Reserve Bank hangs on to NZClear, turns down NZX bid

The central bank will invest in a new platform for NZClear.

See also: RBNZ rejected more than $15m for NZClear: analyst

The Reserve Bank will keep and upgrade its NZClear security settlement and depository business after a tender didn't attract "suitable bids," including an offer from stock market operator [NZX].

The central bank will invest in a new platform for NZClear, which provides clearing and settlement services for high-value debt securities and equities, after none of the bids for the system met its service requirements and commercial terms, the central bank said in a statement. The Reserve Bank looked at selling NZClear after a strategic review in 2014 found it wasn't a core business for the bank and required significant investment.

The new NZClear platform will be separate from the bank's Exchange Settlement Account System, which processes payments and also needed upgrading.

NZClear generated a net profit of $2.8 million on revenue of almost $7 million in the year ended June 30, 2015, up from a profit of $2.4 million on sales of $6 million in the previous year owing to increased trading through the system.

In a separate statement, NZX said it had planned to operate a single clearing and settlement system for the New Zealand market but its offer wasn't accepted.