MARKET CLOSE: NZX 50 rises to record on yield hunt; Heartland, Genesis, Spark gain
New Zealand shares rose, pushing the NZX 50 Index to its eighth consecutive record close, after Heartland New Zealand affirmed guidance. Genesis Energy and Infratil gained as investors hunted yield in a low interest rate environment.
The NZX 50 Index rose 30.385 points, 0.6 percent, to 5418.219. Within the index, 23 stocks rose, 13 fell and 14 were unchanged. Turnover was $84 million.
Heartland climbed 3 percent to $1.03. Last week, the bank formed through the merger of Canterbury and Southern Cross building societies with Marac Finance affirmed its earnings guidance for the 2015 financial year, of profit between $42 million and $45 million and sees annual consumer lending growth of up to 10 percent. The company offers a forward dividend yield of 6.9 percent, according to Reuters data.
"Dividends have become a focus for investors over the last few weeks," said Robert Garden, investment adviser for Craigs Investment Partners. "It is a reasonably good dividend paying stock and those results have added confidence for investors to look at it as a dividend play but also a growth play."
Among companies typically held for their dividend yield, Genesis Energy advanced 3 percent to $2.07. Infratil, the infrastructure investor, gained 2.3 percent to $2.93. State controlled energy generator and retailer MightyRiverPower rose 1.4 percent to $2.86. Contact Energy climbed 1 percent to $6.26. Spark New Zealand, formerly Telecom Corp, increased 1.1 percent to $3.19.
"The interest rates, while they're on hold, are going to provide support to the market for those looking for income," Garden said.
Property investors, held for their reliable income paced the gain as investors hunted for yield. Precinct Properties New Zealand rose 1.4 percent to $1.115. DNZ Property Fund advanced 0.6 percent to $1.765.
Goodman Property Trust rose 0.9 percent to $1.11. The country's largest listed property investor by market capitalisation has entered into a joint venture with Singapore's GIC to co-invest in its Auckland Viaduct Quarter development, valued at $313 million.
Fletcher Building, New Zealand's largest listed company, fell 0.1 percent to $8.59.
Trustpower was unchanged at $7.50 after the energy company controlled by Infratil posted a 16 percent gain in first-half profit to $89.2 million after lifting retail electricity sales and said it is seeking more wind farm opportunities in Australia.
Westpac New Zealand, the local unit of Australia's Westpac Banking Corp, fell 0.1 percent to $38.90, after it reported a 3 percent rise in second-half earnings to $622 million on the back of strong growth in financial services and mortgages with a loan to value ratio of less than 80 percent.
Pyne Gould Corp, which is controlled by managing director George Kerr, was unchanged at 38 cents, having resumed trading after filing its late annual report, which was tagged by auditors and showed a bigger decline in profit than in the preliminary results released in August.
On the New Zealand Alternative Index, RIS Group was unchanged at one-tenth of a cent. The shell company has until the end of the week to file its annual report with NZX or its shares will be suspended from trading.