Tamsyn Parker 's Opinion

Tamsyn Parker is the NZ Herald's Money Editor

Stock Takes: Changing faces

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Telecom's new CEO, Simon Moutter, has sold his Remuera home and may be looking for a property upgrade. Picture / Dean Purcell
Telecom's new CEO, Simon Moutter, has sold his Remuera home and may be looking for a property upgrade. Picture / Dean Purcell

The NZX is just weeks away from appointing a new head of cash markets.

Stock exchange boss Tim Bennett says he is down to a shortlist of two for the Auckland-based role and will make an announcement in the next week or so.

The stock exchange operator appointed a new operations manager this week and has seen a number of senior management changes since Bennett took over the top job.

In May, its head of market supervision departed and in July its head of direct products departed.

The NZX also announced its head of market services would leave at the end of the year.

But Bennett, who set out to reduce the high level of staff turnover, says attrition has reduced to single digits since he started.

"There have been a couple of senior management departures, but below that level there hasn't been many."

Bennett says it lost two staff last month out of 150 people.

"That's pretty low numbers."

Shares in the NZX closed down 1c at $1.13 yesterday.

MORE LIQUID

Arrium's decision to sell its 50.3 per cent stake in Steel & Tube is good news for investors as the stock will now be much more liquid.

The $91.2 million stake was snapped up in a couple of hours on Tuesday night after deal underwriters Craigs Investment Partners took it to the market.

The sale won't be settled until October 17 but one large shareholder has already emerged.

The Accident Compensation Corporation has snapped up a 7.24 per cent stake. It bought six million shares for $12.36 million. AMP Capital has also taken a substantial stake of 5.12 per cent.

It's uncertain if any more substantial shareholders will emerge from the sale. The deal which was done at $2.05 per share has put a dent in Steel & Tube's share price for now, so it will be interesting to see what will happen to the share price from here.

Steel & Tube shares closed at $2.46 before the deal and were down 4c yesterday at $2.18.

MOVING ON

It's not only his job that chief executive Simon Moutter is changing.

The recently appointed Telecom chief executive has just sold his home in Remuera.

The five-bedroom, three-bathroom property with sea and bush views didn't take long to fly off the market.

It features a 600-bottle wine cellar and double garage with workshop.

Moutter may be looking for a property upgrade after receiving a boost in his salary.

His previous role at Auckland Airport earned him a base salary of $936,000 but his new job at Telecom has a base salary of $1.35 million.

There is also the potential for him to boost his salary with incentive payments that include a short-term performance incentive of up to $750,000 and additional shares of up to $600,000 if he meets board targets.

With that kind of income there are bound to be plenty of properties within reach.

Meanwhile, analysts are expecting some news about Auckland Airport's new chief executive at the company's annual general meeting to be held on August 24.

Shares in Telecom closed down half a cent at $2.325 yesterday.

WAITING GAME

Fisher & Paykel Appliances shareholders could find out by next Friday if there will be a higher offer from Haier unless the offer period is extended.

Under takeover law the bidder must tell potential sellers 14 days ahead of the offer closing dateif there is going to be a changeto the offer such as a higheroffer.

The Haier offer closes on November 6 putting the cut-off point at October 22.

But that day just happens to be Labour day, when the markets are closed - putting more time pressure on Haier.

Haier is able to extend the offer period within the 14 days so it may look to do that to give itself more time.

Forsyth Barr analyst Andrew Harvey-Green says whether Haier extends the offer may depend on how may acceptances they already have from shareholders wanting to sell-up.

So far it doesn't seem they have received that many.

Harvey-Green says he would be very surprised if Haier got to the 90 per cent acceptance level required to make a full takeover bid.

He believes Haier will raise its offer to get over 50 per cent - the minimum level required as part of its takeover conditions.

If Haier makes a higher bid it's likely to be at the lower end of the range of the independent adviser's report which put a valuation on the company of between $1.28 and $1.57 a share, a value that has been disputed by the Chinese company.

Fisher & Paykel's shares have held steady at around $1.23 in the last week.

Yesterday they closed steady on $1.23.

- NZ Herald

Tamsyn Parker

Tamsyn Parker is the NZ Herald's Money Editor

Tamsyn Parker is the NZ Herald's Money Editor. A business journalist for ten years, she has worked in the UK and NZ for the New Zealand Herald, the National Business Review and a specialist publication on investment products for financial advisors. She is passionate about helping readers learn more about to make their money work for them.

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