Market close: Sharemarket laps up Auckland’s lockdown plight

The New Zealand sharemarket took a spurt on the Government announcement that Auckland will remain in lockdown – and it can look forward to a new property fund listing next month.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index climbed in late afternoon trading and closed at 13,170.89, up 106.5 points or 0.82 per cent, after reaching an intraday low of 13,034.71.

There were 86 gainers and 55 gainers across the whole market on volume of 71.15 million share transactions worth $258.21 million.

Trading was dominated by six Smartshares exchange-traded funds. A total of 11.45m units worth $35m changed hands in the S&P/ASX fund; 7.42m and $22.21m in Total World; 5.26m and $18.65m in the NZ Top 50; 3.54m and $17.24m in Australian Mid Cap; 2.6m and $11.68m in US 500; and 1.85m worth $11.21m in the Australian Top 20.

Greg Smith, head of research with Fat Prophets, said the market turned around and it seems quite comfortable with “Auckland’s stay-at-homeness.”

He said the market has been lapping up the lockdowns. “I guess it’s quite ironic. A longer lockdown may have a short term economic impact and push out the Reserve Bank’s decision to raise the official cash rate – but a rise in interest rates will happen at some point as inflation gets hotter.”

Food prices increased 0.3 per cent in August and 2.4 per cent annually. Smith said the June quarter gross domestic product figure, out later this week, will show a stellar performance but “we all know there will be a contraction in the September quarter”.

Fabric Property, specialising in office space, will list on the New Zealand Stock Exchange (NZX) on October 6 after announcing an initial public offer of $250m-$290m at $1.20-$1.30 a share. Fabric will take the number of listings to 186 stocks on the NZX,

Already-listed Stride Property is demerging its wholly-owned Fabric fund, and following the IPO will retain a cornerstone shareholding of between 25 per cent and 32 per cent. Stride shareholders will hold about 25 per cent in Fabric.

Fabric will be Stride’s fourth external managed portfolio, along with Investore, Industre Property Joint Venture, and Diversified NZ Property Trust. Fabric owns 10 office properties in Auckland and Wellington worth $714m, and is buying the Mansons CGR-built building at 110 Carlton Gore Rd for $217.5m, with settlement in February 2023.

Stride was up 5c or 1.92 per cent to $2.66, and other property companies benefitted with Goodman Property Trust rising 7c or 2.81 per cent to $2.56, and Kiwi Property gaining 2.5c or 2.18 per cent to $1.17.

Auckland International Airport rose 13c to $7.43 after news that its counterpart Sydney Airport has received an improved third takeover bid at A$8.75 ($9.04) share, valued at A$23.6.

Sydney Airport has opened up its books to the Sydney Aviation Alliance which includes IFM Investors, QSuper, AustralianSuper and Global Infrastructure Partners.

Smith said the revised higher bid is a reminder that merger and acquisition activity continues to bubble away.

Covid beneficiaries Freightways rose 25c or 1.99 per cent to $12.81; and Mainfreight climbed $1.25 to $95.25.

Meridian Energy was up 8.5c to $5.19; Ebos Group rose 50c to $34.50; a2 Milk picked up 7c to $5.78; Briscoe Group gained 11c to $7; Infratil increased 17.5c or 2.3 per cent to $7.775; SkyCity Entertainment collected 6c or 1.83 per cent to $3.34; and Tourism Holdings was also up 6c or 2.56 per cent to $2.40.

Pushpay Holdings rose 6c or 3.26 per cent to $1.90; Vista Group was up 5c or 2.1 per cent to $2.43; DGL Group gained another 15c or 5.36 per cent to $2.95; Fonterra Shareholders’ Fund increased 6c to $3.74; and Harmoney picked up 5c or 2.56 per cent to $2.

Port of Tauranga increased 15c or 2.11 per cent to $7.25, while fellow port companies Marsden Maritime Holdings was down 14c or 2.11 per cent to $6.50, and South Port New Zealand declined 10c to $9.40. Apple exporter Scales Corporation rose 10c or 1.98 per cent to $5.15.

Market leader Fisher and Paykel Healthcare was down 11c to $32.69; Synlait Milk declined 4c to $3.06; EROAD fell 20c or 3.33 per cent to $5.80; Solution Dynamics decreased 9c or 2.91 per cent to $3; and Carbon Fund lost 4c or 1.96 per cent to $2.

Third Age Health Services increased 2c to $2.32 after announcing it has bought the North Shore Belmont Medical Centre, established in 1994, for $180,000.

Another healthcare company Green Cross Health Group has taken a 25 per cent shareholding in Auckland-based online pharmacy PillDrop, which sorts and delivers prescription medicine. Green Cross’ share price slipped 2c to $1.16.

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