BlackRock ups Fletcher Stake to 5pc

Friday, January 15th, 2016
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BlackRock, the world’s largest investment manager, has tweaked its stake in Fletcher Building back above the 5 per cent substantial shareholder mark again.

The US headquartered fund manager first became a substantial shareholder in the Auckland-based construction and building supplies firm through various related companies in March last year.

It had built up the stake from November 2014, including purchases at between $8.04 and $8.97 per share.

Its latest move lifted its shareholding to 5 per cent after a number of trades over the past two weeks see-sawed to just below and just above the substantial shareholding mark, according to notices lodged with the NZX.

A consensus of analysts on Reuters rate the stock a ‘hold’ with a median price target of $8.30.

At its November annual meeting Fletcher’s board forecast operating earnings for the 2016 financial year in the range of $650 million to $690m, the same as its previous year forecast.

Meantime, New York-listed BlackRock’s Australian subsidiary lowered its stake in casino and hotel operator SkyCity Entertainment Group from 7 per cent to 6 per cent late last month.

The investment manager also reduced its substantial shareholding in Sky TV from 5.4 per cent to just under 5 per cent in August last year. Its other New Zealand holdings include a 6.3 per cent stake in telco Spark and 5 per cent of mining company OceanaGold Corp.

BlackRock was founded in 1988 by a group of Wall St bankers including current chairman and chief executive Larry Fink. It has $US4.5 trillion of assets under management.

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