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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares rise, led by Telecom

MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares rise, led by Telecom in subdued holiday trading

Dec. 29 (BusinessWire) – New Zealand shares rose in subdued trading, as many local investors took a Christmas-New Year holiday. Telecom Corp. and NZX Ltd. led the advance.

The NZX 50 climbed 19.92, or 0.6%, to 3225.12 in the first trading day since Dec. 24. It was the third gain in four sessions. Within the index, 20 stocks rose, 14 fell and 15 were unchanged. Turnover was $16 million, about a quarter of typical daily trading.

Telecom rose 3.3% to $2.53. The shares are yielding about 1`5% based on 12 months of dividends, compared to 12% for Australia’s Telstra Corp. Telecom is rated ‘hold’ based on the consensus of 14 recommendations compiled by Reuters.
NZX, the stock exchange operator, rose 3.1% to $2.35.

Australian pension fund company AMP Ltd. rose 1.5% to $8.40. Standard & Poor's on Dec. 24 affirmed the ratings of its life affiliates with a stable outlook.

PGG Wrightson fell 3.3% to 58 cents. The rural services group last week said it repaid $200 million owed to its banking syndicate after completing its rights issue.

Allied Farmers, which convinced investors of Hanover Investments to accept shares in lieu of their financial assets, fell 4% to 12 cents, valuing the company at $244 million. Shares soared to more than 1.9 billion from 37.7 million with the Hanover deal. Allied’s market cap was as less than $7 million in the run-up to the transaction.

Among retailers, who have just rounded out their peak selling season, Michael Hill International climbed 1.5% to 67 cents. Kathmandu Holdings fell 1.4% to $2.05. Briscoe Group was steady at $1.25 and Warehouse Group was unchanged at $4.21.

(BusinessWire)

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