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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares mixed, Mercury and Fletcher gain while Synlait, A2 drop

Monday 18th June 2018

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New Zealand shares were mixed, with Mercury New Zealand and Fletcher Building gaining while Synlait and A2 Milk fell.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index fell 1.52 points, or 0.02 percent, to 8,974.23. Within the index, 24 stocks rose, 19 fell and seven were unchanged. Turnover was $119.6 million. 

"We're faring pretty well all things being considered, US leads were down on issues about trade wars and implications and Australia is trading in the green but we're just marginally lower today," said Peter McIntyre, investment adviser at Craigs Investment Partners.

Mercury was the best performer, up 3.3 percent to $3.45, while Australia & New Zealand Banking Group rose 1.9 percent to $29.13 and Chorus gained 1.6 percent to $4.24.

Precinct Properties gained 1.5 percent to $1.335 and Argosy Property advanced 1.4 percent to $1.075.

Fletcher Building rose 1.2 percent to $6.88. On Thursday, the company is expected to announce its five-year strategy to the market, following a strategic review.

"The earlier information we had from Fletcher was around their ability to focus on New Zealand and Australia," McIntyre said. "It will be really interesting, Fletchers has been in the news quite a bit this year and it will drive their share price later in the week. 

Synlait was the worst performer, down 2 percent to $10.70. Freightways dropped 1.9 percent to $7.81 and A2 Milk declined 1.8 percent to $11.69.

Port of Tauranga fell 1.5 percent to $5.10 and Air New Zealand dropped 1.5 percent to $3.26.

Pushpay Holdings was down 1.1 percent to $4.37 when the shares were halted this afternoon ahead of an announcement. A month ago, the company announced it narrowed its net loss to $23.3 million in 2018 as it doubled revenue to $70.2 million, in line with forecasts.

After the market closed, Pushpay announced the halt has been put in place while it runs a bookbuild. Co-founder and executive director Eliot Crowther is resigning and selling all his shares in the company, equating to about 9 percent of its listed capital. Pushpay expects trading to re-open on Wednesday, after the bookbuild is completed.

Outside the benchmark index, Chow Group was unchanged at 60 cents. Millionaire businessmen John and Michael Chow, who have made their fortune from brothels, hotels and property deals, said they are moving forward with their plans to take Chow Group private. They are offering 60 cents a share to purchase the shares they didn’t already own. 

The Chows are the trustees of John Chow Investment Trust and Michael Chow Investment Trust, which collectively hold and control 90.09 percent of Chow Group's shares, and have previously said they'd enforce mop-up provisions under the Takeovers Code.

(BusinessDesk)

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