10 May 2013

Respectable market debut for Mighty River Power

9:44 pm on 10 May 2013

Mighty River Power has made a respectable sharemarket debut in New Zealand and Australia.

Friday marks the first time in 14 years the New Zealand Government has floated a state-owned asset.

The company officially listed on the NZX at 12.30pm and began trading on the Australian Securities Exchange at 2pm (NZ time).

From left: Finance Minister Bill English, NZX chief executive Tim Bennett and State Owned Enterprises Minister Tony Ryall.

From left: Finance Minister Bill English, NZX chief executive Tim Bennett and State Owned Enterprises Minister Tony Ryall. Photo: RNZ

Mighty River Power shares were issued on Wednesday night at $2.50, but began trading at lunchtime for $2.73 before settling about 10 cents below that at the close of trade on Friday.

In Australia, shares in Mighty River Power were issued at $A2.16 each, opened at $A2.21 and closed at $A2.17.

The Government has reaped $1.7 billion from the sale of 49% of the company to nearly 114,000 New Zealand investors.

Mighty River Power will have the largest share register of any New Zealand company on the NZX.

Cabinet ministers were at the stock exchange in Wellington for the listing. Finance Minister Bill English said the day is special not just for Mighty River Power, but also for the capital markets.

Mr English said the shares are trading within the expected range, but many investors are looking at Mighty River Power in the long-term.

Mighty River Power chairperson Joan Withers said Friday is a major milestone and would provide real depth and diversity in the company's shareholding.

Analysts say institutional investors, both domestic and foreign, did not get as many shares as they would have liked in the initial allocation.

Christchurch sharebroker says price expected

A Christchurch sharebroker says shareholders in Mighty River Power will be taking a long-term view of the company's share price.

Director at Hamilton Hinden Green, Grant Williamson, says the price is what was expected.

He says Friday's trading was dominated by large institutional buyers and sellers.

Shareholders' Association view

If the float is successful, the Shareholders' Association said it could encourage other companies to follow suit.

Chair John Hawkins said sharemarket returns have been good for the past year and people should think about investing.

However, Mr Hawkins told Radio New Zealand's Morning Report programme on Friday that potential investors will want more than just energy companies to put their money into and he expects other big firms to consider floating their stock.