Market close: Shares hit 4½-year high, led by Tower, Telecom, Infratil
BUSINESSDESK: New Zealand shares rose, pushing the NZX 50 Index a 4½-year high as offshore investors were drawn to the nation's relatively stable earnings and high yields. Telecom, Tower, Auckland International Airport and Infratil paced the advance. DNZ Property Fund rose to a record.
The NZX 50 Index rose 16.16 points, or 0.4%, to 3825.31, the highest level since January 11, 2008. Within the index, 31 shares rose, 14 fell and 5 were unchanged. Turnover was $114 million.
"It's a reflection of the fact that there weren't too many surprises [from earnings season]," says James Smalley, client adviser at Hamilton Hindin Greene. "Most companies hit their numbers, there are high yields and low interest rates, and a lot of the issues overseas we have known about for some time.
"There is money continuing to flow into the New Zealand market and that is pushing is along."
Telecom, New Zealand's largest listed company, rose 1.9% to $2.39. The stock has a dividend yield of 12.8%.
Infratil, the investment infrastructure firm, advanced 1.2% to $2.13. Auckland International Airport gained 1.2% to $2.65. Tower, the insurance company, gained 2.3% to $1.76.
SkyCity Entertainment Group, the casino operator in talks with the government to build a convention centre in Auckland, increased 1% to $3.92.
DNZ Property Fund climbed 1.3% to an all-time high close of $1.61.
Heartland New Zealand, the lender formed from the merger of Pyne Gould's Marac Finance with the Canterbury and Southern Cross building societies, rose 1.5% to a 14-month high of 66 cents.
Retailers generally fell. Michael Hill International, New Zealand's only listed jewellery maker, fell 0.8% from its highest level since December 2007 to $1.19.
"It hasn't been trading on too-stretched fundamentals and it is showing promise of expanding into North America," Mr Smalley says.
Hallenstein Glasson Holdings, the clothing retailer, shed 1.9% to $4.61 ahead of its results this week.
The decline was led by Cavalier, New Zealand's only listed carpet marker, down 3.8% to $2.04.
Shares in Tenon, the NZX-listed company that sells wood mouldings in the US, were unchanged on 71 cents after the Auckland-based company announced it is forecasting no uplift in earnings until late 2013 as the high kiwi and tepid US economic recovery slow sales.