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a2 Milk drops another 4% on regulation risk

New Zealand's main share index fell as a2 Milk dropped for a fourth consecutive session with investors worried China’s market regulator could shut the infant formula exporter out of its key market.

Tuesday, July 27th 2021, 6:23PM

by BusinessDesk

The S&P/NZX 50 Index fell 82.92 points, or 0.7%, to 12,590.31. Turnover was $168 million.

Asian stocks have been weak in recent days as China has continued on a regulatory campaign to crack down on technology companies.

“This policy started last year with the cancellation of Ant Group’s IPO and has morphed into a much wider crackdown,” said BNZ rate strategist Jason Wong.

“Investors are asking which sectors are next in the firing line and are bailing out of listed Chinese stocks”.

Shares in infant formula brand A2 Milk were down another 4% at $6.41, having already declined more than 6% yesterday.

Head of research at Fat Prophets, Greg Smith said investors were still concerned about an increasingly aggressive China looking to exert its power over a swath of companies.

“Those risks have always been there, but China has been flexing its muscles recently,” he told BusinessDesk.

While New Zealand has managed to avoid any direct confrontation with the world’s second biggest economy, Australia has been less lucky and A2 Milk exports its product via Australia.

Meanwhile, milk powder manufacturer Synlait Milk rallied 1.1% to $3.75 after Australian broker Bell Potter upped its target price by 14%.

Z Energy climbed 1.8% to $2.84 ahead of its investor day tomorrow, amid speculation the struggling fuel retailer could be a takeover target due to its low share price.

This is particularly so once it removes its deadweight funding agreement with Refining NZ that costs it tens of millions a year at the moment.

Smith said he couldn’t think of anyone who would be lining up to buy the company, noting the company “has a low share price for a reason”.

Cinema software firm Vista Group International climbed 3% to $2.37 as cinemas in India begin to reopen at 50% capacity, particularly in New Delhi.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare fell back 1.8% to $31.86 as investors took profit after a strong run up in the stock as covid’s delta variant spread widely.

The kiwi dollar was trading at 69.95 US cents at 5pm in Wellington, up from 69.71 cents yesterday.

The trade-weighted index was at 74.28 at 5pm, from 74.15 yesterday. The kiwi traded at 94.77 Australian cents from 94.79, traded at 77.12 yen from 76.96 yen, 59.26 euro cents from 59.22 cents, 50.61 British pence from 50.69 pence, and 4.5309 Chinese yuan from 4.5195 yuan.

Tags: Market Close

« a2 shares plunge as Chinese regulator flexes its musclesRegulation fears spill into currency markets »

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