New Zealand shares fell as Metro Performance Glass sank to a record low on speculation it may drop out of the S&P/NZX 50 Index. Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, Fletcher Building and a2 Milk were among decliners while Kathmandu and Z Energy rose.
The NZX 50 fell 43.32 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 8,284.34. Within the index, 24 stocks declined, 17 rose and nine were unchanged. Turnover was $184 million.
MetroGlass dropped 2.5 per cent to 79 cents, a record low close. They sold in the 2014 IPO for $1.70 a share, allowing private equity owners Crescent Capital and Anchorage Capital to reap about $230m selling down their holdings.
Like Fletcher and Steel & Tube, MetroGlass has grappled with capacity constraints in the construction industry, which has squeezed margins.
In October it announced a strategic review after a series of guidance downgrades and chief executive Nigel Rigby stepped down in December. March quarter reweightings for the NZX 50 may be announced as soon as this week.
Investors "are speculating that MetroGlass will be taken out of the 50," said Rickey Ward, NZ equity manager at JBWere. "The market cap has come down and people are repositioning" ahead of the March quarter rebalance.
Fletcher dropped 1.8 per cent to $6.49 although Ward said chief executive Ross Taylor "has been talking a very credible story" about trying to ringfence losses at the company's B+I unit while completing a strategic review of the whole group. Steel & Tube declined 0.5 per cent to $2.08.
Ward said New Zealand shares also fell today in an environment "where people are a little bit more cautious." Global events including the uncertainty over Italy's elections were "weighing on risk appetite globally." The S&P/ASX 200 Index was down 1.1 per cent today.
Investors in New Zealand shares were also digesting the latest earnings season, where a number of companies had retained their guidance but that had led to some analyst downgrades given "valuations have been confirmed to be a little bit stretched at the moment," Ward said.
A2 fell 1.5 per cent to $12.56, having soared 58 per cent this year. Ward said it has continued to drift after its "extreme run" and also on news that management had been selling shares. Synlait Milk decreased 0.1 per cent to $7.49 and honey products exporter Comvita fell 1.3 per cent to $7.40.
Westpac Banking Corp declined 2 per cent to $31.95 and Australia & New Zealand Banking Group fell 1.9 per cent to $30.13, reflecting the lenders' weaker stock across the Tasman.
F&P Healthcare fell 3.3 per cent to $13.25 and Ryman Healthcare fell about 1 per cent to $10.40. Kathmandu rose 2.7 per cent to $2.28 and Z Energy rose 1.7 per cent to $7.
Marsden Maritime Holdings was unchanged at $5.60 after chief executive Graham Wallace said he will leave the company at the end of this month.