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Current as of 24/03/17 07:39PM NZST

NZ stock index turnover tops $500m

Within the S&P/NZX 50 Index, 31 stocks rose, 15 fell and four were unchanged.
Within the S&P/NZX 50 Index, 31 stocks rose, 15 fell and four were unchanged.

New Zealand shares hit another record high and turnover topped $500 million as 7.5 per cent of Sky Network Television changed hands and large parcels of several top 10 companies changed hands.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index rose 50.05 points, or 0.8 per cent, to 6,623.51. Within the index, 31 stocks rose, 15 fell and four were unchanged.

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Turnover was $511 million.

"It looks like someone was doing a portfolio buy," said James Smalley, director at Hamilton Hindin Greene.

"We were put in 'late adjust'. The announcement was made a few minutes before 5 o'clock. That's typical when there's either a big portfolio buy or sell, generally of a foreign investor."

Sky TV had 29.2 million shares sold, Meridian Energy 34.8 million, Spark New Zealand 14.6 million and SkyCity Entertainment 9.1 million.

"It's been the relatively large market cap liquid stocks, so that would tie in," Smalley said. "If you are a foreign investor wanting exposure to our market you don't really have any choice, you have to go into those type of stocks to get a meaningful stake.

"A lot of it is done after market, generally on the last day of week and so that's why you've seen those. For Sky TV as an example, you have had 13.6 million crossed after market."

While Sky TV ended the day 0.6 per cent lower at $4.95, $145 million in the stock was sold, the biggest volume since March 2013 when News Limited sold its stake. The dual-listed stock was up 0.2 per cent in afternoon trading on Australia's ASX 200.

Mighty River Power led the index, up 4 per cent to $2.89.

Kiwi Property Group grew 3.6 per cent to $1.43. The property investor said its earnings for the year end March 31 are expected to include a significant property revaluation gain, up a net $175 to $180 million.

Fletcher Building rose 1.2 per cent to $7.69. The stock has gained 17 per cent since announcing its first-half earnings in mid-February.

New Zealand Refining Co dropped 2.2 per cent to $3.17. On Thursday it reported disappointing throughput data for the first two months of the year.

Steel & Tube fell 1.3 per cent to $2.26. The stock shed 3.4 per cent on Thursday when the Commerce Commission said it was investigating the building products company after its chief executive admitted selling "many thousands of sheets" of earthquake reinforcing mesh wrongly certified with an independent laboratory's logo.

- BusinessDesk

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