New Zealand shares fell, led lower by Xero and a2 Milk Co, while Scales Corp gained after a guidance update.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index dropped 8.66 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 8,176.21. Within the index, 23 stocks fell, 21 rose and six were unchanged. Turnover was $136 million.

Xero led the index lower, down 2.6 per cent to $30.96, while a2 Milk Co fell 2.2 per cent to $8.12 and Kathmandu Holdings declined 2 per cent to $2.40.

Scales Corp rose 1.5 per cent to $3.95. The company now expects full-year earnings to be at the upper end of guidance between $55m and $62m on the performance of its horticulture division and new acquisitions. Earnings will rise in 2018, it said.


"It reaffirmed previous guidance, so it's positive in that sense as more surety," said Grant Davies, director at Hamilton Hindin Greene. "It has been reasonably well received, though the share price has flattened off towards the end of the day."

Heartland Bank was the best performer, up 2 per cent to $2.05 while Sanford rose 1.9 per cent to $8.25.

Chorus gained 1 per cent to $4. It has reshuffled its executive team, handing strategic responsibility to general counsel Vanessa Oakley from next March to fill a gap left by recent hire Scott Newton.

Outside the benchmark index, New Zealand Oil & Gas was unchanged at 70.5c. OG Oil & Gas has extended its partial takeover bid for NZOG for a second time, again saying the extra time is to secure regulatory approvals.

The oil and gas division of Ofer Global has more than 43 per cent of the Wellington-based company and needs more than 50 per cent to cross the minimum acceptance threshold.

Today it extended its offer to January 8 "to allow time to obtain the necessary regulatory approvals," the company said.

Last month OGOG pushed out the offer's closing date by 11 days to December 20.

"It indicates it probably won't go ahead at this stage," Davies said.


"Over the course of the offer we've seen a material increase in oil prices so some people are hanging on. There's quite a dispersed investor base too, there are probably few people who have bottom-drawed it — a lot of inertia. At the moment it's touch and go for that offer."

Bethunes Investments was unchanged at $5.84, having gained 233 per cent this year.

Its shareholders have approved a reverse listing deal that will see the NZX-listed company used as a vehicle for freight and logistics firm Transport Investments to go public.

They will own 0.6 per cent of the transport group, which has an enterprise value of $200m.

Bethunes will change its name to TIL Logistics Group and its NZX ticker code to TLL from BIL, with trading to start on December 7.