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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares fall as Tower sheds dividend

MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares fall as Tower sheds dividend; F&P Healthcare gains

June 11 (BusinessDesk) – New Zealand shares fell ahead of the Reserve Bank’s interest rate review. Tower shed its interim dividend and Nuplex Industries extended its slide. Fisher & Paykel Healthcare gained after reiterating its guidance for earnings growth.

The NZX 50 Index fell 0.3 percent, or 0.01 percent, to 5179.149. Within the index, 21 stocks fell, 16 rose, and 13 were unchanged. Turnover was $109 million.

The Reserve Bank is poised to raise the official cash rate a quarter point to 3.25 percent tomorrow and investors are watching for any changes he makes to the track of interest rates over the next year or so, with opinion divided on whether he will affirm his March projection of 200 basis points of hikes over two years.

“The expectation is for rates to continue to go up, which may have implications for consumer-facing companies,” said Shane Solly, a portfolio manager at Harbour Asset Management.

A suite of looming share sales is also keeping investors busy and potentially prompting some to free up cash, as is happening worldwide, Solly said.

IkeGPS Group, which sells a range of portable measuring devices and counts Jenny Morel's No 8 Ventures among its shareholders, said today it plans to raise up to $31 million in an initial public offering and list on the NZX's main board.

Tower led the index lower, dropping 3.4 percent, or 6 cents, to $1.72 as the general insurer shed rights to its 6.5 cents interim dividend, payable on June 30.

F&P Healthcare rose 1.7 percent to $4.75 after releasing notes for a presentation that affirmed guidance for operating revenue for 2015 of about $640 million and net profit of about $97 million. Constant currency net profit is expected to jump 40 percent in the 2015 year, it said.

“It’s good to have that reconfirmation,” Solly said. “Reconfirmation they are on track is positive.”

Chorus was unchanged at $1.715. The network infrastructure builder will exit the NZX 20 Index in the NZX's quarterly rebalancing at the end of the month to be replaced by Air New Zealand, which advanced 1.8 percent to $2.33.

Outside the benchmark index, Genesis Energy rose 1.1 percent to $1.795 and has gained 16 percent since listing in mid-April. The government controlled energy company will enter the NZX 50 in the rebalance, replacing Michael Hill International. The Brisbane-based jeweller declined 0.8 percent to $1.26.

GeoOp dropped 3.5 percent to $1.40 after the Auckland-based company, whose software allows mobile businesses such as builders to manage their workforce, widened its annual loss to $4.6 million as it pressed on with investing for growth.

Restaurant Brands, which operates KFC, Carl's Jr and Starbucks fast food brands in New Zealand, rose 0.9 percent, or 0.3 cents, to $3.27 as it shed rights to its final 10 cents dividend, payable on June 27.

Horizon Energy was unchanged at $3.01 as it shed rights to its final 9 cents dividend, which is payable on June 26.

Abano Healthcare was unchanged at $6.90 after the High Court in Auckland rejected the bid by Abano Healthcare's dissident shareholders Peter Hutson and James Reeves to delay Friday's special meeting they called, in which they're seeking to dump the medical investor's chairman, Trevor Jane.

(BusinessDesk)

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