Market close: shares rally, NZX gains on listing prospects after court ruling
New Zealand shares rose, pushing the NZX 50 Index to a new five-year high, as a court ruling allowing the sale of Mighty River Power stoked optimism for new NZX listings.
The NZX 50 rose 37.40 points, or 0.9 percent, to 4276.31, the highest close since October 2007. Within the index, 31 stocks rose, 12 fell and seven were unchanged. Turnover was a higher-than-average $160 million.
The Supreme Court today dismissed attempts by Maori claimants to settle Treaty of Waitangi claims to freshwater rights before the sale of 49 percent of state-owned Mighty River Power, clearing the way for the first of a series of floats that are set to give the sharemarket a shot in the arm.
NZX rose 5.6 percent to $1.32 after the decision was released.
"That's obviously got investors interested again in what it means for the market in terms of potential floatations," says Shane Solly, portfolio manager at Mint Asset Management.
SkyCity Entertainment Group rose about 2 percent to $4.18, Trade Me gained 2.1 percent to $4.80 and Telecom climbed 2.2 percent to $2.37.
"They're all good positive income producing companies. We're coming through the reporting season without any major explosions, which is a comforting thing for investors," Mr Solly says, referring to the market's rally.
PGG Wrightson, the rural services company controlled by Singapore-based Agria, was unchanged at 41 cents after posting first-half profit by 55 percent on earnings growth, allowing it to declare a 2.2 cents a share interim dividend.
Guinness Peat Group fell 0.9 percent to 58 cents. The London-headquartered firm made a loss of £3 million in the 12 months ended December 31, compared to a profit of £1 million a year earlier as it continues to wind down its investment portfolio.
Energy Mad, the energy efficient light-bulb marketer, fell 4.8 percent to 40 cents after projecting a loss of $1.1 million for the year to March 31, compared to a $4 million forecast profit in its 2011 prospectus and a revision just two months ago to expect a profit at the low end of a range between $100,000 and $2 million.
A2, the milk company that markets milk with a protein variant said to have health benefits, rose 3.9 percent to 54 cents after reporting that earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation jumped 54 percent to $3.5 million.
TeamTalk fell 3 percent to $2.85 after cutting its annual earnings guidance, blaming the downgrade on the government-imposed levy to pay for servicing unprofitable customers in remote areas.
New Zealand Refining fell 5.6 percent to $2.55 after the nation's only oil refinery operator said an uplift in refining margins through the end of last year probably will not be sustained in 2013.