NZ share market trading activity climbs in January, value falls

The level of activity on the NZX grew for a 17th month in January, though the value of transactions was lower than the same month last year.

The total number of trades rose 43 percent to 98,903 in January, with the daily average at 4,710, according to NZX's monthly shareholder metrics. The total value traded fell 8 percent to $2.1 billion in January from a year earlier, with the daily average down 3.6 percent to $102 million.

Of that, equity trading dominated, with total trades up 456 percent to 97,247, and the value traded down 7.6 percent to $2.1 billion. The debt market continued to struggle, with total trading down 17 percent to 1,656 and the value of debt trading down 23 percent to $50 million.

Interest in the bourse has increased since the government partially privatised electricity generator-retailers MightyRiverPower and Meridian Energy last year, and growing KiwiSaver funds have been able to introduce more liquidity to the market.

The number of listed equities slipped 0.6 percent to 166 in January from a year earlier, while debt securities fell 10 percent to 87. NZX's total listed securities slipped 4.4 percent to 259.

January was light for capital-raising, with $10 million of new equity across 13 events, and $34.3 million of new capital listed.

The stock market enjoyed a number of new listings last year, a trend which is expected to continue with the government sell-down of Genesis Energy still waiting in the wings.

The market value of all equity rose 23 percent to $84.6 billion, or 39 percent of gross domestic product as at Jan. 31, while the debt market was valued at $13.5 billion, or 6.2 percent of GDP, down 7.7 percent from a year earlier.

Derivatives trading also grew in the month, with lots traded up 111 percent to 4,195 and open interest, a measure of activity and liquidity, increasing 107 percent to 6,502 from January 2012.

NZX last traded at $1.25 on Wednesday, and has edged up 0.8 percent this year.

(BusinessDesk)

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