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NZ stocks gain, boosted by Heartland Bank

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 10/05/2017 Rebecca Howard

New Zealand stocks gained on Wednesday, led by local lender Heartland Bank for a second day as its rival Australian-owned banks faced new deposit levies across the Tasman. © Getty Images New Zealand stocks gained on Wednesday, led by local lender Heartland Bank for a second day as its rival Australian-owned banks faced new deposit levies across the Tasman. New Zealand stocks gained on Wednesday, led by local lender Heartland Bank for a second day as its rival Australian-owned banks faced new deposit levies across the Tasman.

However, Comvita extended its decline.

The S&P/NZX 50 index rose 12 points or 0.2 per cent to 7424.200. Within the index, 30 stocks rose, seven were unchanged and 13 fell. Turnover was $207 million.

Heartland Bank led the index higher, adding 3.4 per cent to $1.81. It has the widest net interest margins among local banks as it eschews much of the mortgage market for more profitable, but riskier, business.

Its larger Australian rivals, which dominate the mortgage market, are facing increased regulatory costs and on Tuesday the Australian government announced a deposit levy across the Tasman.

A2 Milk added 1.9 per cent to $3.67. Units in the Fonterra Shareholders' Fund rose 1.7 per cent at $5.99 after Fonterra announced a higher forecast payment for Australian suppliers in the 2017/18 season.

Retirement and aged care operators were mixed, with Summerset Group up 1.4 per cent to $5.04 and the recently listed Oceania Healthcare climbing 5.1 per cent to 82 cents. Ryman Healthcare, the biggest listed retirement village operator, slipped 0.6 per cent to $8.43.

"We have seen a bit of a bounce in the retirement sectors," said Brad Gordon, investment adviser for Hobson Wealth Partners.

Mr Gordon said the index was also supported by Chorus, which added 1.3 per cent to $4.64 and remains in favour after joining Australia's benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index.

On the downside, Comvita continues to struggle, falling 3.6 per cent to $5.88 in the biggest decline on the benchmark index as investors continue to fret about the potential impact of the myrtle rust fungal plant.

Xero rose 1.6 per cent to $21.85 as investors take positions ahead of its results Thursday, while Z Energy, which is also reporting Thursday, added 0.4 per cent to $7.83.

New Zealand's Reserve Bank is due to published its monetary policy statement Thursday. Economists are expecting rates to remain on hold at a record low 1.75 per cent.

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