Hot Topic NBR Focus: GMO
Hot Topic NBR Focus: GMO
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NZ sharemarket joins slide, Telecom reaction muted

The New Zealand sharemarket lost ground along with other markets on growing sovereign debt fears.

Tue, 19 Apr 2011

The New Zealand sharemarket slid 0.7% today, losing ground along with other markets on growing sovereign debt fears.

The benchmark NZX-50 index closed down 25.19 points at 3439.98, having gained 12.5 points yesterday.

"We've held up better than most offshore markets, we just don't seem to have the same volatility as most," said Hamilton Hindin Greene director Grant Williamson.

"The market has performed reasonably well over a number of months so that's not surprising where we have a bit of a correction along the way - I think it's quite healthy for the markets that they don't get too carried away."

Reaction to a record fine for Telecom was muted; the stock lost a cent to 205.5.

The telco was fined a record $12 million by the High Court at Auckland for anti-competitive practices in the highest penalty imposed under the Commerce Act, after a 2009 judgment that Telecom has appealed.

Telecom was found to have charged downstream competitors disproportionately high prices for wholesale access to its network from 2001-04.

"I think investors are more focused on the separation and the government broadband initiative, so there's very little focus on that side of things," Mr Williamson said.

Among other blue chips, Fletcher Building slid 9c to 905 after a strong run due to its acquisition of Australian company Crane and the outlook for work in rebuilding quake-damaged Christchurch.

Contact Energy was down 2c at 580, Auckland Airport lost 3c to 219, Sky City fell 5c to 339 and Infratil lost 3c to 181.

Just six top-50 stocks rose, including fish exporter Sanford, up 5c at 565, manufacturer Skellerup, up a cent at 130, and dual-listed Telstra, up 2c at 375.

There were also gains in the property investment sector, with Kiwi Income Property Trust up 0.5c at 100.5 and Argosy Property a cent higher at 76.

Argosy, formerly ING Property Trust, is planning to internalise its management with a $32.5 million payment to the trust's manager.

The manager's shareholder is ANZ Bank-owned OnePath. Another OnePath-related trust, Vital Healthcare Property Trust, was also considering internal management.

"I think good news for unit holders if they go down that track - internalising it makes the manager and the investor more aligned than having an external manager," Mr Williamson said.

Tue, 19 Apr 2011
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NZ sharemarket joins slide, Telecom reaction muted