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NZ shares rise as Air NZ, Fletcher, Chorus bounce

Tuesday 25 October 2016 05:31 PM

MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares rise as Air NZ, Fletcher, Chorus bounce

By Sophie Boot

Oct. 25 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand shares rose, led by Air New Zealand, SkyCity Entertainment Group and Fletcher Building, while Wynyard Group was suspended after announcing it has called in administrators.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index gained 44.46 points, or 0.6 percent, to 7,002.86. Within the index, 22 stocks rose, 23 fell and five were unchanged. Turnover was $173.6 million.

Air New Zealand was the best performer, up 3.8 percent to $1.91, while Fletcher Building rose 3.2 percent to $10.21 and Chorus gained 2.2 percent to $3.76.

"A few names that have been under pressure have bounced - Fletcher, Chorus, Air New Zealand," said James Lindsay, senior portfolio manager at Nikko Asset Management. "They've been some of the names that have been sold down the most so a relief rally perhaps isn't unexpected. In the context of the rest of the world, the New Zealand market's performance doesn't look too terrible - for the year to date, it's still up 10.7 percent. Although we've pulled back, we've still had an exceptional period of returns."

SkyCity rose 3.7 percent to $3.90. The Australian Financial Review's Street Talk today reported that investors and bankers were looking at a tie-up between SkyCity and its rival The Star Entertainment Group.

The casino operator's shares fell last week after it posted weaker first-quarter revenue with revenue flat or down in its two key markets of New Zealand and Australia, while international business dropped 20 percent. Interim chief executive John Mortensen warned there will be a drop in the immediate term in the business it gets from high-rollers following a Chinese government corruption crackdown which has led to the detention of 18 Australian Crown casino employees.

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Genesis Energy was the worst performer on the index, down 1.8 percent to $1.935, while Heartland Bank dropped 1.3 percent to $1.51 and Vista Group International fell 1.3 percent to $6.05.

Outside the benchmark, Wynyard Group remained in last week's trading halt at 21.5 cents. The board has appointed voluntary administrators after the intelligence software developer gave up on drawing a $10 million loan from major shareholder Skipton Building Society or trying to raise new capital.

Auckland-based Wynyard halted trading in its shares while it investigated ways to tap a standby loan facility with Skipton however it today said that drawing down the loan or raising new debt or equity wasn't "in the best interests of the company, its shareholders or other stakeholders." The shares have plunged 88 percent so far this year as the software developer burned through cash and struggled to deliver on revenue guidance.

Abano Healthcare dropped 0.1 percent to $8.09. The Australasian dental centre and radiology operator told shareholders at today's annual meeting it expects to lift first-half profit by up to 50 percent in 2017 with increased earnings driven by dental acquisitions.

Auckland-based Abano, which owns the Lumino the Dentists chain in New Zealand and Maven Dental Group in Australia, is investing to grow its chain of dental businesses in a fragmented market across both countries, where it aims to capture 10 percent of the $11 billion of revenue.

(BusinessDesk)

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