MARKET CLOSE NZ shares fall on fundraising for Sky TV sale
MARKET CLOSE NZ shares fall on fundraising for Sky TV sale; Auckland Airport drops
March 4 (BusinessDesk) – New Zealand shares fell from near a 5-year high after Rupert Murdoch’s News Ltd said it will sell a 44 percent stake in Sky Network Television at a discount, prompting investors to liquidate other holdings to free up funds.
The NZX 50 Index declined 64.38 points, or 1.5 percent, to 4253.60. Within the index, 40 stocks fell, eight rose and two were unchanged. Turnover was $155 million.
Sky TV’s stock is halted for the sale, having last traded at $5.17. News Ltd’s placement of shares is being underwritten and managed by Deutsche Bank and Craigs Investment Partners, reportedly at $4.80 a share, raising $815 million.
“It’s the biggest deal that our market has seen in quite a while so there could be a bit of fund raising for that,” said Michael Milne, an adviser at Craigs Investment Partners.
There’s set to be more calls on investor funds in coming months, with the government aiming to have MightRiverPower sold down and listed before the May 16 budget, a transaction that may raise $1.8 billion.
Nuplex Industries, the specialty chemicals company, was the biggest decliner on the NZX 50, shedding 4.1 percent to $3.32. The stock is rated a ‘hold’ based on the consensus of six analysts polled by Reuters. Last Month it missed expectations as first-half net profit more than halved and the company cut its forecast for annual earnings, blaming the strength of the currency and weak trading conditions in Australia and Europe.
Auckland Airport, the nation’s busiest gateway, fell 2.1 percent to $2.755, with more than 3 million shares changing hands. Contact Energy, the biggest power company on the NZX 50, fell 2.2 percent to $5.33, Fisher& Paykel Healthcare declined 1.6 percent to $2.53 and Ryman Healthcare fell 3 percent to $4.47.
Fletcher Building, the biggest company on the benchmark index, fell 0.9 percent to $9.05 and Telecom, the biggest phone company, shed 1.9 percent to $2.325.
Warehouse Group, which reports its first-half profit this week, fell 0.6 percent to $3.40 after announcing it will spend up to $33 million buying online retailer Torpedo7. The deal comes just months it acquired consumer electronics chain Noel Leeming Group.
Diligent Board Member Services, which provides software for company directors, rose 3.5 percent to $5.38, the biggest gain on the NZX 50. Fellow tech company Xero rose 1.3 percent to $8.
Michael Hill International, the jewellery chain, rose 3.1 percent to $1.35.