Christopher Adams

The Business Herald’s markets and banking reporter.

Chorus shares hit new low

UFB fibreoptic cable rolled out in Napier.
UFB fibreoptic cable rolled out in Napier.

Chorus shares fell to their lowest after minor political parties said they would not support the Government if it tried to override the Commerce Commission's recommendation to cut internet prices.

The Maori Party, New Zealand First and United Future say they won't support legislation required to stop a 23 per cent cut to what Chorus charges internet retailers such as Orcon and Vodafone for monthly broadband services and line access over its copper network.

It is unlikely the Government will be able to override the commission's recommendation, which it believes will prevent Chorus from building its share of the ultrafast broadband network.

Chorus shares were up more than 2 per cent at $1.87 before the parties' announcement, but fell 4.5c to close yesterday at $1.785.

Grant Williamson, of sharebrokers Hamilton Hindin Greene, said yesterday's announcement from the parties was bad news for Chorus and the industry in general.

"I think it will be bad news for a lot of infrastructure projects going forward in New Zealand," Williamson said.

"If the builders of these projects can't achieve a reasonable return on their investment nobody is going to build these major projects, which is certainly going to hinder economic growth in the long run."

- NZ Herald

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