South Island companies rise in value

The value of South Island companies jumped in the third quarter as the Christchurch earthquake rebuild continued to gather pace with new commercial development plans for the central business district.

Paul Munro, a partner with accountancy firm Deloitte, said he was aware of six new projects for the CBD which would add strength to the central city rebuild, particularly on the western side between Cathedral Square and the Avon River.

The projects included single buildings or the development of larger plots as has been encouraged by the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority.

Munro said developers were talking to potential tenants. "They've got to know what they're doing meets the market."

He made his comments as part of Deloitte's release of its September quarter South Island share index of 30 companies.

The companies' combined value rose $782.1 million or 16.9 per cent to $5.405 billion. The value of the 30 firms rose only 0.6 per cent in the June quarter.

The increase in the September quarter included strong performances across the board.

But top of the pack were the manufacturing and distribution and property sectors, with growth of 13.1 per cent and 17.6 per cent respectively.

The two sectors achieved their highest closing values since the index commenced in December 2006.

Manufacturing, while doing well, continued to battle the high New Zealand dollar and the effects of the continuing global downturn, Munro said.

The property sector had been helped by the performance of property-based Ryman Healthcare, gaining $320 million in market capitalisaton or 18.5 per cent.

The Ryman retirement villages in Christchurch were relatively untouched by the earthquakes of 2010-11.

Kathmandu Holdings had a strong quarter, gaining $96.3m in capitalisation.

The biggest decline came from NZ Windfarms, which lost $6.1m in market capitalisation to $40.3m.