NZ shares drop as Brexit fears hit market
New Zealand shares fell as the local bourse joined a global selloff in equity markets amid concern Britain could leave the European Union in a move that could lead to the further splintering of the regional bloc. Coats Group, Orion Health Group and Metlifecare led the decline.
The S&P/NZX50 Index fell 47.51 points, or 0.7 percent, to 6924.27. Within the index, 37 stocks fell, 11 rose and two were unchanged. Turnover was $93 million, with the Queen's Birthday holiday in Australia keeping Australian investors on the sidelines.
Asian equity markets were a sea of red, with the Nikkei 225 Index down 3.2 percent in afternoon trading and Hong Kong's Hang Seng down 2.6 percent. Britain votes on June 23 on whether to leave the EU.
Coats, which is due to de-list from the NZX and ASX on June 24, fell 4.4 percent to 55 cents, leading the index lower. Orion declined 3.1 percent to $4.75 and Metlifecare fell 2.6 percent to $5.70.
Metro Performance Glass declined 2.2 percent to $1.79 and Air New Zealand fell 2 percent to $2.175.
Spark fell 0.8 percent to $3.325.
Vital Healthcare Property Trust fell 1.8 percent to $2.25, Freightways declined 1.7 percent to $6.78 and Summerset Group dropped 1.7 percent to $4.55.
Restaurant Brands fell 1.6 percent to $5.48 after the rival Burger King chain, owned by Blackstone Group, widened its annual loss after taking a charge against its Kiwi Pacific joint venture and incurring higher finance and raw material costs.
Nuplex Industries rose 0.2 percent to $5.36.
TeamTalk dropped 8.3 percent to 55 cents, having touched a record low 48 cents after the telecommunications network company downgraded earnings guidance and said it won't pay a final dividend this year as its 2012 purchase of rural broadband provider Farmside continues to suck up capital.
GFNZ Group was unchanged at 5.6 cents. The finance company formerly known as Geneva Finance lifted annual profit 61 percent by growing its loan book while widening margins in a low-interest rate environment.
Airwork Holdings rose 1.1 percent to $4.75 after the aviation service provider raised its annual earnings guidance after signing new customers from its expanded fleet.
Kirkcaldie & Stains was unchanged at $3.26. Veteran corporate raider Ron Brierley's bid for Kirkcaldie & Stains has lapsed after he failed to attract enough acceptances from shareholders of the cashed-up retailer.