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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares rise

MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares rise; MRP, Meridian and Vector gain ahead of Genesis IPO

By Suze Metherell

April 4 (BusinessDesk) – New Zealand stocks rose ahead of the Genesis Energy offer as investors sought to reweight their energy holdings in anticipation they won’t be allocated as many shares in Genesis as they had hoped. Meridian Energy, MightyRiverPower and Vector advanced.

The NZX 50 Index rose 1.529 points, or 0.03 percent, to 5123.901. Within the index stocks were mixed as 16 rose, 21 fell and 13 were unchanged. Turnover was $113.7 million.

Genesis, New Zealand’s largest electricity retailer by customer base, is the last on the block in the government’s partial privatisation programme which saw it sell minority holdings in Meridian and MightyRiverPower. Genesis stock may be in demand because of its high dividend yield, with 40 percent set aside for institutional investors, and the remaining 9 percent for retail.

Meridian rose 2.2 percent to $1.15. MightyRiverPower gained 0.5 percent to $2.17, while Auckland lines company Vector climbed 1.2 percent to $2.50. Contact Energy declined 0.9 percent to $5.30.

Some investors “have had to get their weight up by buying some of the existing energy stocks on the market,” said James Smalley, a broker at Hamilton Hindin Greene. “They’d been deliberately underweight anticipating to get proper weighting through Genesis but with the price and interest in Genesis a number of funds won’t get anything near what they’re after.

“If we are seeing some selling in our local market it’s due to people raising funds on the retail side for the Genesis IPO,” Smalley said.

Xero snapped a seven day decline to advance 1.6 percent to $37.80 after the cloud-based accounting software firm said its annual subscription revenue rose 84 percent. The Wellington-based company widened its full year loss to $35 million as it hired more staff to fuel growth.

“Long term investors would be very happy to see that announcement come out, and see that the growth is still there,” Smalley said.

Fletcher Building, New Zealand’s largest listed company, rose 0.7 percent to $9.59. Sky Network Television rose 1.8 percent to $6.35, while casino operator SkyCity Entertainment Group advanced 1.8 percent to $3.90.

Pacific Edge, the makers of the non-invasive bladder cancer detection test, led the benchmark index higher, up 2.3 percent to $1.33.

Units in the Fonterra Shareholders’ Fund, which give investors access to the cooperative’s dividend stream, declined 1.4 percent to $6.20. The world’s largest dairy exporter was fined $300,000 by Wellington District Court for breaches in the Animal Products Act after last year’s botulism scare lead to a global recall.

Auckland International Airport rose 0.9 percent to $3.95. Telecom slipped 0.2 percent at $2.53.

Ebos Group, the healthcare and animal care products company, was the worst performer down 4.7 percent to $9.44. Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, the breathing apparatus manufacturer and exporter, fell 1.9 percent to $4.13. Trade Me Group, the online auction website, slipped 2.7 percent to $4.01.

Outside the benchmark index, Moa Group soared 21 percent to 64 cents. The Auckland-based beer maker said it sold 3.67 million bottles in the year ended March, after cutting its sales target last year.


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