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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares rise

MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares rise as retirement stocks Metlifecare, Ryman back in favour

By Sophie Boot

July 14 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand shares rose, led by retirement stocks Metlifecare and Summerset Group Holdings, while NZX and Pushpay Holdings extended their gains.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index jumped 38.88 points, or 0.5 percent, to 7,649.77. Within the index, 33 stocks rose, 10 fell and seven were unchanged. Turnover was $196 million.

Retirement village operator Metlifecare was the best performer, rising 3.1 percent to $5.58 after a broker put out a positive research note on the stock, Williamson said. Fellow companies in the sector also gained, with Summerset Group Holdings up 1.9 percent to $4.85 and Ryman Healthcare gaining 0.3 percent to $9.06. Ryman has surged 8.6 percent in seven sessions of uninterrupted gains since last Wednesday, and is now at a 9-month high.

"We've seen some pretty strong buying in that stock this week, the last few days have had large volume but it's been going on for a good two weeks now," Grant Williamson, director at Hamilton Hindin Greene, said. "For a stock that has been a little disappointing in the past 2.5 years, there's certainly some renewed interest in the past few days."

Trustpower gained 1.8 percent to $5.60. It expects annual earnings at the top of its forecast range due to a jump in electricity generation volumes and higher wholesale prices in the June quarter. The Tauranga-based company said earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation and fair value adjustments will be at the top end of a $215 million-to-$235 million range in the year ending March 31, 2018. That would be in line with the $235 million ebitdaf excluding demerger costs it reported for the 2017 financial year.

Ebos Group rose 2.1 percent to $17.90, and Vital Healthcare Property Trust advanced 1.4 percent to $2.25.

Another noted performer this week has been NZX, which gained 0.9 percent to $1.19 today. It's up 5.3 percent in the week and today's price is the highest since February 2015. Williamson said investors had obviously been encouraged by what the stock market operator has been saying. It is preparing for a third-quarter review of its small cap markets.

Tourism Holdings was the worst performer, down 2.1 percent to $4.18, while Comvita dropped 2 percent to $6 and Arvida Group fell 0.8 percent to $1.28.

Outside the benchmark index, Pushpay Holdings continued to gain, up 3.4 percent to $1.81. It has gained 9.9 percent following the close of a $25 million bookbuild yesterday, where the shares were sold at $1.51, an 8.5 percent discount. The company yesterday also raised its annualised committed monthly revenue (ACMR) target to US$100 million, announced plans to list in the US within the next 36 months, and gave guidance of US$70 million in revenue for the 2018 financial year, more than double 2017's US$34 million.

Shareholders of GeoOp, the unprofitable management app developer, have approved plans to relocate to the ASX from the NZAX and raise funds via an initial public offering that could dilute their holdings by as much as 40 percent. GeoOp's shares were suspended from trading on June 29 at 22 cents, pending today's special meeting in Auckland, and NZX Regulation has now said the suspension will continue until either GeoOp formally delists or cancels its plan to move to the ASX.

(BusinessDesk)

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