MARKET CLOSE NZ shares extend slide as Meridian IPO looms

New Zealand shares extended their decline, led by Pumpkin Patch, Chorus and MightyRiverPower as investors sold shares in preparation for the partial privatisation of Meridian Energy shares and as weak card spending figures weighed on retailers.

The NZX 50 Index fell 28.045 points, or 0.6 percent, to 4710.633. Within the index, 33 stocks fell, 12 rose and five were unchanged. Turnover was $130 million.

The retail component of the government’s sale of 49 percent of Meridian closes on Oct. 18 while the institutional offer and bookbuild starts Oct. 21. Listing of the instalment receipts is expected to be on Oct. 29 following what will be a record New Zealand initial public offering.

MightyRiverPower dropped 1.4 percent to $2.20 and Contact Energy declined 0.2 percent to $5.29. Chorus fell about 3 percent to $2.60.

“We’re still seeing a number of investors raising cash for Meridian,” said Grant Williamson, a director at Hamilton Hindin Greene. There’s also “a little bit of nervousness about Washington and the stupid games they are playing. Markets just hate uncertainty.”

Pumpkin Patch, the children’s clothing chain, fell 3.7 percent to $1.03, leading declines among some retailers after government figures showed kiwis’ retail spending on credit, debit and store cards dropped 0.8 percent last month, the first decline since March, led by furniture, hardware, appliances and clothing. It was the biggest decline since July 2012.

“That’s maybe seen the gloss come off one or two of the listed retailers,” Williamson said.

Kathmandu, the outdoor equipment chain, fell 1.1 percent to $3.51 and Hallenstein Glasson Holdings fell 1 percent to $4.86. Trade Me fell 0.9 percent to $4.53 after the auction website suffered an outage.

Michael Hill International declined 0.7 percent to $$1.41 and Restaurant Brands New Zealand fell 0.4 percent to $2.86.

Mainfreight fell 0.4 percent to $11.55. The transport group said late in the day that it had uncovered a misappropriation by a credit controller at its Daily Freight unit, which had been referred to the police. The amount involved wasn’t material.

Infratil fell 0.4 percent to $2.51 after the investment group said it was in talks with the Scottish government to sell its unprofitable Glasgow Prestwick Airport. Its efforts to sell Manston Kent Airport are ongoing, it said. Some analysts have already written the value of its European airports business down to zero.

“The airport’s just not material any longer,” Williamson said. “From an investors viewpoint it is nice to get it tidied up.”

Goodman Property Trust rose 0.5 percent to $1.02 after the country’s biggest listed property investor by market value said it was planning two developments at Christchurch’s Glassworks Industry Park for a combined cost of some $20.7 million.

OceanaGold fell 2.3 percent to $1.67. The operator of the Macraes gold field has agreed to acquire all the shares in Canadian gold miner Pacific Rim Mining Corp that it doesn’t already own in a deal valued at C$10.2 million.

Fletcher Building edged up 0.2 percent to $9.38 and Telecom fell 0.4 percent to $2.30.


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