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NZ shares start week up, led by Infratil

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 19/12/2016 Sophie Boot
Within the index, 29 stocks rose, 14 fell and seven were unchanged © AAP Image/Elise Scott Within the index, 29 stocks rose, 14 fell and seven were unchanged

New Zealand shares rose, led by Infratil and Tegel Group Holdings, while A2 Milk extended its decline.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index gained 26.01 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 6,786.25. Within the index, 29 stocks rose, 14 fell and seven were unchanged. Turnover was $94 million.

Infratil led the index, up 3.7 per cent to $2.695, having dropped 5 cents to $2.60 on Friday. Tegel gained 3 per cent to $1.36.

The shares hit a record low $1.29 last Thursday after the poultry producer posted a 4 per cent decline in first-half earnings as margins were squeezed by a glut of chicken keeping domestic prices low.

Chorus gained 1.4 per cent to $3.94. The telecommunications network operator has named Telstra executive Kate McKenzie as its new chief executive, replacing Mark Ratcliffe who led its split from Telecom five years ago.

"The stock has had a good couple of sessions, I don't think the movement today is anything to do with the appointment, it has just bounced off its lows," said James Lindsay, senior portfolio manager at Nikko Asset Management.

Chorus shares reached an 11-month low of $3.505 in mid-November, but have gained since then.

Genesis Energy rose 2.7 per cent to $2.06 and Sky TV advanced 2.2 per cent to $4.17.

A2 Milk Co was the worst performer on the index, down 3.7 per cent to $2.07, while Comvita was the second-worst performer, dropping 1.7 per cent to $8.60.

"They continue to be weak, Bellamy's is yet to come out with any news - it's boggling peoples' minds about why they are taking so long, it's an unusually long delay and I can't see too many positive things out of that," Lindsay said.

"It's having an impact on the perception of A2 and Comvita, it might have implications on the grey channel of selling that sort of product into Asia."

Ebos Group dropped 1.7 per cent to $16.20 and Vista Group International fell 1.5 per cent to $5.42

Outside the benchmark index, Airwork Holdings was unchanged at $4.85 and is up 24 per cent this year. Zhejiang Rifa Holding Group said it has acceptances for 59 per cent of Airwork shares in its partial takeover of the Auckland-based aircraft services business.

It has offered to buy up to 75 per cent of the shares at $5.40, valuing the target company at $271 million.

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