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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares rise, rounding out monthly gain; APT, ING, KMD advance

Friday 30th April 2010

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New Zealand shares rose, rounding out a monthly gain of 1.1%, as stronger US earnings and economic data, and abating fears of a meltdown in Greece gave investors more appetite for shares. AMP NZ Office Trust led gains in property investors and Kathmandu Holdings rose after an Australian rival was acquired.

The NZX 50 rose 3.85, or 0.1%, to 3286.12, the second daily gain. Within the index, 24 stocks rose, 15 fell and 11 were unchanged. Turnover was $88.6 million.

Equity markets extended their gains in Asia today, with Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index climbing 1.2% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rising 1.1%. European Union Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Ollie Rehn said he expects discussions about the aid package for Greece to be finished in the “next few days” lifting optimism the problems won’t become contagious.

AMP NZ Office and ING Property Trust both gained 2.7% to 77 cents. Kiwi Income Property Trust rose 2% to $1.01 and Goodman Property Trust rose 1% to $1.

Kathmandu, the outdoor equipment chain, rose 0.9% to $2.37, buoyed by Super Cheap Auto Group’s announcement that it has agreed to buy Ray's Outdoors for A$54 million to expand in camping and outdoor leisure.

PGG Wrightson fell 5.4%to 53 cents after Rural Portfolio Investments, which owns just over 6% of the stock, said it can’t find the cash to prevent a breach of its preference share trust deed and may not be able to make more dividend payments. The announcement suggests RPI may be forced to monetise its remaining Wrightson shares or its 10 million shares in NZ Farming Systems Uruguay. Shares of Farming Systems were unchanged at 41 cents. 

Pike River Coal, which is part-way through a $50 million equity raising, dropped 2.6% to $1.12. Its quarterly cash flow and activities reports, released today, show the mine developer is chewing through cash at a monthly rate of about $5.5 million while it completes development work. The company figures show that its $13.5 million CreditPlus Facility and $10 million multi-option debt facility are tapped out and it has used up $3.5 million of a $15 million loan from New Zealand Oil & Gas.

Pike River “still has a bit more digging rock before it starts mining coal” but that shouldn’t have pushed it down, said Craig Brown, a fund manager at ING New Zealand. “It’s getting so close,” he said, referring to the completion of the mine.

Guinness Peat Group fell 1.1% to 88 cents. Shareholders are to find out at the annual meeting next week how the investment group plans to make a “value return” as promised to investors.

OceanaGold, the operator of the Macraes goldfield, rose 0.9% to $3.43. The mining company said today it has taken a one-off C$73 million hit to its balance sheet, using the bulk of the C$86.3 million in recent equity-raising to close "out of the money" forward hedge contracts that had begun to weigh substantially on its results.

Among other companies, children’s clothing chain Pumpkin Patch rose 1.8% to $2.24, while Telecom  declined 0.9% to $2.17.

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