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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares drop 1.2% in broad selloff, Pushpay and Mercury lead losses

Tuesday 19th June 2018

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New Zealand shares dropped in broad-based selling, led lower by Pushpay Holdings following its $100 million bookbuild, with Mercury New Zealand and Fletcher Building also weakening.

The S&P/NZX50 Index fell 110.99 points, or 1.2 percent, to 8,863.24. Within the index, 35 stocks dropped, eight were unchanged and seven rose. Turnover was $241 million.

Pushpay Holdings led the index lower, down 5.5 percent to $4.13 after the shares were listed from the trading halt imposed yesterday. The mobile payment app company completed a $100 million bookbuild to let executive director Eliot Crowther exit the firm he co-founded, selling 24.8 million shares at $4.04 apiece.

The bookbuild was oversubscribed, with bids subject to scaling, and got offers from 19 institutional investors across New Zealand, Australia and the US, Pushpay said. Within yesterday's announcement of the bookbuild, the Auckland-domiciled, US-headquartered company said it has dropped plans to list in the US this year, as it has "largely achieved" the main goals of doing so with Crowther's exit improving liquidity without the cost of a market listing.

"It had been a share price that had performed reasonably well, it's not surprising it needs a bit of digestion," said Rickey Ward, NZ equity manager at JBWere. "Given it was underwritten at $4 and set at a price a smidgen above that, it's not a bad outcome and given it's trading above the placement price that's also healthy. One would assume it's gone to supportive shareholders rather than people trying to make a quick buck. People will be trying to second-guess the decision not to list in the US with a successful placement, and reconcile those comments."

Mercury New Zealand was down 3.9 percent to $3.315, Fletcher Building fell 3.3 percent to $6.65, and Spark New Zealand dropped 3 percent to $3.75.

Contact Energy declined 2 percent to $5.83. The company released its monthly operating report for May today. 

"It's given up a bit of gains today because the data out merely highlighted how difficult it is at the moment - low hydrology, the lowest numbers for quite some time, and weaker numbers than perhaps the market would want," Ward said.

Metlifecare was the best performer, up 1.1 percent to $6.21, with Arvida Group gaining 0.8 percent to $1.28 and Heartland Bank rising 0.6 percent to $1.76.

(BusinessDesk)

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