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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares rise, led by F&P Appliances

MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares rise, led by F&P Appliances; Telecom, Fletcher gain

By Hannah Lynch

Sept. 11 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand shares rose, led by Fisher & Paykel Appliances on expectation its biggest shareholder, China’s Haier, will shortly make a takeover offer. Telecom and Fletcher Building, the biggest companies on the bourse, were among gainers.

The NZX 50 Index rose 18.05 points, or 0.5 percent, to 3744.95. Within the index, 21 stocks rose, 17 fell and 12 were unchanged. Turnover was $108 million.

F&P Appliances rose 7.2 percent to $1.04, the highest since November 2008. AMP Capital Investors, which owns 5.2 percent of the whiteware firm, confirmed it has spoken to Haier about a possible takeover bid, the National Business Review reported. Haier currently owns almost 20 percent and yesterday indicated it may offer to buy the whole company.

"I don't think an announcement will be too far away," said Grant Williamson, director at Hamilton Hindin Greene. "Investors in New Zealand have built a good premium into the stock - the Chinese will have to offer a pretty nice premium to get investors interested."

Shares of Fletcher, New Zealand's largest listed company, rose 1.1 percent to $6.62. The Auckland-based company has concluded negotiations with the government on the $300 million design and build for South Auckland’s new Wiri prison.

Telecom, the largest company on the NZX 50, rose 2.7 percent to $2.50. The stock offers a dividend yield of about 12 percent.

"Telecom is improving nicely again following the sell off after their result," Williamson said. "Investors are buying for yield and it’s a good yield stock."

Goodman Fielder, the Sydney-based food ingredients manufacturer whose brands include Edmonds baking products and Vogel’s bread, rose 3.1 percent to 67 cents.

Pumpkin Patch, the children's clothing retailer, gained 2.6 percent to $1.19.

Xero, the cloud-based accounting platform provider, fell 1.2 percent to $4.86. The stock has gained about 81 percent this year. Diligent Board Member Services, which joined the NZX 50 alongside Xero in June, shed 0.8 percent to $3.90, having gained 103 percent this year.

"Xero is starting to become a volatile stock – it’s trading on fundamentals," Williamson said. "There are a lot of investors in there with nice gains wanting to take profits.”

The decline was led by New Zealand Oil and Gas, down 2.17 percent to 90 cents. NZX, the stock exchange regulator, fell 1.83 percent to $1.07.

Metlifecare, the retirement village operator that merged with major shareholders Vision Senior Living and Private Life Care earlier this year, fell 0.4 percent to $2.85. The Auckland-based company has sold its Ilam Park, Christchurch site to Bupa Care Services New Zealand for $9.4 million. The stock has gained about 26 percent this year.


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