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Market close: Fonterra Fund produces historic stag - up 26% on day one

The historic listing of Fonterra units on the NZX caused mammoth volumes by New Zealand market standards and the biggest listing day stag that investors have seen for years.

The non-voting units, which launched at midday today, surged as high as $6.95, a 26% stag before closing at $6.85 from an offer price of $5.50.

The fund's turnover was $179.8 million as investors scrambled to get a slice of dairy exporter Fonterra's dividend stream.

Turnover in the NZX50 was lower, but substantial, at $175.2 million.

The most comparable float was the December 2011 listing of Trade Me, which rose 6.9% on its first day, and was up about 10% on its issue price by the end of its first week's trading, says Andrew Bascand, at Harbour Asset Management.

The fund attracted more trading than the rest of the NZX50 put together and is likely to have been attractive to foreign investors, who took 42% of the initial issue of units after Tuesday's book-build.

"Before that, you would have to back a long way" for a bigger stag, said Bascand.

At month's end, New Zealand shares rose 2.3 percent in November.

On the day, the NZX 50 index rose 33.31 points, or 0.8 percent, to 4050.08. Within the index 32 stocks gained, eight declined and 10 were unchanged. Turnover was $175.2 million.

"The excitement today has been around the Fonterra Shareholders' Fund - that's been a stunning debut," says Shane Solly, head of equities at Mint Asset Management.

"It's the first time you've really been able to get access to the dairy industry, and is quite unique."

Xero led gainers on the top 50 index, climbing 6.8% to $6.88 after US investors Valar Ventures and Matrix Capital Management forked over $82 million to build their respective stakes in the local cloud accounting software provider, with $60 million of that fresh capital.

"The American investors appear to have a background in this type of tech sector - they're quite well-regarded and it's good growth capital," Mr Solly says.

Fletcher Building, the biggest listed company on the exchange, rose 1.4% to $7.92 after government figures showed building consents were 32% higher in October than the same month a year earlier.

Mr Solly says New Zealand's market has outperformed on the month, with recent capital returns by pay-TV operator Sky Network Television and insurer Tower giving heart to investors. Sky shares rose 1%   to $5.27 and Tower fell 1% to $1.93.

Heartland New Zealand climbed 2.9% to 70 cents after the lender with aspirations to be a bank flagged flat annual profit for 2013 and announced a special dividend of 1.5 cents per share.

Infrastructure investor Infratil rose 2.9% to $2.325, specialty resins maker Nuplex Industries advanced 2.8% to $2.96 and transport logistics firm Mainfreight was up 2.3% to $11.20.

Warehouse was the biggest decliner, falling 3.2% to $3.05, while Telecom shed 1.7% to $2.31 and Air New Zealand dropped 1.2% to $1.28.

Vector declined 0.8% to $2.62 after the Commerce Commission set its default price-quality path pricing for 16 electricity distributers and said the Auckland monopoly lines company was wrong in its comparisons with Australian peers.

(BusinessDesk)