The Reserve Bank of New Zealand surprised investors this morning with a 25 basis points reduction in the cash rate to 2.25%. The bank attributed the decision to falling inflation and weaker global growth especially in China and Europe.
The bank also stated that the dairy industry faces challenges due to soft prices and notably also stated that “domestic growth is expected to be supported by strong inward migration, tourism, a pipeline of construction activity and accommodative monetary policy”.
Tourism and migration especially from Asia continue to be boom areas for the New Zealand economy and one prime beneficiary over the long term looks to be SKYCITY Entertainment Group Limited-Ord (ASX: SKC).
Its flagship asset is the SkyCity casino, hotel and entertainment centre in downtown Auckland and it recently posted a bumper set of record-breaking half-year results of double-digit growth across the board. The group also has assets in Adelaide and continues to invest heavily with around $NZ 700 million earmarked for more hotel and other metropolitan developments in Auckland.
Just a small lift in tourism numbers can have a big lift on the bottom line of companies like SkyCity, which still trades on an attractive valuation around 15x estimated earnings with a dividend yield likely to deliver more than 5% over the coming year.
I remain bullish on the outlook for this business as its Auckland SkyCity asset has a wide moat and some powerful tailwinds as tourism increases and the New Zealand dollar continues to fall.
Another prime beneficiary of a falling NZ dollar and genuinely fast-growing tourism numbers with a wide moat is Auckland International Airport Ltd (ASX: AKL).
The stock has been flying high over the course of the past year as it too revealed a bumper set of half-year results supported by huge growth in passenger numbers.
Just in January 2016, Auckland Airport posted some incredible passenger growth numbers:
- International passengers up 9.3% over the prior month of December 2015, which itself was a record breaker
- Visitors from China up a whopping 47.3% over the prior corresponding period (pcp)
- More Chinese visitors than any other nation (excluding Australia)
- US visitors up 12.2% on pcp
- In January 2016 international passengers averaged 28,800 per day, an increase of 2,400 over January 2015
Unsurprisingly, Auckland Airport is highly valued by investors and trades on around 34X analysts’ estimates for forward earnings.
On that basis I would prefer the value in SkyCity, although I expect both businesses will continue to perform well as the Reserve Bank of New Zealand leaves the door open to more rate cuts and significant falls in the NZ dollar.
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Motley Fool contributor Tom Richardson has no position in any stocks mentioned.
You can find Tom on Twitter @tommyr345
Unless otherwise noted, the author does not have a position in any stocks mentioned by the author in the comments below. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.