Shares in the partially-privatised Genesis Energy have soared 18 per cent at their debut listing on the NZX, buoying other listed energy companies in the process.
Genesis climbed 27.5 NZ cents to $NZ1.825 after listing on Thursday afternoon, giving the 49 per cent stake that was sold an immediate gain of about $NZ135 million ($A125.45 million).
Heavy public interest in the last chapter of the government’s partial privatisation program briefly crashed the NZX website within half an hour of the listing.
Fellow state-controlled power companies Meridian Energy and Mighty River Power also advanced after the listing, rising 1.7 per cent to $NZ1.175 and 0.9 per cent to $NZ2.205, respectively.
Contact Energy, which was fully privatised in 1999, gained 1.6 per cent to $NZ5.59 while Infratil-controlled TrustPower gained 0.5 per cent to $NZ6.48.
“What it has done is created demand for other electricity generators listed on the market as well,” said Grant Williamson, director at Hamilton Hindin Greene.
“It’s a very nice premium for investors who have got shares.”
Mr Williamson expected the share price to take two weeks to settle, as supply and demand for the stock evened out.
“Certainly, looking at the future dividend yield and such like the stock still doesn’t look that expensive even at these levels,” he said.
“There will be good interest in the shares, particularly from income investors.”
Speaking at a listing ceremony at the NZX headquarters in Wellington, Finance Minister Bill English said “taxpayers get a good deal and we believe we’ve got a pretty good deal across the whole program”, referring to the four asset sales over the last 13 months, which have raised a total of $NZ4.7 billion.
“We went to the market where $NZ1.55 was a better price than expected but markets shift,” said Mr English.
Green Party co-leader Russel Norman said the Genesis price stag showed taxpayers had “missed out on an additional $NZ130 million of revenue by the National government mispricing Genesis Energy”.
The sale of 49 per cent of Genesis raises $NZ733m and the company is the last of three vertically integrated electricity generator-retailers to be subject to partial privatisation in the last 13 months.