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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares rise, led by Kathmandu, Warehouse

MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares rise, led by retailers Kathmandu, Warehouse

By Hannah Lynch

Oct. 16 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand shares rose as part of a region-wide rally, led by retailers Kathmandu, Warehouse Group and Restaurant Brands. Diligent Board Member Services paced falling stocks after reporting third-quarter sales.

The NZX 50 Index rose 24.33 points, or 0.6 percent, to 3940.69. Within the index, 27 stocks rose, 14 fell and 9 were unchanged. Turnover was about $127 million.

Kathmandu, the outdoor clothing and equipment retailer, climbed 3.3 percent to $1.89. Warehouse, the biggest retailer on the NZX, rose 3.2 percent to $3.20.

"Some of the other retailers have done well over recent weeks," said Mark Lister, head of private wealth research at Craigs Investment Partners. "Kathmandu is playing catch up - the Warehouse is rising on the back of its dividend and people are looking for stocks that haven't run hard yet."

AMP, the wealth management and insurance company, rose 2.3 percent to $5.73.

"Part of it is that the New Zealand dollar has weakened against the Aussie," Lister said. "Since they are a sort of fund manager when share markets do well they do well - the New Zealand share market has been having a good run this year."

The NZX 50 has gained 19 percent this year. The New Zealand dollar fell to 79.46 Australian cents at 5pm from 79.66 cents at 8am as a more benign than expected inflation report and a weaker Australian economic outlook trimmed the appeal of the currency.

Telecom, New Zealand's largest listed company, rose 0.8 percent to $2.40. Chorus, the telecommunications network which demerged from Telecom last year, increased 2 percent to $3.43.

Fletcher Building, New Zealand's largest listed construction company, gained 2.2 percent to $7.52.

SkyCity Entertainment Group, the casino operator in talks with the New Zealand government to build a convention centre in Auckland, rose 1.6 percent to $3.82 ahead of its annual general meeting on Thursday.

Sky Network Television, the pay-TV company controlled by Rupert Murdoch, climbed 0.2 percent to $5.06 before its general meeting in Auckland this week. Vector, the gas, electricity and telecommunications network, shed 1.4 percent to $2.82 ahead if is annual meeting.

Diligent, the software-as-a-service company for corporate governance, fell 1 percent to $3.77 even as its rapid sales drive in the third quarter saw revenue surge 145 percent to US$11.8 million. Shares in the New York-based company have more than doubled this year. The stock has surged as high as $4.09 from just 7 cents a share in the depth of the global financial crisis in 2009.

"There was nothing wrong with the numbers they reported," Lister said. "They are comparing each reporting period with a year back - in the third quarter last year new sales almost double so it's getting harder and harder to past a strong numbers."

"The stock will still continue to perform - it’s a youthful industry - overtime the share price will trend up but be won't see it doubling again over the next 12 months," he said.

The decline was led by PGG Wrightson, New Zealand's largest agricultural services company, down 2.8 percent to 35 cents. Nuplex, the specialty chemicals maker, declined 1.9 percent to $3.06.


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