The leading energy stocks Contact and Meridian powered into life to provide the New Zealand sharemarket with a small gain, though the market ran out of puff by the end of the day.
The S&P/NZX 50 Index closed at 12,368.13, up 19.29 points or 0.16 per cent, after reaching an intraday high of 12,432.98. There were 75 gainers and 66 declines across the whole market on strong volume of 78.86 million share transactions worth $278.07 million.
There was a big trade in the Smartshares Total World (NZ$ hedged) Exchange Traded Fund with 10.2m units worth $31.27m changing hands. The fund’s price increased 1.8c to $3.072.
Matt Goodson, managing director of Salt Funds Management, said it was a fairly flat and quiet day on the market. But the so-called low beta energy stocks, particularly Meridian, made some big moves.
“As always, there was no news out there and I put it down to a little bit of randomness from the large offshore exchange traded funds. The key moment will be just after Easter when the reweighting of the global clean energy fund is formalised. The implementation takes place on April 16 and whether there has been enough pre-trading in Contact and Meridian, we will have to wait and see,” said Goodson.
Contact increased 10c to $6.86, Meridian rose 17.5c or 3.43 per cent to $5.28; while Genesis Energy was down 11c or 3.17 per cent to $3.36 and Vector declined 8.8c or 2.16 per cent to $3.98.
Mainfreight was up 55c to $66.75; Auckland International Airport gained 8.5c to $7.375; Summerset Group Holdings rose 16c to $11.86; and online travel provider Serko continued its strong run, surging 24c or 3.55 per cent to a new high of $7.01.
Upmarket developer Precinct Properties New Zealand rose 4.5c or 4.62 per cent to $1.695 after announcing it is taking its management in-house. Precinct is paying $215m to previous external manager AMP Haumi Management – a joint venture between AMP Capital and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority – for cancelling the services agreement.
The move, according to Precinct, will save $14.6m a year and add 6 per cent to earnings. Goodson said there has been a trend lately for properties companies “to internalise its management” and to better align incentive payments.
“One of the criticisms of external managers is that when property values rise due to falling cap rates the incentive payments increase sharply – often not of the manager’s doing. Lately values have risen because of falling interest rates,” he said.
Among other property companies, Asset Plus increased 1.5c or 4.62 per cent to 34c; while Property for Industry was down 2.5c to $2.79 and Argosy declined 2c to $1.435.
Air New Zealand fell 4.5c or 2.55 per cent to $1.72 following the news of a new Covid cluster in Brisbane, and the timing for starting a transtasman travel bubble again becomes uncertain. Other re-opening stocks Tourism Holdings was down 8c or 3.1 per cent to $2.50, and SkyCity Entertainment declined 4c to $3.41.
Synlait Milk slumped 21c or 5.92 per cent to $3.34, equivalent to its net tangible assets, after reporting a 76 per cent fall in net profit to $6.4m on increased revenue of $664.2m, for the six months ending January.
Synlait’s infant formula sales were down 16 per cent and the company said it is continuing to experience significant uncertainty and volatility within its business, particularly concerning a2 Milk’s expected demand for the remainder of the 2021 and 2022 financial years. A2 Milk, Synlait’s biggest customer and shareholder, fell another 7c to $8.68.
My Food Bag continues a turnaround, rising 4c or 2.55 per cent to $1.61, after reaching a low of $1.52 since listing.
Other gainers were The Warehouse Group, up 12c or 3.3 per cent to $3.76; Comvita gaining 7c or 2.22 per cent to $3.22; Marsden Maritime Holdings, owner of Northport, picking up 12c or 1.95 per cent to $6.26; Scott Technology increasing 6c or 2.94 per cent to $2.10; and Accordant Group (formerly Allied Work Force) adding 4c or 3.13 per cent to $1.32.
Hallenstein Glasson increased 7c to $7.45 after providing a strong half-year result last Friday.
Delegat Group was down 20c to $14.49; Sanford fell 10c or 2.16 per cent to $4.53, PGG Wrightson slipped 5c to $3.30; and Chorus decreased 9c to $7.21.
Another telecommunications company Vital has formed a partnership with Australian contractor Ventia, which also operates in New Zealand, and Vital’s share price was up 1c to 83c.
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