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Market close: Xero at record, Fletcher gains on Indian plans

New Zealand shares rise, nudging the NZX 50 Index back toward the five-year high charted last month, as Australian interest drive Xero to a record and Fletcher Building gains after agreeing to buy a laminated panels business in India.

The NZX 50 rose 26.07 points, or 0.7%, to 3983.99. Within the index, 24 stocks rose, 13 fell and 13 were unchanged. Turnover was $78.7 million.

Xero, the cloud-based accounting services company that dual listed on the ASX last week, rose 8.6% to $6.30, giving it a market value of $622 million.

That is even before the fast-growth company, which listed on the NZX in June 2007, has turned a profit. It has gained 110% this year.

Listing on the ASX "opens up more buying in the stock - that's what we've seen", says Grant Williamson, a director at Hamilton Hindin Greene. "Investors are excited" by the company's prospects though they should be "a little bit cautious at these sorts of levels".

Fletcher Building, the biggest construction and building products company on the NZX 50, rose 3.3% to $7.48 after its local affiliate, Formica Laminates (India) Private, agreed to buy the laminates manufacturing business of listed Indian manufacturer Well Pack Papers & Containers in the Indian state of Gujurat for 365 million rupees ($8.2 million).

"It highlights the potential of the Indian market for that division of Fletcher," Mr Williamson says.

Contact Energy, the biggest power company on the NZX , fell 2.6% to $5.21 after its controlling shareholder, Australia's Origin Energy, warned last week that regulatory and pricing decisions would cut underlying profit as much as 10% this year.

Among smaller stocks, Genesis Research and Development was halted from trading at 1.8 cents and told the ASX it may not have enough funds to keep operating without a loan or more support from shareholders.

Telecom, the biggest phone company on the NZX 50, rose 1% to $2.435, and Chorus, the networks company spun off from Telecom last year, was up 0.9% to $3.27. Chorus has gained 3.9% this year.

Australia & New Zealand banking Group fell 1.8% to $31.34 after shedding its 79 cents a share final dividend. Westpac Banking Corp, the other Australian bank that trades on the NZX, rose about 1% to $33.40.

Retailer Warehouse Group climbed 0.3% to $3.19 and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare rose 1.2% to $2.46.

(BusinessDesk)

Comments and questions
1

i like to see tech companies thrive in NZ but how is Xero worth that much... its going to be bad for the tech sector if that stock leaves a bad taste in investor mouths