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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares rise; FPA, WHS, ALF gain

MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares rise in light trading; FPA, WHS, Allied gain

Dec. 22 (BusinessWire) – New Zealand shares rose in light trading, joining a global rally on optimism the global economic recovery is picking up pace. Fisher & Paykel Appliances led the advance.

The NZX 50 Index rose 28.37, 0.9%, to 3178.17. Within the index, 26 stocks rose, 10 fell and 14 were unchanged. Turnover was just $38.8 million, marking it as one of the lightest trading days this year.

F&P Appliances rose 4.8% to 65 cents, the fourth daily gain. The appliance retailer is rated ‘outperform’ based on the consensus of seven analyst recommendations compiled by Reuters. Chairman Ralph Waters reiterated the company’s profit guidance for a normalized profit of $16 million to $23 million in the 12 months ended March 31.

Auckland International Airport climbed 2.1% to $1.96 after the company released its monthly traffic data, showing arrivals from Australia, the nation’s biggest source of tourists, climbed 11% last month. Total overseas arrivals climbed 0.8% while domestic passenger volumes rose 7%.

New Zealand Refining gained 2.2% to $3.68. The nation’s oil output rose to a 15-month high in three months ended Sept. 30, according to the Ministry of Economic Development.

NZ Oil & Gas rose 0.6% to $1.66.

Warehouse Group, the biggest retailer on the NZX 50, rose 3.2% to $4.20 as Paymark figures showed consumer spending climbed 6.2% in the first 21 days of December, while the volume of transactions rose 7.5% from the same period of 2008.

“Our latest figures indicate, that as we had hoped, the pick up in Christmas spend has taken place,” said Paymark CEO Simon Tong. “We are in for a busy last three days and a bumper boxing day if this pattern continues.” Paymark processes about 75% of New Zealand’s electronic transactions.

Briscoe Group, which operates homeware stores and the Rebel Sports chain, rose 1.6% to $1.24.

NZX Ltd. rose 4.4% to $2.31 on an adjusted basis. The stock exchange operator’s three-for-one share split came into effect today, boosting the number of shares on issue to 123 million from 30.7 million.

Allied Farmers climbed 9% to 10.9 cents, valuing the company at $191 million based on the financial assets it acquired from Hanover Finance and United Finance and the 1.9 billion shares it issued to pay for them.

Managing director Rob Alloway defended the company’s communications over the share transaction after some investors complained they hadn’t been able to transact the stock. Some 9.2 million shares changed hands today.

Fletcher Building rose 1.4% to $7.81. The nation’s biggest construction company was raised to ‘neutral’ from ‘underperform’ by First NZ Capital analyst Kar Yue Yeo, according to the ShareChat website. The analyst has a share price target of $8.40 and expects a recovery in activity to mid-cycle levels in the June 2012 year.

Infratil Ltd. gained 1.8% to $1.66. The investment group and the Guardians of NZ Superannuation yesterday said they have signed a letter of intent with Royal Dutch Shell Group to acquire the oil company’s downstream assets in New Zealand. The letter doesn’t constitute a binding agreement though it does “represent Infratil and the Guardians’ clear intention to proceed.”

(BusinessWire)

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