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MARKET CLOSE: NZ stocks rise, paced by NZOG

MARKET CLOSE: NZ stocks rise, paced by NZOG; Property entities advance

By Suze Metherell

July 1 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand stocks rose, paced by New Zealand Oil and Gas which advanced after securing $5 million in historic royalties from Genesis Energy. Property entities rose.

The NZX 50 Index increased 4.785 points, or 0.1 percent, to 5146.262. Within the index, 25 stocks rose, 14 fell and 11 were unchanged. Turnover was $152.4 million.

NZOG climbed 1.9 percent to 81 cents. The Wellington-based company will receive a one-off $5 million lift to after tax earnings in the current financial year and an expected increase in ongoing revenue of between $1 million and $2 million a year from royalties owed by Genesis Energy on its share of the Kupe oil and gas field's production.The royalties issue originated from transactions in the 1980s, when National Petroleum acquired 89 percent of the Kupe permit and agreed to pay over-riding royalties to the parties it acquired the licence interest from. Genesis declined 0.8 percent to $1.785.

"They get a $5 million one-off payment, and then additional revenue going forward as well, so a positive for them to get all that resolved," said Grant Williamson, director at Hamilton Hindin Greene. "On the other side it's obviously Genesis which will be the one that is going to have to pay the additional cash, and that's why the stock is off today."

Listed property entities, which are typically seen by investors as a high yielding investment, paced gains. Property For Industry rose 1.1 percent to $1.34. Argosy Property climbed 1 percent to 98.5 cents. Kiwi Income Property Trust advanced 0.9 percent to $1.175. Precinct Properties New Zealand edged up 0.5 percent to $1.08 and DNZ Property Fund rose 0.3 percent to $1.635.

"Investors are still viewing that as a pretty attractive sector, interest rates have gone up a little bit, but haven't really gone up significantly to counter the attractiveness of the property trusts," Williamson said.

OceanaGold led the benchmark index higher, rising 3.2 percent to $3.55. The gold miner has clearance from WorkSafe NZ to mine the southwest corner of its opencast gold mine in North Otago while continuing to monitor 45 million tonnes of rock that slipped 200 metres in April.

Across the Tasman the market was weaker, with the S&P/ASX 200 Index declining 0.3 percent in afternoon trading, as the banking sector weighed on the bourse. French bank BNP Paribas was fined US$9 billion by the US Justice Department for breaching US sanctions against Iran, Sudan and Cuba. The dual-listed Australian banks on the NZX fell. Australia and New Zealand Banking Group declined 1 percent to $35.55 and Westpac Banking Corp slipped 1.7 percent to $36.10.

"Australia is being held back mainly by the banking sector, what we've seen offshore is some very large fines for a major European bank and I think that has weighed on the whole sector, and seen the Australian banks lose ground," Williamson said.

Fletcher Building, New Zealand's largest listed company, slipped 0.7 percent to $8.75 as a five-year suspension of import tariffs on building materials, a move aimed at reducing building costs and stoking competition, came into effect.

Steel & Tube Holdings was the biggest decliner on the day, falling 1.9 percent to $3.08.

Xero, the cloud-based accounting firm, fell 0.9 percent to $25.75. Fisher & Paykel Healthcare dropped 0.4 percent to $4.73.

Telecom rose 0.6 percent to $2.695. New Zealand's largest telecommunications provider will formally change its name to Spark on Aug. 8 as part of its shift away from its traditional telecommunications service to focus on data, mobility and cloud services to chase earnings growth. It is soft-launching an internet TV service this month.

Tower rose 1.1 percent to $1.83 after it said it has sold its remaining life insurance business to Australian-owned Foundation Life (NZ) Holdings for $36 million, completing its transformation to a general insurer.

Outside the benchmark index, Comvita rose 0.5 percent to $3.82 after the health products maker settled its $12.3 million takeover of NZ Honey to strengthen the security of its supply. Comvita paid $10.3 million in cash and $2 million in shares issued at $3.50 apiece.


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