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MARKET CLOSE NZ shares rise; Nuplex up after earnings

MARKET CLOSE NZ shares rise; Nuplex up after earnings, Chorus gains

By Hannah Lynch

Aug. 17 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand shares rose, paced by Nuplex Industries after the specialty chemical maker’s earnings growth stalled as it predicted. Chorus gained after the Commerce Commission backed off on plans to investigate the networks pricing.

The NZX 50 Index rose 22.46 points, or 0.64 percent, to 3639.65. Within the index, 36 stocks rose, 7 fell and 7 were unchanged. Turnover was a larger-than-average $130 million.

Nuplex rose 2.2 percent to $2.73 and has a dividend yield of 10.2 percent. The shares rose as high as $2.83, the highest since October 2011 after the specialty chemicals maker said earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation were $131 million in the 12 months ended June 30, little changed from a year earlier.

"It was a pretty solid - it is a cheap stock which has a good dividend yield," said James Smalley, a broker at Hamilton Hindin Greene. "The result had no nasty surprises."

Chorus, the fixed-line telecommunications network operator which demerged from Telecom in November, rose 3.9 percent to $3.19. The Commerce Commission has backed off the view that it needs to investigate a service on Chorus’s copper telecommunications network as it mulls the regulated pricing regime for the ageing lines.

Australia & New Zealand Banking Group 1.8 percent to $31.56 after it grabbed more local market share in the third-quarter, though increased competition for loans and deposits took some of the steam out of its margins.

Fletcher Building, New Zealand's largest construction company gained 1.2 percent to $6.55.

Caviler, New Zealand's only listed carpet maker, was up 2.9 percent to $1.75. Cavalier Wool Holdings is chasing a 64 percent stake in Wool Services International which was owned by the Allan Hubbard-related companies Plum Duff and Woolpack Holdings, which are in receivership.

The gainers were led by, PGG Wrightson, New Zealand's largest agricultural company, up 6.6 percent to $32 cents.

The decline was led by Telecom, the largest company on the exchange, down 2.5 percent to $2.68. The stock has fallen from its highest level since Aug. 2008.

"One can only put the sell-off down to people locking in a few profits ahead of the result," he said.

Pumpkin Patch fell 1.9 percent to $1.01. That comes after the children's clothing retailer yesterday posted a full-year profit before one-time item of about $10 million yesterday, beating estimates. Warehouse Group, the biggest retailer on the NZX50, shed xx percent to xx.

Michael Hill International fell 0.9 percent to $1.08. The listed jewellery chain lifted its annual profit by 5.8 percent to $36.5 million in the year ended June 30 as recovering sales in New Zealand, Canada and the US made up for shrinking sales in Australia, which will be the current year's focus.

Duel listed APN New & Media, the publisher of the New Zealand Herald, Listener and New Zealand Woman’s Weekly, fell 8.3 to 50 cents on the NZX. The media group tripled its first-half loss after writing down the value of its New Zealand publishing assets unit by A$485 million as part of an ongoing review.


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