MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares gain; OceanaGold, Trade Me rise

Feb. 26 (BusinessDesk) – New Zealand shares rose as OceanaGold bounced back on optimism it will resolve a tax dispute in the Philippines and auction Trade Me gained to a record.

The NZX 50 Index rose 12.47 points, or 0.3 percent, to 4238.91. Within the index, 21 stocks rose, 19 fell and 10 were unchanged. Turnover was a higher-than-average $165 million, led by trading in Telecom, Fletcher Building and Auckland International Airport.

OceanaGold rose 8.7 percent to $3. Yesterday the miner said transportation of copper-gold concentrate from its Didipio Mine in Luzon, the Philippines, has been temporarily suspended over a tax dispute. Didipio is the first project to be built and commence operations in the Philippines under that nation’s Financial and Technical Assistance Agreement.

“We’re of the view that is just a timing issue – they will get it resolved,” said David Price, a broker at Forsyth Barr. Also helping, spot gold gained, having fallen in recent weeks, he said.

Trade Me rose 5.9 percent to $4.70, a record-high close. The stock had weakened after the company posted its interim results on Feb. 20, lifting earnings by 2.7 percent and saying trading so far in the second half was consistent with the first half.

“The local market would be underweight the stock, which fell away after the result,” Price said. “The outlook was probably not as strong as the market had been looking for.”

PGG Wrightson, the rural services company, fell 4.7 percent to 41 cents ahead of its first-half results tomorrow.

Tower declined 0.5 percent to $1.89 after fund manager Fisher Funds agreed to buy it Tower Investments unit for $79 million.

“The reaction looks a little disappointing given the price they achieved,” Price said.

Telecom rose 1.1 percent to $2.32 and was the most traded stock by value. Heartland bank rose 1.4 percent to 73 cents, having declined yesterday when it posted a gain in profit helped by reduced expenses.

Air New Zealand rose 4.7 percent to $1.32 and Vital Healthcare gained 3.1 percent to $1.33.

Pumpkin Patch, the children’s clothing chain, led declines in some retailers, falling 2.1 percent to $1.37. Warehouse Group fell 2 percent to $3.36.

Delegat’s Group rose 1.5 percent to $3.36 after the wine maker lifted first-half profit by 31 percent, increasing sales of wine in North America and Europe and keeping expenses in check.

Northland Port fell 4.4 percent to $2.86 on light volume after reporting a 15 percent increase in first-half profit on increased export log volumes across the wharves at Marsden Point.

(BusinessDesk)

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