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Current as of 24/04/17 07:40PM NZST

Investors' positive outlook on companies gives shares a lift

By Jonathan Underhill

The S&P/NZX 50 Index gained 2.92 points, or 0.04 per cent, to 7426.11.
The S&P/NZX 50 Index gained 2.92 points, or 0.04 per cent, to 7426.11.

New Zealand shares rose as investors took a favourable view of the outlook for some companies after earnings season. Ebos Group, Metro Performance Glass and Nuplex Industries gained.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index gained 2.92 points, or 0.04 per cent, to 7426.11. Within the index, 29 stocks rose, 17 fell and five were unchanged. Turnover was $168.9 million.

"The large-cap, high-dividend stocks are still seeing good demand in an environment where interest rates remain low," said Rickey Ward, NZ equity manager at JBWere.

Nuplex Industries rose 1.9 per cent to $5.45. The company confirmed its takeover by Allnex Belgium had received antitrust clearance from the European Commission, paving the way for its transfer into the hands of the private-equity backed Belgian company to create one of the world's largest makers of coating resins.

The shares will cease trading on the NZX and ASX at the close of trade on Monday.

Shareholders owning the stock on the record date of September 7 will receive $5.43 per share, and a dividend payment of 3.15c per share due to a delay in receiving EC antitrust approval, and the shares will be delisted from the NZX and ASX at the close of trading on Tuesday, September 13.

Ebos Group led the index, up 3.8 per cent to $18.60. Metro Performance Glass rose 3 per cent to $2.08, Heartland Bank gained 2 per cent to $1.52, and Restaurant Brands advanced 2 per cent to $5.65.

Fletcher Building rose 0.1 per cent to $10.67 and is up 45 per cent this year. "I've had a number of brokers asking whether we've got selling," Ward said. "That's one of the companies people are looking to enter. It's in a good space at the moment - a low interest rate environment, increasing housing demand and this is a company which benefits from high construction activity, which both of those attributes encourage."

Skellerup Holdings was the worst performer, down 2.9 per cent to $1.36, while SkyCity Entertainment Group dropped 2.7 per cent to $4.77.

The dual-listed banks fell, with Australia & New Zealand Banking Group down 2.2 per cent to $27.60 and Westpac Banking Corp falling 2 per cent to $30.24.

Outside the main index, Turners dropped 1 per cent to $3.02. The company says 137 holders of its convertible bonds have elected to take shares when they come due on September 30, amounting to 75 per cent of the debt on issue, or $17.4m.

Last month, the company announced a new offer of up to $30m of convertible bonds, subject to approval by shareholders at their annual meeting on September 14.

- BusinessDesk

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