MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares fall; F&P Healthcare, Fletcher lead

Article – BusinessDesk

Jan. 31 (BusinessDesk) – New Zealand shares fell, pushing the NZX 50 Index down from a 2 1/2-month high as a rising kiwi dollar weighed on exporters such as Fisher & Paykel Healthcare while weak housing data underlined the tough operating environment …

MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares fall; F&P Healthcare, Fletcher lead decline

Jan. 31 (BusinessDesk) – New Zealand shares fell, pushing the NZX 50 Index down from a 2 1/2-month high as a rising kiwi dollar weighed on exporters such as Fisher & Paykel Healthcare while weak housing data underlined the tough operating environment for Fletcher Building.

The NZX 50 fell 11.01 points, or 0.3 percent, to 3296.20. Within the index, 18 stocks fell, 21 rose and 11 were unchanged. Turnover was $78.7 million.

F&P Healthcare, which gets more than half its revenue from respirators and breathing masks in US dollars, fell 2.3 percent to $2.13. The kiwi dollar climbed to 82.32 US cents, nearing its highest in four months, amid reports Greece is closer to agreement with holders of its bonds.

Earlier today, Mondrian Investment Partners, a fund manager whose mandates include a share of the UK’s Pension Protection Fund, confirmed it was the seller of 7.66 million shares in the company, about 1.4 percent of the stock on issue, reducing its holding to 4.1 percent.

Fisher & Paykel Appliances, the whiteware maker, fell 1.4 percent to 34 cents.

Fletcher Building declined 1.7 percent to $6.52 after government figures showed building consents fell to a record low in 2011, underlining a slump in activity that has hurt earnings at construction firms.

There were 13,662 consents issued for new dwellings last year, down 12 percent from a year earlier and the lowest since Statistics New Zealand began tracking the figures 46 years ago. Excluding apartments, consents fell 15 percent to 12,506. The value of residential consents fell 12 percent to $4.9 billion.

Today Fletcher said its Formica laminates business has agreed to buy the 50 percent of Germany’s Homapal Plattenwerk it doesn’t already own for 30 million euros, giving it an increased presence in the German market for metal and specialty laminates.

NZX ended the day unchanged at $2.63 after the stock exchange operator named Singapore-based business consultant Tim Bennett as its new chief executive, replacing Mark Weldon.

Air New Zealand was unchanged at 91 cents after the national airline said chief executive Rob Fyfe will leave at the end of this year.

Guinness Peat Group, the investment company winding down its portfolio, rose 2.8 percent to 55.5 cents, with 17.5 million shares changing hands. That comes after 22 million shares were traded on Jan. 18, a combined total of 2.4 percent of the company.

Tower, the insurance company, gained 2.9 percent to $1.42.

Pyne Gould Corp rose 2.9 percent to 36 cents after George Kerr’s Australasian Equity Partners No. 1 LP waived the 90 percent minimum acceptance condition of its takeover offer and extended the closing date by two weeks. Kerr now has an interest in 55.9 percent of Pyne Gould via his 37 cents-a-share offer.

(BusinessDesk)

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