Infratil surge pushes NZX to new record

New Zealand’s benchmark equity index hit a new record as Infratil shares surged following revelations overnight that a major Australian pension fund was bidding to buy the firm.

Wednesday, December 9th 2020, 5:57PM

by BusinessDesk

The S&P/NZX 50 Index rose 169.81 points, or 1.3 percent, to an all-time high of 12,889.40. Within the index, 31 stocks rose, 13 fell and six were unchanged. Turnover was $219.9 million.

Infrastructure investment firm Infratil drove the market higher, leaping 19.2 percent to hit its own record at $7.25. This came as investors rushed to buy the stock on the news AustralianSuper was aggressively shopping a takeover bid at $7.43 per share in cash and an in specie distribution of Trustpower shares.

The Infratil board rejected the offer saying it undervalued the company, but reports suggest the Aussie pension fund may circle back with another bid.

“It looks like an offer rebuffed but there may be further games to play,” said Grant Davies, an investment adviser at Hamilton Hindin Greene.

“The value of the assets, in the mind of the market, has gone up based on the bid. It is a reflection of people realising there is a lot of embedded value in the company.”

Assets owned by the investment firm also saw strong gains, Trustpower climbed 5.7 percent to $7.85 and Tilt Renewables jumped 17.4 percent to $5.60.

The takeover bid follows strong support for clean energy stocks on the exchange. Meridian Energy, which has been steadily climbing, added another 0.9 percent to reach $7.06.

Genesis Energy today committed to cut its greenhouse gas emissions to target 1.5 degrees of global warming, although stopped short of aiming for 100 percent renewable energy.

It shares climbed 1.8 percent to $3.46 on the news. It has been lagging behind the greener electricity generators in recent years.

Cancer diagnostics firm Pacific Edge rose another 10.1 percent to 98 cents as it continued its weeklong rally.

Summerset Group Holdings posted the day’s biggest decline, dropping 1.8 percent to $10.85, followed by Arvida Group which fell 1.8 percent to $1.64.

The NZX’s newest listing, Auckland Real Estate Trust, did not trade after taking up a foreign exempt listing on the exchange at 80 cents today.

Fruit exporter Scales declined 1 percent to $4.74, after saying its full year earnings would be at the lower end of its net profit guidance - between $30 million to $36 million.

Davies said the strong local currency was potentially impacting some of these export-oriented stocks, despite general confidence in the market.

The kiwi dollar was trading at 70.50 US cents at 5pm in Wellington, up from 70.32 cents yesterday.

A note from foreign exchange and payments firm OFX said the kiwi had found plenty of support above 70 cents with “ample market bulls and risk-driven buyers on hand to prop up any short-term downtrends”.

The trade-weighted index was at 73.85 at 5pm, from 73.71 yesterday. The kiwi traded at 94.87 Australian cents from 94.71 cents, 73.45 yen from 73.15 yen, 58.17 euro cents from 58.03 cents, 52.72 British pence from 52.63 pence, and 4.6022 Chinese yuan from 4.5960 yuan.

Tags: Market Close

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