Fonterra fund leads NZX 50 higher

New Zealand shares followed global markets higher led by the Fonterra shareholders’ fund after the cooperative announced a strategy reset that would return capital to investors.

Thursday, September 23rd 2021, 7:11PM

by BusinessDesk

The S&P/NZX 50 Index rose 85.70 points, or 0.7%, to 13,305.92. Turnover was $162 million.

Offshore markets were stronger overnight with investors reassured as Evergrande renegotiated a coupon payment with its bondholders and survived another day without insolvency.

The People’s Bank of China also injected 90 billion yuan into the nation's banking system, signalling to the market it would help stave off any trouble should the property developer collapse.

In NZ, investors were focused on a raft of news released by the country’s top exporter Fonterra which announced an improved full-year profit and plans to sell assets to return capital to shareholders.

Fonterra fund units jumped 5.3% to $4.00 following the news, despite the cooperative also announcing plans to cap the fund as part of a new capital structure.

The unit price had dropped significantly since the capital structure review was announced and the fund’s chair today expressed disappointment that a buyback wasn’t the preferred option.

Still, investors welcomed the normalised net profit of $588m, up $190m from last year, and plans to sell its Chilean assets and sell down its Australian business in a move that would return a billion dollars to stakeholders.

Other agriculture and dairy exporters also rallied. A2 Milk climbed 3.2% to $5.82 and Synlait Milk was up 2.7% at $3.37, after Fonterra boss Miles Hurrell said strong milk prices were likely to continue.

Skellerup Holdings was up 3.8% at $5.70, and winemaker Delegat Group rose 3.5% to $14.74.

Cancer diagnostics firm Pacific Edge was in a trading halt while it completed a placement of $60m to institutional investors.

The market was broadly positive with a wide range of stocks moving higher.

Shares in health and beauty brand Me Today fell 6% to 7.8 cents as it discovered a key customer of its new acquisition, King Honey, was holding much more stock than the company had expected after doing due diligence.

As a result, Me Today is now expecting sales to be “considerably less than anticipated” and said it was “in discussions with the vendor in respect to this level of inventory”.

The kiwi dollar fell slightly throughout the day and was trading at 69.98 US cents at 3pm in Wellington, down from 70.23 cents yesterday.

Tags: Market Close

« NZ shares up with Evergrande lurking in backgroundPacific Edge up 6%; while index dips »

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