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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares flat

Thursday 20 October 2016 05:33 PM

MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares flat, TradeMe and Infratil fall while Metro Glass gains

By Sophie Boot

Oct. 20 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand shares were flat as investors saw no reason to buy, with Trade Me Group dropping alongside Infratil and Summerset Group Holdings while Metro Performance Glass rose.

The S&P/NZX50 dropped 2.76 points, or 0.04 percent, to 6,973.78. Within the index, 24 stocks rose, 18 fell and eight were unchanged. Turnover was $158.9 million.

"There's no real reason for offshore investors to own stocks if they're concerned about where the market is heading, they're just paying dividends and they can always buy back in again," said Peter McIntyre, investment adviser at Craigs Investment Partners. "We've also seen broad sell-offs in government bonds which seems driven by a desire from American investors to repatriate funds before the election there. The market's still pricing a rate cut in November - swap rates have all risen too, and that's feeding through into the equity market. We're just waiting for some good affirmative comment from AGMs."

Trade Me was the worst performer, down 4.9 percent to $4.87, a three-month low. It's declined 17 percent since reaching a record of $5.86 in September.

"There are concerns over competition from Facebook entering what has pretty much been TradeMe's domain for a period of time," McIntyre said. "We're seeing movement on brisk volume, and you'd have to suspect there have been offshore moves in that stock as well, moving money away, for such a dramatic drop."

Infratil declined 2.5 percent to $2.96, Summerset Group Holdings fell 1.7 percent to $4.61, and Orion Health Group dropped 1.6 percent to $3.15.

Port of Tauranga was unchanged at $3.80. It expects full-year earnings in the range of $79 million to $83 million, an increase on the $77.3 million reported for 2016, according to a transcript of a speech published to the NZX. Chief executive Mark Cairns told shareholders at their annual general meeting that the forecast was given on the assumption that there would be no significant change to market conditions.

Sky Network Television rose 0.4 percent to $4.78. Chief executive John Fellet hit out at submissions opposing the pay-television broadcaster’s planned $3.44 billion merger with Vodafone at its annual meeting today. Fellet said the merger was on track, with the Commerce Commission not yet changing its November 11 target date for a decision.

Metro Performance Glass was the best performer, up 1.9 percent to $2.16, something McIntyre said could be the result of Fletcher Building presenting to investors and talking up the strong construction sector.

Spark New Zealand rose 1.9 percent to $3.52, Auckland International Airport gained 1.7 percent to $6.72, and Chorus advanced 1.6 percent to $3.72.

Outside the benchmark index, Wynyard Group was unchanged at 21.5 cents. The crime-fighting and intelligence software company today extended its trading halt until Tuesday as it seeks to tap a $10 million stand-by loan facility agreed with Skipton Building Society, in August, saying it needs the funds so the business can operate normally.

"It's one that listed with so much promise, but unless you get revenue coming in, and solid contracts providing that revenue, those that have financed the business can get very uneasy and that's what we've seen," McIntyre said.

Childrenswear retailer Pumpkin Patch plunged 16.7 percent to 6 cents. The shares were the second-biggest decliner on the NZX today on the deadline for directors to propose measures to address its capital constraints with lender ANZ Bank New Zealand. The constraints were highlighted in its full year accounts as a "material risk" to the ongoing viability of the business.

(BusinessDesk)

ends

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