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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares mixed, Spark and A2 drop

NZ Refining, Fonterra gain

Sophie Boot
Wed, 11 Jan 2017

New Zealand shares were mixed, with A2 Milk Co jumping near the close after rival Bellamy's cut its forecasts, while Tourism Holdings and Summerset Group Holdings fell.

The S&P/NZX50 Index gained 32.02 points, or 0.5 percent, to 7,069.6. Within the index, 20 stocks fell, 19 rose and 11 were unchanged. Turnover was $100.7 million.

The market is quiet with little news ahead of February's reporting season, David Price, broker at Forsyth Barr, said. Markets across Asia were mixed, with Australia's ASX 200 up 0.2 percent at 5:10pm local time, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng had gained 0.7 percent and China's CSI 300 was down 0.5 percent.

A2 Milk led the index, up 7 percent to $2.28. The share price has been pushed around by news about its Australian competitor Bellamy's, which was placed in a trading halt in December. Today, Bellamy's ASX-shares took a nose dive down 34 percent to A$4.39 after it cut its profit forecast for the second time, announced chief executive Laura McBain is to leave and tweaked the terms of its supply contract with Fonterra Cooperative Group.

Spark New Zealand rose 1.8 percent to $3.695, Genesis Energy gained 1.7 percent to $2.12 and Meridian Energy advanced 1.5 percent to $2.72.

ANZ Bank New Zealand was up 0.9 percent to $33. It has sold UDC Finance to HNA Group for $660 million, marking the Chinese company's first foray into New Zealand. The deal is subject to various approvals and is expected to be completed late in the second half of the year, and will deliver a net gain to ANZ of A$100 million, the lender said in a statement.

The sale price is $235 million above UDC's net assets, or a price-to-book ratio of 1.6 times. The finance company's ownership has been up in the air for almost a year, attracting suitors including NZX-listed Heartland Bank, though HNA emerged as the front-runner in December. Forsyth Barr's Price said HNA was the expected buyer, so the news was no real surprise to the market.

Tourism Holdings was the worst performer, down 1.8 percent to $3.81, while Summerset Group Holdings fell 1.7 percent to $4.60 and Arvida Group dropped 1.5 percent to $1.30.

Kiwi Property Group fell 0.7 percent to $1.43. Augusta Capital has dropped its High Court proceedings seeking orders requiring listed property investor NPT to call a meeting of shareholders to discuss its hostile bid, with a notice of meeting to be issued in February.

Augusta's proposal, along with an alternative deal from Kiwi Property which has won the backing of the target's board, will be put to shareholders at the meeting. NPT gained 1.5 percent to 67 cents and Augusta rose 1 percent to 98 cents.

Outside the benchmark index, Pushpay Holdings dropped 3.7 percent to $1.81. The mobile payments app developer says its annualised committed monthly revenue (ACMR) grew US$8.4 million in the December quarter, including US$1.1 million it made from acquiring US church app business Bluebridge in November. Pushpay is on track to reach its ACMR target of US$72 million (NZ$100 million) and breakeven on a monthly cashflow basis by the end of calendar 2017, chief executive and co-founder Chris Heaslip said.

Hellaby Holdings rose 0.6 percent to $3.54. Directors of Bapcor and Hellaby are to meet on Thursday and Friday of this week, with Hellaby's board planning to issue an updated recommendation to shareholders "as soon as is practicable". ASX-listed Bapcor has been pursuing NZX-listed Hellaby since September and secured control of 50 percent of Hellaby shares on Tuesday.


Sophie Boot
Wed, 11 Jan 2017
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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares mixed, Spark and A2 drop