Market close: EBOS continues its roll after completing capital raise

Well-established companies EBOS Group and Mainfreight provided the impetus as the New Zealand sharemarket closed flat a day before the Christmas close.

It looked like a mini-Santa rally had begun, but the S&P/NZX 50 Index had a late fall in the last half-hour matching session and finished down 2.51 points or 0.02 per cent at 12,862.71. It reached an intraday high of 12,921.81 points.

There were 78 gainers and 59 decliners over the whole market but pre-Christmas trading was again light, with 24.95 million shares worth $105.84 million changing hands.

EBOS Group, completing its capital raising of $779m, rose another 63c to $39.80 and is close to breaking $40 for the first time.

Mainfreight picked up $1 to $91 after it was disclosed to the market that its managing director Don Braid had bought 10,000 shares and his holding was now 2.88 million shares worth more than $262m.

Shane Solly, portfolio manager with Harbour Asset Management, said it’s always a positive signal when a person deep in the business like Braid is buying more stock.

Travel and leisure stocks had a rebound after they showed some strength in offshore markets overnight. Online travel provider Serko rose 29c or 4.33 per cent to $6.99; SkyCity Entertainment was up 8c or 2.68 per cent to $3.07; and Air New Zealand gained 2c to $1.525.

SkyCity told the market it is expanding its online gaming interests. SkyCity is providing €25m ($41.69m) to Gaming Innovation Group which is buying France-Pari/Sportnco. SkyCity will have an 11 per cent stake in Gaming Innovation which is listed on the Oslo and Stockholm stock exchanges.

Chorus gained 13c or 1.85 per cent to $7.14; Ryman Healthcare was up 13c to $12.20; and fellow retirement village operator Summerset Group Holdings increased 10c to $12.95.

PGG Wrightson continued a good run, rising 7c to $4.98; Sky Network Television picked up 7c or 2.71 per cent to $2.65; and TradeWindow collected 3c to $1.89.

South Port New Zealand, which operates at Bluff, recovered the ground it lost the day before, rising 20c or 2.38 per cent to $8.60.

Market leader Fisher and Paykel Healthcare had a late turnaround, falling 11c to $32.85 after reaching an intraday high of $33.14. Mercury Energy was down 6.5c to $6.12; a2 Milk declined 9c to $5.81; and Fletcher Building decreased 5c to $7.10.

Restaurant Brands fell 53c or 3.58 per cent to $14.26; Napier Port declined 5c to $3.04; NZX shed 4c or 2.16 per cent to $1.81; Pacific Edge was down 4c or 3.01 per cent to $1.29; hospitality group Savor slipped 7c or 12.96 per cent to 47c; and Tourism Holdings was down 5c to $2.95..

Goodman Property Trust has bought a 3.2ha site in Albany to build a second parcel processing centre for NZ Post. Another centre is under way in Mt Roskill to add to Goodman’s $440m worth of development activity. Goodman has also bought the Oji Fibre Solutions facility in Penrose for $605m and its share price was down 4.5c to $2.555.

Among other property companies Property for Industry rose 2.5c $2.93; Precinct Properties was up 2.5c to $1.64; and Vital Healthcare Property Trust was down 5c to $3.07.

Scott Technology fell another 16c or 4.91 per cent to $3.10 even though it has some solid manufacturing contracts under its belt and reached a high of $3.76 on December 8.

Promisia Healthcare has signed a conditional agreement to buy the Christchurch Aldwins House, accommodating 145 residents, for $13m and its share price was unchanged at 0.001c.

Two companies developed in New Zealand but listed on the Nasdaq Composite Index are nearing Christmas on a strong note. Rocket Lab USA increased to US$12.36 ($18.14) overnight after listing at US$10 and reaching a high of $20.60 on September 9. Allbirds is at US$17.41 after listing at US$15 and quickly going to $28.89.

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