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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares rise led by rebound in MRP

14 Apr 2015

New Zealand shares rose led by MightyRiverPower as the stock rebounded from a near six month low. Income paying stocks, such as Kiwi Property Group and Precinct Properties gained. Orion Health Group fell.

The NZX 50 Index rose 27.79 points, or 0.5 percent, to 5882.109. Within the index, 29 stocks rose, 11 fell and nine were unchanged. Turnover was $103 million.

MRP advanced 2.7 percent to $3, rebounding from its lowest level since November. The utility company had been sold off as investors raised cash to fund the second installment payment for Meridian Energy, due May 15, with a record date of May 4, the date from which shareholders will be eligible for the top-up. The government-controlled utility company listed on the bourse in October 2013, with the shares offered in installment receipts to sweeten the offer, with $1 up-front and the promise of full entitlement to dividends, and the remaining 50 cents due next month. Meridian edged up 0.3 percent to $1.915 and has fallen 11 percent over the past month.

"We've seen almost a reallocation of funds pending the 50 cent call on the Meridian partly paid holders," said James Smalley, director at Hamilton Hindin Greene. "I think investors were selling energy companies to take it up, particularly when Meridian dropped down to its lows. They might have thought 'I'll sell these other ones because they've held their value'. So we're seeing a bit of a bounce back."

Dividend-paying stocks, such as property trusts, rose, as investors looked for yield in a low interest rate environment, Smalley said. Kiwi Property Group advanced 1.6 percent to $1.30. Precinct gained 1.3 percent to $1.195. Goodman Property Trust climbed 1.3 percent to $1.195.

Orion Health Group dropped 2.1 percent to a post-float low of $4.55.

Kathmandu Holdings, the outdoor goods retailer, was the worst performer on the benchmark index, declining 1.5 percent to $1.34.

Telecommunications retailer Spark New Zealand rose 0.2 percent to $2.98. Fletcher Building, the construction and building supplies company, gained 0.9 percent to $8.32.

Outside the benchmark index, New Zealand Oil & Gas fell 0.9 percent to 57.5 cents. The oil and gas explorer has gained three directors on an expanded board at Cue Energy Resources after securing 48 percent of the ASX-listed energy company. NZOG made a hostile takeover bid for Cue at 10 Australian cents a share after buying 19.99 percent of the company in December from Todd Energy and has then picked up further stakes from shareholders including Todd and Zeta Resources, the latter controlled by NZOG director Duncan Saville.

Scott Technology was unchanged at $1.38 after the industrial automation firm posted a 40 percent gain in first-half profit to $1.1 million as sales from recent acquisitions helped drive revenue growth.

Smiths City Group was unchanged at 53 cents after the Christchurch-based retail chain named Roy Campbell as chief executive, replacing Rick Hellings, who departs after 15 years as managing director.

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