Summerset targets ASX listing and bigger investor pool

More than 20 times larger than in its home market here.

Summerset Group, New Zealand's second-largest listed retirement village operator and developer, plans to list on the Australian stock exchange, putting its shares in front of an investor pool more than 20 times larger than in its home market.

"The retirement village and aged care sector now accounts for nearly 8 percent of the NZX 50," Summerset chairman Rob Campbell says in a statement. "As a result we have seen increased Australian investor interest in Summerset."

Some $A1.46 trillion of shares are traded on Australia's exchange, compared with New Zealand's $72.6 billion bourse.

Shares in Wellington-based Summerset rose 0.3 percent to $3.20. The stock has surged 43 percent this year, taking the company's market capitalisation to $691 million. Shares in its larger rival Ryman Healthcare have gained 37 percent this year, while Metlifecare has risen 17 percent.

Ryman said last year it was also considering listing on the ASX as demand for its services grew.

The company cited estimates by Statistics New Zealand that the number of kiwis aged 75 or over will more than double to 516,000 over the next 20 years, boding well for the long-term prospects of rest-home operators.

Across the Tasman the outlook is similar, with the number aged 75-plus, doubling to 2.8 million.

Shares in Summerset are rated 'outperform' according to the consensus forecast of five analysts polled by Reuters.

Summerset says it is not seeking to raise any new capital through its Australian listing as it is able to internally fund its target of building 300 retirement units a year by 2015.