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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares fall to end quarter little changed

MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares fall to end quarter little changed; Air NZ drops

By Jonathan Underhill

June 30 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand shares fell on the final day of the quarter and financial year-end, leaving the NZX 50 Index little changed in the past three months. Air New Zealand, Pacific Edge and Telecom Corp paced the day's decline.

The NZX 50 fell 2.769 points, or 0.1 percent, to 5141.477. Over the second quarter, the index slipped 0.1 percent. Within the index, 18 stocks fell, 19 rose, and 13 were unchanged. Turnover was $99.8 million.

The index turned negative late in the session even after ERoad confirmed talk that it would go public, announcing plans for a $40 million initial public offering before a listing on the NZX. Some investors had speculated the decision by Hirepool to withdraw from its IPO would deter other companies from seeking to sell shares.

"Markets are rebalancing at the end of the month," said James Lee, head of institutional equities at First NZ Capital. "The new listing market has not closed at all. It is just a sign that things have to be priced correctly and reflect the risks." First NZ is lead manager for the ERoad IPO.

Air New Zealand declined 2.4 percent to $2.08 and Pacific Edge, which markets a test for bladder cancer, declined 4.9 percent to 78 cents. Telecom, the nation's biggest phone company, fell 1.5 percent to $2.68 and was the most heavily traded stock by value, with shares worth almost $16 million changing hands.

Fletcher Building, the nation's biggest building materials and construction group, rose 0.2 percent to $8.81, paring an earlier gain after cabinet ministers Nick Smith and Craig Foss announced a five-year suspension of import tariffs on building materials, a move aimed at reducing building costs and stoking competition. Meantime, government figures showed a drop in residential building consents in May, reflecting a drop in apartments.

NZX, the stock market operator, fell 2.2 percent to $1.31 after the Financial Markets Authority released its annual of the company's compliance with its regulatory obligations, while listing 11 actions it should take to further improve transparency and operations.

Warehouse Group, the biggest retailer on the bourse, rose 0.7 percent to $3.10 after announcing it would take over five Auckland store leases and offer employment to staff when Australian discount electrical goods retailer The Good Guys exits the New Zealand market.

OceanaGold, which operates the Macraes gold field, rose 1.5 percent to $3.44. New Zealand’s largest gold miner says it has a new $200 million revolving credit facility maturing on June 30, 2017, replacing existing facilities maturing on June 30, 2015.

Tower, the general insurer, rose 2.8 percent to $1.81 to be the biggest gainer on the NZX 50.

(BusinessDesk)

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