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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares rise as Infratil and Z gain

MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares rise as Infratil and Z gain; Tourism Holdings, Fisher & Paykel drop

By Sophie Boot

July 13 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand shares gained in light trading, led higher by Infratil and Z Energy, while Tourism Holdings and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corp fell.

The S&P/NZX50 Index rose 38.7 points, or 0.4 percent to 9,024.19. Within the index, 30 stocks rose, 12 fell and eight were unchanged. Turnover was $84.3 million.

"It's still school holidays, and Fridays tend to be pretty quiet - this is no different," said David Price, a broker at Forsyth Barr.

Infratil lead the index higher, up 2 percent to $3.405. Z Energy rose 1.8 percent to $7.50 and Metlifecare gained 1.6 percent to $6.18.

New Zealand Refining Co gained 1.6 percent to $6.18 and Skycity Entertainment Group advanced 1.5 percent to $4.

A2 Milk rose 0.3 percent to $11.39. Yesterday, the company announced it had lifted annual sales 68 percent, just beating the guidance given in May, and said it expects to maintain an earnings margin of about 30 percent in the coming year even with increased spending.

"It's actually been volatile both days on the back of that," Price said. "It has been an absolute rockstar, they have reaffirmed guidance at the top end of the range but have been careful in tempering people from extrapolating too much out, and have highlighted they will be spending a lot more to continue to grow the business, all sensible stuff."

Chorus gained 0.2 percent to $4.38. It lifted its fibre connections 9.9 percent in the June quarter, putting the ultra-fast broadband lines on an equal footing with its ADSL copper connections.

Tourism Holdings was the weakest performer, dropping 2.3 percent to $6.07. Fisher & Paykel Healthcare dropped 1.1 percent to $14.80 and Westpac Banking Corp fell 1 percent to $32.27.

CBL Corp, which is suspended from the NZX, has seen its chair John Wells resign alongside two other directors after the Financial Markets Authority said it was concerned the failed insurer had breached disclosure and reporting rules and directors hadn't met their fiduciary obligations.

The FMA is working with the Reserve Bank and Serious Fraud Office in investigating the insurer after prudential supervisors in New Zealand and Ireland sought interim liquidation orders in their respective jurisdictions. It said the insurer potentially breached Financial Markets Conduct Act and Companies Act rules around initial public offering disclosure, continuous disclosure as a listed entity, financial reporting, and directors' duties. It also said it's considering Deloitte's role as auditor of the firm.

Outside the benchmark index, Future Mobility Solutions gained 7.7 percent to 14 cents. It said it won a High Court copyright infringement suit against rival boatbuilders that had used technology from its Sealegs amphibious boats.

(BusinessDesk)

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