NZ stocks farewell 2015 at record high

  • 31/12/2015
NZ stocks farewell 2015 at record high

By Sophie Boot

New Zealand shares have edged up slightly to a record on the last day of the year.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index rose 4.87 points, or 0.08 percent, to 6324.26 today. Within the index, 29 stocks rose, 15 fell and six were unchanged. Turnover was $62.6 million in abbreviated trading.

The best performer was Summerset Group, up 2 percent to $4.08, with Orion Health rising 1.9 percent to $3.20 and NZX up 1.9 percent to $1.07. Orion is the worst performer on the NZX 50 for the year, down 45 percent.

Chorus, which advanced 0.5 percent to $3.91, is up 46 percent for the year.

Rickey Ward, NZ equity manager at JBWere, says the stock has been hampered by lagging regulation, before rebounding after the regulator imposed less onerous pricing for access to its copper lines.

"What a turn-around for a stock no-one wanted to own," Mr Ward said. "All of a sudden it's an income-generating investment, which it should have been in the first place, after you had to wait how many years for regulatory clarity."

A2 Milk fell 9.7 percent to a one-week low of $1.86, continuing its easing from its all-time high of $2.27 on Monday. It has risen 291 percent this year off strong Chinese demand for infant formula, making it the top performer on the NZX 50 Index.

"Fundamentally I believe the market says it's well and truly overvalued, it doesn't deserve to be here," Mr Ward said.

"It seems to be flow and momentum driven rather than anything fundamentally based.

"It's a bit like Xero, these are growth companies. They are growing, to their credit, but it's what multiple you want to pay on a company that is growing."

Property stocks fell, with Argosy Property down 3 percent to $1.145, Goodman Property Trust sliding 2 percent to $1.24, Vital Healthcare Property Trust slipping 1.1 percent to $1.87, and Kiwi Property Group declining 0.7 percent to $1.35.