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Market close: Fletcher, Vector lead fall as F&P Appliances gains

(BusinessDesk) New Zealand shares fell, paced by some of the biggest companies on the bourse Fletcher Building, Vector, Telecom and Ryman Healthcare.

Fisher and Paykel Appliances rose after its independent directors urged shareholders to reject Haier's takeover offer.

The NZX 50 Index rose 7.61 points, or 0.2%, to 3881.99, the highest since January 6, 2008. Within the index, 19 stocks fell, 16 rose and 14 were unchanged. Turnover was about $124 million.

Fletcher Building, New Zealand's largest construction company, declined 1.2% to $7.25. Telecom, the largest company on the NZX, fell 0.6% to $2.39.

Ryman Healthcare, New Zealand's largest retirement village operator, shed 1% to $4.08. Vector, the Auckland gas, electricity and telecommunications networks owner, dropped 1% to $2.86.

The decline was led by OceanaGold, which operates the Macraes gold mine near Dunedin, down 3.2% to $3.93.

The gainers were led by Fisher and Paykel Appliances, the manufacturer of dishwashers, ovens and fridges, up 3.7% to $1.25. Grant Samuel values FPA at between $1.28 and $1.57 a share in its independent valuation report, above Haier's $1.20-a-share offer.

Before Haier unveiling its offer last month the stock had not traded as high as since September 2008. The independent directors "unanimously recommended that shareholders do not accept Haier's takeover offer".

"Buyers are hoping that Haier will be forced to raise its bid," says James Smalley, client adviser at Hamilton Hindin Greene. "You'd think they would want 90% so they will have to balance out the cost and the stock is trading up accordingly."

Air New Zealand, the national carrier slated for a government selldown, rose 2.9% to $1.25.

"You have to keep in consideration that it is a stock that has been earmarked for a sell down," Mr Smalley says. "It is doing well in a tough market. They are bucking the trend with airlines."

Heartland New Zealand, the lender formed from the merger of Pyne Gould's Marac Finance and the Canterbury and Southern Cross building societies, rose 3% to its highest level since June 29 at 69 cents.

PGG Wrightson, the New Zealand rural services group controlled by China's Agria, increased 2.9% to 36 cents after winning government backing for a $14.6 million research programme that aims to improve seed quality and plant species.

Goodman Fielder, the food ingredients manufacturer whose brands include Edmonds baking products and Vogel's bread, gained 1.6% to 65 cents.