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Spark shares jump after selling 70% of TowerCo for $900m

An American pension fund company snapping up 70% of TowerCo in a $900 million deal with Spark helped lift the company's shares on the equities market today – but the general mood was still subdued ahead of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s monetary policy announcement tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 12th 2022, 5:55PM

by BusinessDesk

The S&P/NZX 50 Index fell 2.7 points and was flat at 11,106.14. Turnover was $111.2m.

Mark Lister, head of private wealth research at Craigs Investment Partners said NZ’s market was looking lacklustre this week – especially after the “cracker” time the market had last week. “

Markets are just a little bit gun-shy with some of these big announcements coming up,” he said.

“The official cash rate announcement from the Reserve Bank will be big news tomorrow as it’ll be the highest OCR we've had for some years.”

Today, the NZ dollar was trading at 61.18 US cents at 3pm in Wellington, down from 61.68 cents yesterday.The trade-weighted index was at 70.12, from  70.31 yesterday.

On the market front, telecommunications company Spark jumped up the index after it announced it had found a buyer for TowerCo.

The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board in America is set to pay $900 million for 70% of the company, with Spark still retaining a 30% stake in the subsidiary.

It ended the day up 1.9% to $4.99 with over 3,400 trades and $21.2m traded. Lister said the sale was “big news” for Spark and a very attractive price for the telco. “It bodes well for Spark shareholders because it means they can either pay down some debt – which is good money on the interest bill – or they can return some capital to shareholders in some shape or form,” he said. “The shareholders are likely to sort of get some benefits in some way.”

Church management software Pushpay was down 3.9% to $1.23 today as was metal supplier Vulcan Steel, which fell 3.7% to $8.74.

Media company NZME was up 5% to $1.26 and clothing retailer Hallenstein Glasson rose 2.4% to $5.47.

Summerset Group was down 2.7% to $9.97 at the end of the day.

The retirement village operator and developer’s shares were up yesterday after the company told the NZX that it had sold 511 units in the six months ended June 30 – its second-biggest first-half sales volume.

Fleet management company Eroad was down 5% to $2.09 at the end of the day, the second day this week the stock has fallen after lifting 50% at the end of last week from a record low.

Lister said Eroad had proven itself in 2022 to be an “incredibly volatile stock”. Last week’s rebound was probably due to some investors selling the stock to get a better price than it was two weeks ago when the company’s share price had declined 77% – an all-time low for the company.

Tags: Market Close

« Shares drop as investors wait for RBNZ decisionNZ market not bothered by RBNZ hike »

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Last updated: 15 August 2022 8:19am

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