NZX first-half activity shows boosted volume, falling value

NZX chief executive Tim Bennett

The volume of cash trading on the NZX [NZX] rose 22 percent in the first six months of the year, compared to a year earlier, with 12 new listings across its debt and equities markets, including four companies debuting on the bourse. The dollar value of cash trading declined. 

There were 644,373 trades in the six months ended June 30, of which 599,581 were worth less than $50,000, up 24 percent from the year earlier, according to the Wellington-based stock market operator's half year shareholder metrics. The total value traded slipped 16 percent in the first half to $17.6 billion, while the average daily value fell 16 percent to $144 million.

The local market is experiencing a flurry of listings, with total equity securities listed up 0.6 percent to 166, from a year earlier, while listed debt slipped 6.6 percent to 85 securities. In the first half, Intueri Education Group, the private tertiary education company, Genesis Energy, the last of the government's power companies to be partially privatised, Serko, a travel booking firm and Gentrack, an airport and utilities software developer, all debuted on the bourse, while eight companies listed debt, including bonds issued by Auckland International Airport, Infratil and Sky Network Television.

New capital listed slipped 8.1 percent to $3.52 billion, in part reflecting last year's MightyRiverPower debut, NZX said. Total capital raised by all issuers fell 8 percent to $815 million, with the number of capital raising events falling 19 percent to 96 in the first half. 

The NZX 50 Index advanced 16 percent with equity market capitalisation up 21 percent to $88.4 billion, or 39 percent of gross domestic product. Listed debt market capitalisation fell 2.5 percent to $13.5 billion, or 5.9 percent of GDP, in the first half. 

In the second quarter the regulatory arm of NZX issued 13 trading halts, up from nine in the first three months of the year, had 10 ongoing investigations in relation to issuers, up from eight in the first quarter, and two price enquiries, down from three. The company began 32 issuer-related investigations in the second quarter, from 28 the previous quarter. 

Investigations and inquiries in relation to market participants jumped to 21, from nine the previous quarter, with five ongoing investigations at the end of the quarter, up from one in the first quarter. 

The shares of NZX were unchanged at $1.30 and have advanced 4.8 percent year to date. It has an average rating of "sell", according to three analysts surveyed by Reuters, with a median price target of $1.27. 

(BusinessDesk)

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