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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares eke out gains; Ryman, Xero at record

Wed, 11 Jul 2018

New Zealand shares rose, pushing the NZX 50 Index to the highest close since late May, as Ryman Healthcare resumed its gains to a new record and Xero continued to draw investors betting on its global expansion plans.

The NZX 50 rose 3.433 points, or 0.1 percent, to 4493.297. Within the index, 27 stocks rose, 18 fell and five were unchanged. Turnover was a lower-than-average $75 million.

Ryman, the retirement village operator that had sold off from its previous highs of May as some investors sold the stock to pocket gains, advanced to 1.5 percent to a new high close of $6.74 today. Rival operator Summerset Group rose 2.1 percent to $2.88 after saying it sold 23 percent more occupation rights in the second quarter than the year-earlier period.

"Ryman is back in favour again after a period of profit taking and consolidation," said Grant Williamson, a director at Hamilton Hindin Greene. Summerset "continues to show very good growth in their figures."

Metlifecare, the third listed retirement village operator, rose 1.6 percent to $3.25 after saying its share purchase plan to raise $10 million was oversubscribed at $11.95 million and would be scaled back.

Xero, the cloud-based accounting company and the highest-priced local stock on the bourse, rose 2.5 percent to a record close of $18.79, for a market value of $2.2 billion. The shares are up 147 percent this year.

"There's been huge hype building into that share price," Williamson said. "Analysts have been crunching the numbers and it is a pretty exciting end result if it all goes to plan. Investors are counting on Xero increasing that customer base significantly."

Contact Energy, the biggest utility on the NZX 50, rose 2.5 percent to $5.40, leading gainers on the index. Infratil advanced about 2 percent to $2.32.

Warehouse Group led gains among some retailers, rising 1.9 percent to $3.78. Michael Hill International gained 1.5 percent to $1.33, Pumpkin Patch rose 1.2 percent to 82 cents and Kathmandu gained 0.8 percent to $2.50. Briscoe Group rose 0.8 percent to $2.45. Meantime, Hallenstein Glasson Holdings dropped 0.8 percent to $5 and Restaurant Brands New Zealand fell 0.4 percent to $2.84.

With retailers, investors are looking at them "on a case by case basis," Williamson said. "Retailing is still relatively flat out there."

Property investors were mixed. Property for Industry gained 1.1 percent to $1.38 while Precinct Properties New Zealand declined 0.5 percent to $1.015, Kiwi Income Property Trust fell 0.5 percent to $1.105 and Goodman Property Trust dropped 0.5 percent to $1.025.

Fletcher Building fell 2.2 percent to $8.43 and Telecom rose 0.7 percent to $2.28. Chorus rose 0.8 percent to $2.65.


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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares eke out gains; Ryman, Xero at record