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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares suspended from trading

MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares suspended from trading on technical difficulties; Synlait, a2 rise, Tourism Holdings falls

By Sophie Boot

Aug. 28 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand shares barely traded today as the system was down for most of the day due to operational issues.

The S&P/NZX50 Index rose 7.6 points, or 0.08 percent, to 9,214.02 before the glitch halted trading. Within the index, 19 stocks rose, 16 were unchanged and 15 fell. Turnover was $33 million.

Trading was suspended at 11.15am and didn't re-open during the day as the stockmarket operator dealt with technical difficulties. Turnover reached $16.5 million before trading was suspended.

NZX chief financial officer Graham Law said the first issue the markets experienced was due to an internal operational issue, which is being investigated.

"Following the resolution of the initial issue, a secondary issue has arisen which has resulted in further delays" which NZX is also investigating.

"The exchange has been in regular contact with market participants throughout the period. NZX's current focus is on recommencing trading as soon as possible," Law said earlier this afternoon. He confirmed there was no issue with the Nasdaq trading system, having earlier said NZX was working with Nasdaq to resolve the issue.

After the close of trading, NZX said normal trading will resume tomorrow with the problem resolved. A full investigation will take place over the next few days and an incident report released to the market.



"Any crossings and pre-negotiated deals effected today that could not be reported should be reported in the pre-open tomorrow morning, and flagged as late trades," it said.

Dual-listed Synlait Milk was the best performer on the index today, up 2.5 percent to $12.50. A2 Milk, also listed on the ASX, rose 1.7 percent to $12.39.

Scales Corp gained 1.9 percent to $4.94. It expects a good export apple season will deliver full-year operating earnings at the top of the company’s forecast range. The apple grower, food processor and exporter today reported a 22 percent increase in net profit to $34.8 million for the six months ended June 30 on the back of good growing conditions and better volumes through its logistics and pet food operations.

Arvida Group rose 1.5 percent to $1.35, and Air New Zealand advanced 0.6 percent to $3.29.

Tourism Holdings was the worst performer, down 3.6 percent to $5.93. It announced plans to step up investment in its TH2 joint venture with RV maker Thor Industries, which will stop it from repeating another year of record profits.

The Auckland-based company reported a record net profit of $62.4 million in the year ended June 30, of which $23.1 million was an accounting gain from setting up the venture with Thor. Earnings before interest and tax before one-off gains rose 33 percent to $63.5 million on a 25 percent increase in revenue to $425.9 million. It will invest around $15 million in TH2 this year, which will mean net profit will fall from 2018's record.

Skellerup Holdings fell 0.9 percent to $2.15 and Sky Network Television dropped 0.8 percent to $2.43.

(BusinessDesk)

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