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NZ stocks hold record high on mixed day

Tuesday 17 Sep 2013 8:39p.m.

NZ stocks hold record high on mixed day

Mixed New Zealand shares have kept the NZX 50 Index at a record high.

The NZX 50 rose 4.404 points, or 0.1 percent, to 4698.027 today. Within the index, 26 stocks rose, 15 fell and nine were unchanged. Turnover was $154 million.

Telecom rose 1.7 percent to $2.365, only the second time since May it has closed that high, and accounted for $31 million of turnover on the index.

Chorus, the network operator, fell 1.7 percent to $2.87 as politicians and lobby groups clashed over what would be a reasonable level for copper line access charges for the company building the nation's high-speed broadband network.

"The investment community would view a lot of it as hot air," said Grant Williamson, a director at Hamilton Hindin Greene. "Companies do need to make an acceptable return on infrastructure assets."

Negative coverage of the debate "is causing one or two investors to ask questions."

Insurer Tower rose 0.6 percent to $1.82 after saying it will return an initial $70 million of capital to shareholders from the sale of its life insurance business to Fidelity Life Assurance.

Guinness Peat Group, which owns 34 percent of Tower, fell 0.9 percent to 56.5 cents.

"Tower has weakened off ever since it became known what sort of reserves it needed to comply with regulations," Mr Williamson said. Shareholders "are going to receive a reasonable amount now."

Contact Energy rose 0.8 percent to $5.17 and MightyRiverPower gained 0.5 percent to $2.18 as investors anticipate the release on Friday of offer documents for the selldown of Meridian Energy.

Fletcher Building, the biggest company on the NZX 50, fell 1.6 percent to $9.50, having closed at a five-year high the previous day amid glimmers of life in Australia's housing market, including rising house values in Sydney.

Abano Healthcare was unchanged at $6.70 after the company rejected a proposed takeover from director Peter Hutson and Australian private equity firm Archer Capital at $6.97 a share.

Auckland International Airport climbed 1.5 percent to $3.33 and Xero rose 1.3 percent to a new high of $19.06.

NZN

 
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