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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares rise; Restaurant Brands gains

MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares rise; Restaurant Brands gains, Tourism Holdings at record high

By Sophie Boot

June 29 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand shares rose, led by Restaurant Brands New Zealand, while Tourism Holdings and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare hit record highs.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index gained 60.96 points, or 0.8 percent, to 7,685.45. Within the index, 35 stocks rose, eight fell and seven were unchanged. Turnover was $134.9 million.

James Smalley, director at Hamilton Hindin Greene, said the market had seen broad-based buying, with the benchmark index near record levels, though volumes were lower today. Restaurant Brands led the index, up 3 percent to $6.14, while Kathmandu Holdings gained 3 percent to $2.06 and Sky Network Television rose 2.9 percent to $3.53.

Tourism Holdings rose 2.2 percent to $4.20.

"It has been on a bit of a run recently, on pretty good volumes," Smalley said. "If it gets up to $4.30, on an adjusted basis that's the highest it has been since 1993 - we're looking at a 24-year high. You'd have to be living under a rock to miss that tourism has taken over dairy as our biggest export earner. Investors are obviously thinking things are looking pretty good for the sector."

F&P Healthcare gained 1.5 percent to $11.57, a record.

"Those investors that had the courage to buy into the stock when it got sold down post the Trump election when there were concerns about production in Mexico, have done exceptionally well," Smalley said. "It went from $9.20 down to $8 and now back up above $11.50, so clients are up about 40 percent since then. It just goes to show if people look through short-term knee-jerk reactions in share prices, you can do very very well."

Metro Performance Glass was the worst performer, down 0.7 percent to $1.36. Kiwi Property Group fell 0.7 percent to $1.415 and A2 Milk Co dipped 0.5 percent to $4.03.

Outside the benchmark index, Trilogy International gained 19.5 percent to $2.45. The scented candle and beauty products maker, which is grappling with rising raw material costs, will spend $13.8 million buying control of smaller rival Lanocorp, whose suite of beauty products include Lanocreme, By Nature and Tiaki.

Trilogy lifted annual earnings 19 percent to $19.4 million in the year through March 31 with a full year's contribution from distributor CS & Co and stronger sales from its beauty product range offsetting more expensive raw materials. Those rising costs are expected to continue, although Trilogy has previously said it expected earnings to keep growing in the 2018 financial year.

Market regulator NZX suspended GeoOp's shares on the NZAX at 22 cents until a special meeting in July. The unprofitable management app developer will ask shareholders to vote on its plan to de-list from the NZAX and list on the ASX with an initial public offering in Australia and New Zealand.

(BusinessDesk)

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