The number of sharemarket trades hit a record high in
December, capping off the best year for the New Zealand stock
market since 2004.
Typically a quieter time of year for the sharemarket,
December has seen more than $3.25 billion worth of securities
traded - the best December since 1986, when records began.
NZX records show the closest December in terms of trades was
in 2006, when $2.4 billion in trades took place.
BT Funds Management analyst Matt Goodson said the December
record was ''no surprise'' given the level of activity which
Topping the list for December's big deals was the sell-down
of the remaining 51% of Trade Me, owned by Australian media
company Fairfax, which saw $769 million worth of shares
The biggest takeover deal to happen this year - Haier's bid
for Fisher & Paykel Appliances - was also finalised in
$741.6 million in shares being sold.
The NZX 50 index has risen more than 20% this year (23.8% up
until December 24) - its best performance since 2004, when
the index rose 21.17%.
Hamilton Hindin Greene director Grant Williamson said low
interest rates were key to the strong sharemarket
''There are a big number of investors out there not happy
with the returns in the bank that have had to take the jump
into the equity markets.''
New savings from retirement savings scheme KiwiSaver had also
pushed the market up, as well as foreign investors seeing New
Zealand as a good place to put their money, Mr Williamson
''We've had the perfect storm this year. Demand has
Both capital raisings and new stock market listings were down
for the year.
Total capital raising including existing companies raising
money and new security listings is likely to be around $4.5
billion - less than a third of the $15 billion raised last
And despite the strong year for the sharemarket there were
very few initial public offerings. Beer-maker Moa was the
only pure equity listing, while units in the newly listed
Fonterra Shareholders Fund attracted $525 million.
The much-promised partial listing of Mighty River Power was
put off until 2013. Mr Williamson was unsure of a repeat
performance next year.
''I don't think investors should expect the market to perform
as well, but at the same time I don't see conditions
He expected interest rates to remain low, while new money
coming into KiwiSaver would continue to feed into the
''What we should see is additional supply.''
Mr Goodson said the partial floats of the state-owned power
companies seemed likely to get across the line in 2013,
giving retail investors more options as well as more capital
raisings from existing listed companies.
''We've already seen the property companies raise money. I'd
expect to see more there.''
Conditions were also right for new listings outside of the
SOEs, particularly in the small and mid-cap-sized companies,
Mr Goodson said. A back-door listing of the Mad Butcher has
already been set for the new year.