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NZ shares down, Sky TV continues to weaken

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 3/03/2017 Sophie Boot

New Zealand shares dipped, with Sky Network Television weaker after its merger with Vodafone NZ was denied, while A2 Milk Co and Synlait Milk gained on a closer supply deal.

The S&P/NZX50 Index dropped 14.97 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 7,160.86. Within the index, 25 stocks fell, 16 rose, and nine were unchanged. Turnover was $134.8 million.

Sky was the worst performer, down 2.7 per cent to $3.61. Port of Tauranga dropped 2.3 per cent to $4.29 and Stride Property declined 2.2 per cent to $1.80.

Kiwi Property Group dropped 0.4 per cent to $1.415, and NPT was unchanged at 63 cents. Negotiations between Kiwi Property Group and NPT over a property deal are progressing constructively but taking longer than expected, with a shareholder meeting now planned for April, NPT says.

Comvita was the best performer, up 2.4 per cent to $7.67.

A2 Milk Co gained 1.3 per cent to $2.40, while Synlait Milk rose 4.5 per cent to $3.24. A2 has bought an 8.2 per cent stake in Synlait at a small premium, building on an existing supply agreement between the milk marketer and dairy processor.

Restaurant Brands New Zealand rose 0.4 per cent to $5.35. It says it has gained approval from Yum! Brands, the parent company of Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, to acquire the only franchisee for those stores in Hawaii but the time taken for sign-off means full-year profit was at the lower end of guidance.

Outside the benchmark index, Tower was unchanged at $1.32. ASX-listed insurer Suncorp Group said its proposed takeover of the NZX-listed general insurer would be "unlikely to materially change the competitive dynamic" in New Zealand.

The offer, worth a total $219.3 million, trumps a $197 million deal already on the table and backed by Tower's board and major shareholders Salt Funds Management and ACC to sell to Canada's Fairfax Financial Holdings at $1.17 apiece.

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