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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares drop, Synlait and Infratil fall

MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares drop, Synlait and Infratil fall while Gentrack, Ryman rally

By Sophie Boot

July 11 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand shares dropped, led by Synlait Milk and Infratil, while Gentrack Group gained and Ryman Healthcare hit a record high.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index fell 21.54 points, or 0.2 percent, to 9,001.39. Within the index, 24 stocks fell, 15 were unchanged and 11 rose. Turnover was $107 million.

"The market has really only been trading in a pretty small range throughout the day, and it really has gone into a bit of a lull ahead of reporting season," Grant Williamson, director at Hamilton Hindin Greene.

Synlait Milk was the worst performer, down 2.2 percent to $11.14, as Infratil dropped 1.8 percent to $3.34 and Scales Corp fell 1.7 percent to $4.65.

Skellerup Holdings fell 1 percent to $1.92. It has bought a 35 percent stake in Wisconsin-based liquid silicone rubber maker Sim Lim Technic for US$1.1 million. It wants to take the technical expertise of the liquid silicone rubber maker to a wider market, saying the product is ideal for "sterile environments and use in high-precision medical and consumer products".

Auckland-based Skellerup refocused its industrial unit in recent years after a slump in oil and iron ore prices weighed on earnings, and now places greater emphasis on less volatile potable water and wastewater sectors.

Fletcher Building was unchanged at $6.95.

"It's still stuck in a range - the market is still a little bit undecided, it's probably waiting for other news on non-core asset sales," Williamson said. "Investors are just waiting for further news as the company tries to get more focus on New Zealand and Australian operations."

Gentrack Group was the best performer, up 1.4 percent to $7.05, with Kathmandu Holdings rising 1 percent to $2.91 and A2 Milk Co gaining 0.9 percent to $11.77.

Ryman Healthcare rose 0.7 percent to a record $12.33. The stock is up 16 percent this year and Williamson said its gain shows the retirement sector remains in good demand.

Outside the benchmark index, Smartpay was unchanged at 18 cents. It raised A$7.5 million selling sophisticated and professional investors convertible notes, which the listed payment terminal supplier will use to fuel expansion plans across the Tasman.

(BusinessDesk)

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