Market close: NZ shares gain, led by tech stocks Xero, Diligent
BUSINESSDESK: New Zealand shares rose paced by tech stocks, Xero and Diligent Board Member Services as the new entrants to the benchmark index confirmed their global expansion continues.
The NZX 50 Index rose 1.52 points, or 0.04%, to 3468.86. Within the index, 23 stocks rose, 17 fell and 10 were unchanged. Turnover was about $104 million.
Xero, the cloud-based accounting platform provider, lead the gains up 8.6% to $5.70, while Diligent rose 2% to $4. The techcompanies joined the NZX 50 in June, replacing struggling GPS components maker Rakon and building supplies manufacturer Steel & Tube.
Xero announced today it will integrate with US-based payroll provider ADP to allow businesses and accountants to securely transfer payroll data to its cloud. The stock has gained 90% so far this year.
"It’s just a good news story that New Zealand is catching up on slowly," said Greg Easton, investment adviser at Craigs Investment Partners. "They haven't made a profit yet though, so people need to keep their feet on the ground."
Diligent's momentum continued, nearly tripling its sales in the June quarter, while adding 216 new clients, up from 133 in the same three months last year. The stock has gained 103% this year.
Mr Easton said, unlike Xero, Diligent is "cashflow positive and profitable", even though they "don't have as broad horizons as Xero they have a niche product and a mover advantage".
OceanaGold rose 4.17% to $5.70 even after the Macraes goldfield operator announced it is investigating the death of a contract worker after a severe storm at its Didipio mine project in the Philippines.
Vector, the Auckland gas, electricity and telecommunications networks owner, rose 0.37% to $2.72. The company has appointed Kate Beddoe as chief risk officer, effective from July 30. Ms Beddoe will report to chief executive Simon Mackenzie.
Shares in Argosy Property gained 0.56% to 89 cents. The former trust has reached a $10 million insurance settlement on its quake-hit Foundry Drive, Christchurch, property. The property's book value was $12.5 million before the Christchurch quakes.
Fletcher Building, the nation’s biggest construction company, edged up 0.2% to $5.89, while Telecom, the largest company of the exchange, was down 0.2% to $2.46.
Nuplex Industries, the specialty chemicals maker, led the decline, slipping 2.4% to $2.49.
Shares in Ryman Healthcare, the largest listed retirement village operator, fell 2.22% $3.56, while smaller rival Metlifecare placed its shares in a trading halt.
It is awaiting the sell-down of its biggest shareholder, Retirement Villages NZ. The book build will satisfy the last condition of Metlifecare’s merger with Vision Senior Living and Private Life Care.
Guinness Peat Group was unchanged after it announced it will not appeal over a European General Court decision that imposed a 110 million euro fine and said it had sold out of its third British brewer this year.