Sellers lighten their scrip load

SELLERS well and truly trounced buyers with a chunk of the disposals in companies yet to make money.

SELLERS well and truly trounced buyers with a chunk of the disposals in companies yet to make money.

The scorecard registered $39 million to $132 million in favour of sellers.

MYOB co-founder Craig Winkler and Rodney Drury cashed in some Xero scrip following its extraordinary run since recently joining local lists after starting life on the New Zealand stock exchange.

The fledgling accounting software group's 52-week low on the NZX was about $1.92, with a high of around $4.61. Listed on these shores in November, the scrip yesterday touched $6.20, which placed a valuation of $727 million on a company that lost $5.4 million on sales of $13.4 million in the September half year.

Loss-incurrer No. 2 was NEXTDC, set up to establish independent data centres with the aim of making money out of cloud computing.

Founder Bevan Slattery - self-styled as one of Australia's most successful information technology and internet entrepreneurs - disposed of nearly $28 million of stock. That cut his stake from 24 per cent to about 15 per cent in a group that lost nearly $11 million in the June year.

Slattery said he would apply for up to $22 million of stock in Asia Pacific Data Centre REIT - a still-to-list data centre property fund established by NEXTDC. The stock was fetching $2.04 before Slattery's sale was reported, and after sold down to $1.76, closing yesterday at $1.85.

Among buyers, Kerry Stokes' interests bought more Seven West Media and Gerald Harvey topped up his stake in his retailing chain.

Graham Goldsmith opened his account in SEEK following his appointment to the board last month while chairman Neil Chatfield bought 10,000 shares.

A clutch of Northern Star Resources directors flogged off stock big time; institutions were the buyers.

InvestMet - associated with Michael Fotios - cut its stake from 10 per cent to 5 per cent and the board-related sales were booked at $1.35 a share. On Friday, the shares closed at $1.23.

Computershare chairman Christopher Morris and sister Penelope Maclagan collected some small change - $11.7 million.

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