New Zealand shares extended their gains in what's shaping up to a record year, with Metlifecare gaining after knocking back a takeover bid at considered too low.
The S&P/NZX 50 Index advanced 151.05 points, or 1.3 per cent, to a record 11,480.61. Within the index, 37 stocks rose, 10 fell and three were unchanged. Turnover was $170.5 million.
Metlifecare increased 2 per cent to $6.12 on a volume of 606,000 shares, more than twice its 90-day average of 258,000. The retirement village operator said its suitor lobbed in an indicative takeover bid at $6.50 a share, but that its major shareholders wouldn't accept. The company said its internal valuations could be more than $8 and that it had received two other expressions of interest.
Grant Williamson, a director at Hamilton Hindin Greene, said Metlifecare shares have recovered from the $4.25 low they traded at in August, and that the prospect of multiple suitors made for an interesting dynamic.
"I'll be interested to see whether the $6.50 is the best offer or the first offer," he said.
Arvida Group led the market higher, up 4.7 per cent at $1.77 on a volume of 2.6 million shares, more than five times its 468,000 average.
Ryman Healthcare increased 0.8 per cent to $16 and Summerset Group was up 0.6 per cent at $7.86 with 1.3 million shares traded.
The local market outperformed the rest of Asia, with stock markets across the region weaker after the US House of Representatives voted to impeach President Donald Trump for abuse of power.
Fisher & Paykel Healthcare climbed 4 per cent to a record $23.15. The country's biggest listed company is poised to lead the benchmark index higher in 2019, up 71.2 per cent so far this year.
Spark New Zealand rose 1.9 per cent to $4.40 on a volume of 2.8 million shares, the busiest stock of the day. The telco sold its Lightbox arm to Sky Network Television for an undisclosed sum and said the two rivals would work together on the entertainment streaming video service in the new year.
Sky didn't fare as well, falling 2.8 per cent to 70 cents, on a volume of 933,000 shares, slightly less than its 1.1 million average.
"There's no winning for those boys," Williamson said.
Of other companies trading on volumes of more than a million shares, Kiwi Property Group was unchanged at $1.555, Meridian Energy rose 0.6 per cent to $4.83, Kathmandu Holdings was up 0.6 per cent at $3.30, Stride Property was unchanged at $2.26 and Auckland International Airport rose 2.6 per cent to $8.99.
Outside the benchmark index, Promisia Integrative suspended trading at 0.2 cents as it prepares for a $31.3m reverse listing of four aged care facilities.
Wellington Drive Technologies increased 0.6 per cent to 17.1 cents on a volume of 39.7 million shares, or 12.3 per cent of the shares on issue. A substantial shareholder notice showed NZX-owned fund manager Superlife sold 39.6 million shares for $5.5 million, or 14 cents apiece.
NZX was up 0.8 per cent at $1.33.