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NZX50 rounds out 30% gain in 2019

The S&P/NZX 50 Index rose 30.4 percent in 2019 as low interest rates and a relatively robust economy encouraged investors to pursue returns in equity markets.

Wednesday, January 1st 2020, 11:41AM

by BusinessDesk

The benchmark index fell 64.55 points, or 0.6 percent, to 11,491.90 in shortened trading today. Within the index, 27 stock fell, 18 rose, and five were unchanged. Turnover was $56.9 million.

The half-day session to end the year was marked by retirement village operators and aged care providers giving up some of their recent gains. The sector has been buoyed by the $1.5 billion takeover offer for Metlifecare, with some investors shifting to rival stocks now rather than waiting until everyone gets their money.

Metlifecare increased 0.3 percent to $6.83, still shy of the $7 offer price, and was the most traded stock with 2.1 million shares changing hands. Its 90-day average is 275,000.

Ryman Healthcare led the market lower, down 5.1 percent at $16.33 with 250,000 shares traded, almost half its 513,000 average. The country’s biggest listed retirement village operator gained 52.1 percent this year.

Arvida Group fell 1.5 percent to $1.92, ending the year up 52.9 percent, while Oceania Healthcare was down 2.2 percent at $1.32, for an annual gain of 23.4 percent. Summerset Group fell 1.7 percent to $8.90, ending the year up 39.7 percent.

“There was some profit-taking in the retirement villages today after they made some very good ground in the last week or two on the back of the Metlifecare scheme of arrangement,” said Grant Williamson, a director at Hamilton Hindin Greene.

He said the light volumes meant prices could be pushed around more than normal.

Spark New Zealand fell 0.4 percent to $4.33 with 1.1 million shares traded, and Auckland International Airport was down 0.6 percent at $8.75 on a volume of 1 million. Spark rose 5.1 percent in 2019 and Auckland Airport gained 21.9 percent.

The local market has been one of the stronger across Asia-Pacific, trailing China’s Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index which was up 35.6 percent year-to-date when the New Zealand market closed. The S&P 500 Index in the US, which still has a day of trading left, was up 28.4 percent so far this year, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index was up 19 percent.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare was the star performer on the benchmark index this year, up 70.8 percent at $22.20. It dipped 0.2 percent today. The breathing respirator maker raised its earnings guidance in October and has benefitted from ending a protracted patent dispute with rival ResMed earlier this year.

Restaurant Brands New Zealand was another top performer this year, up 67.1 percent at $13.95. It fell 0.3 percent today. The fastfood operator started rolling out Taco Bell across Australasia this year and this month announced a foray into California with a US$73 million acquisition. Mexico’s Finaccess Capital bought a controlling stake in March, paying $9.45 a share.

NZX posted the biggest gain today, up 1.5 percent at $1.36 on a volume of 28,000 shares, less than its 189,000 average. It rose 34.7 percent this year.

Port of Tauranga was up 1.4 percent at $7.95, taking its annual gain to 59 percent and making it the third-best performer on the benchmark index.

Sky Network Television fell 2.7 percent to 71 cents, rounding out a horror year for the pay-TV operator with a 61.6 percent decline. Under new leadership Sky TV embarked on a new strategy centred around retaining premium sports rights and streaming services. It bought the RugbyPass platform, agreed to buy Spark’s Lightbox offering and brought New Zealand Rugby on as a shareholder in its bid to keep rugby broadcasting rights.

Blis Technologies posted the biggest gain in the wider market, up 266.7 percent this year at 6.6 cents. It was up 1.5 percent today. The probiotic maker reported a maiden profit this year having listed in 2001.

Smartpay was the second-best performer, up 211.1 percent at 56 cents. The payment systems firm soared in November when it announced the sale of its New Zealand business and assets for $70 million, more than its market capitalisation at the time.

Pacific Edge pipped Sky TV as the worst performer in the broader market, down 62.3 percent at 12 cents. It was down 1.6 percent today. The bladder cancer test maker has again gone back to shareholders for more capital as it tries to gain traction in the US market.

Tags: Market Close

« NZ shares fall as blue chips take a breather; Metlife buoys retirement sectorNZ shares shrug off Middle East tensions; Infratil gains »

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Last updated: 21 September 2020 10:48am

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