Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.3 percent to 4,900.1 as of the 4:10 p.m. close of trading in Sydney. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index advanced 0.3 percent to 3,469.38 in Wellington, its 15th day of advance. That’s the longest streak of consecutive gains since Bloomberg began collecting data on the index in 2001.
The following were among the most active shares in the market today. Stock symbols are in parentheses after company names.
Bandanna Energy Ltd. (BND AU) fell 1.6 percent to A$1.795. The company is preparing a A$1 billion sale of assets, with interested buyers comprising parties from India and China, the Australian Financial Review reported in its Street Talk column, without saying where it got the information.
Equinox Minerals Ltd. (EQN AU) gained 1.1 percent to A$7.43. Minmetals Resources Ltd. (1208 HK), a unit of China’s biggest metals trader, may need to raise its unsolicited cash offer for Equinox by about 29 percent to win over investors in the copper producer.
“If you’re long-term shareholders and willing to own this for the next two to three years, this offer, C$7 a share, is nothing,” said Huy Hoang, a fund manager at Singapore-based HDH Capital Management Pte, which owns about 1 million shares in Equinox. He said C$9 a share is just the “starting point.”
Extract Resources Ltd. (EXT AU) increased 3.1 percent to A$8.23. Extract’s Husab project in Namibia, expected to become one of the three biggest uranium mines in the world, will cost an estimated $1.66 billion to develop, the Australian explorer said. Extract, about 14 percent-owned by Rio Tinto Group, is talking with potential customers and has “identified several possible strategic contracting opportunities,” the company said.
Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU), the world’s second-largest mining company by sales, gained 0.8 percent to A$86.16. Rio may double a share buyback plan to $10 billion after purchasing $800 million of stock, or 16 percent of the program announced in February, Nomura International Ltd. said.
NZX Ltd. (NZX NZ) climbed 0.9 percent to NZ$2.18 in Wellington after the operator of the New Zealand stock exchange said share trading volume in March rose 24 percent from a year earlier.