NZ stocks: Gains after Shell news

Shares in infrastructure investor Infratil rose 3c to 168 today on news the company, in a 50/50 consortium with the New Zealand Superannuation fund, has finalised the purchase of Shell New Zealand's downstream assets.

For a purchase price of $696.5 million plus a working capital adjustment, the consortium is buying Shell New Zealand's distribution and retail businesses and 17.1 per cent interest in the New Zealand Refining Co.

"The details were a long time coming and the reaction has been mildly positive," said Grant Williamson, director at Hamilton, Hindin, Greene.

"It seems to be quite well structured and quite well funded," he said.

The benchmark NZX-50 index closed up 10.623 points, or 0.328 per cent, at 3251.1. Turnover was worth $87 million, of which $24m was in Telecom shares. There were 52 rises and 30 falls among the 110 stocks traded.

Pike River Coal rose 3c to 92. Investors were still waiting for details of a capital raising but the company had probably lagged resource stocks in Australia and was catching up.

Nuplex rose 10c to 358. "Nuplex just continues to perform well and it is a big change from 18 months ago," Mr Williamson said.

Fisher & Paykel Appliances rose 1c to 61 on a day in which it disclosed the easing of a bank covenant.

NZ Farming System Uruguay rose 2c to 40 on a day in which it disclosed the sale of land to help it meet a commitment to PGG Wrightson.

NZ Refining eased 2c to 398.

Among leading shares, Telecom was up 1c to 213, Fletcher Building eased 3c to 838, and Contact Energy rose 3c to 626.

Geneva Finance debenture and noteholders voted in favour of proposals which delays repayments but allows the finance company to continue operating a moratorium.

Hallenstein Glasson rose 5c to 339. Mainfreight rose 7c to 613 and TrustPower rose 10c to 730.

NZ Windfarms rose 6c to 39 and Renaissance Corp rose 3c to 23. Charlie's Group rose 1.1c to 8.6c.

Xero, which has launched its services into personal finance management, rose 2c to 160.

In the United States, news of the sinking of a South Korean ship hit sentiment on Friday (local time), although some analysts suggested the incident was an excuse for investors to sell stocks in what is increasingly viewed as an overvalued market.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.1 per cent to end at 10,850.36, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index inched up 0.1 per cent to 1166.59, but the Nasdaq Composite Index slipped 0.1 per cent to close at 2395.13.

- NZPA

- NZ Herald

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