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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares drop

MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares drop, Sky TV and Tourism Holdings fall, Pushpay gains

By Sophie Boot

July 9 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand shares dropped from Friday's record high, led by Sky Network Television and Tourism Holdings, while Pushpay Holdings gained.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index fell 22.39 points, or 0.2 percent, to 9,061.65. Within the index, 24 stocks fell, 17 rose and nine were unchanged. Turnover was $96.2 million.

Mark Lister, head of private wealth research at Craigs Investment Partners, said the move was in contrast to other markets, with strong leads from the US and Europe on Friday night and Asian markets generally trading higher this afternoon.

"Our market has been a little stronger than most in recent times, so it's unsurprising we've bucked the trend and are giving a little back today," Lister said. "With school holidays there are a few participants who aren't around, and we're also in the traditional pre-reporting-season lull, where you've got all the corporates in a black-out and we're not expecting any news flow unless it is a confession about what's coming at result time."

Sky TV was the worst performer, down 5.1 percent to $2.62, while Tourism Holdings dropped 2.5 percent to $6.51 and Synlait Milk fell 1.8 percent to $11.39.

Gentrack Group dropped 1.4 percent to $6.90 after coming out of a trading halt. It has raised about $52.4 million in a discounted stock offer to institutional investors as part of a two-stage share sale aimed at raising funds to repay debt used for a recent flurry of acquisitions.

That bookbuild, of 3.4 million entitlements, achieved a clearing price of $6.69 per share, a premium of 50 cents per share over the offer price of $6.19, and a discount of 19 cents per share to the theoretical ex-rights price of $6.88.

"It's probably a better price than some might have thought, it's a pretty solid price - it's almost exactly where it was before they announced a rights issue," Lister said. "That's another good news story on the local market, again in the tech space and doing most of its business offshore. Exporters really have been going pretty well lately because the currency has been a big story over the past few months, with the Kiwi falling against just about everyone but particularly against the pound and US dollar."

Pushpay Holdings was the best performer, up 1.7 percent to $4.30. Last month, the company completed a $100 million bookbuild to let executive director Eliot Crowther exit the firm he co-founded, selling 24.8 million shares at $4.04 apiece.

"I guess they're consolidating to some degree after the sell-down from a couple of weeks back, they've pushed on quite consistently in share price gain since then," Lister said. "It has been a solid trade for those involved, and they're a company that continues to make good progress in the US."

Chorus rose 1.7 percent to $4.32, Air New Zealand gained 1.3 percent to $3.205, and New Zealand Refining Co was up 1.2 percent to $2.52.

Outside the benchmark index, TIL Logistics Group dropped 2.9 percent to $1.65. It warned full-year earnings will fall short of expectations because of rising fuel costs as well as road closures due to bad weather and big storms.


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