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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares rise, led by Trustpower and Xero

Article – BusinessDesk

MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares rise, led by Trustpower and Xero; turnover gains on index changes,MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares rise, led by Trustpower and Xero; turnover gains on index changes,

By Sophie Boot

May 31 (BusinessDesk) – New Zealand shares edged up, with international index changes boosting turnover. Trustpower, Xero and Argosy Property gained.

The S&P/NZX50 Index rose 6.95 points, or 0.1 percent, to 7,418.9. Within the index, 31 stocks rose, 11 fell and eight were unchanged. Turnover was $270 million.

David Price, director of institutional equities at Forsyth Barr, said volumes today had been pumped up by changes to MSCI indices but generally volumes had been weak, and the index was looking flat on the day without a great deal of news to drive it forward.

“Australian ownership in the market is running at an all-time high,” Price said. “The Aussies continue to buy our market, they like it – they see the economics and if you look at how their market has performed, for the month to date they’re down 4.5 percent and we just continue to whirr on. They tend to buy the bigger stuff – (Fisher & Paykel) Healthcare and A2 being popular, and it’s no coincidence those two have performed pretty well.”

F&P Healthcare gained 0.3 percent to $10.70 and A2 gained 0.3 percent to $3.38.

Trustpower was the best performer, up 3 percent to $5.24, while Xero rose 2.3 percent to $25 and Argosy Property gained 2 percent to $1.03.

Metlifecare dipped 0.5 percent to $5.49. The company has named Richard Thomson, Air New Zealand’s general manager commercial, as chief financial officer starting in mid-September.

Ryman Healthcare was the worst performer, down 1.4 percent to $8.33, while Fletcher Building dropped 1.2 percent to $7.56, with about $32 million apiece of stock trading. Auckland International Airport fell 0.6 percent to $6.99, with $21 million of shares traded. Sky City Entertainment Group declined 0.9 percent to $4.38.

Outside the benchmark index, NPT dropped 0.8 percent to 60.5 cents. The listed property investor posted a 63 percent drop in annual profit to $3.1 million, included a $1.7 million reduction in the value of the company’s property portfolio. It also faced extra costs from a proposed deal with Kiwi Property Group that didn’t proceed.

The company’s board has been overhauled since shareholders voted last month to reject the company’s proposal to hook up with larger property investor Kiwi Property Group, and instead favoured a proposal by rival property company Augusta Capital to block the deal and appoint three new directors to the board. The new board is undertaking a thorough analysis of the business plan for the current financial year and expects to update shareholders by the annual meeting in August, it said today.

Oceania Natural was unchanged at $1.40. The food supplements maker turned to a $1 million loss with sales down 27 percent to $2.4 million in the year to March 31. Oceania said the year had been focused on investing in the business and the loss was in line with management expectations.


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