolk Investments.
The company said shareholders representing about 5.5% of Norfolk’s shares had accepted its $3.80 apiece offer since it was launched on July 20, which values the company at $24.2 million.
That puts it just over half away towards its target level, with the deal conditional on Wakefield gaining 50% of the shares by Aug. 18.