4 May 2013

Late rush as Mighty River share offer closes

8:00 pm on 4 May 2013

Sharebrokers had a late rush of people wanting to apply for Mighty River Power shares before the offer closed at 5pm on Friday.

The exact number of applications won't be known until later next week.

The Government's sale of 49% of the state-owned power company has been affected by the Labour and Green parties' plan to overhaul the energy sector if elected; analysts say the proposals have spooked some investors.

However, one sharebroker at ASB Securities says he took more than 70 phone calls from people inquiring about Mighty River shares in the first two hours of business on Friday.

Hamilton Hindin Green director James Smalley says a late rush is not uncommon, as investors like to give themselves as much time as possible before making a decision.

State-Owned Enterprises Minister Tony Ryall says under the Securities Act, any data related to share demand can't be released until next week.

Mr Ryall says the demand will then be assessed and the final price and allocation of shares decided on.

Prime Minister John Key says he is looking forward to Mighty River Power being listed on the stock exchange, expected to be on 10 May.

Now that the offer has closed, Mr Key says the next step in the process is known as the institutional book-build, which gives institutional investors in New Zealand and overseas a chance to express interest in buying shares.

Other state-owned power companies Genesis Energy and Meridian Energy are also being prepared for sale.