The New Zealand stock exchange yesterday received an
exemption from the Minister of Commerce allowing it to
establish a new stock exchange trading platform with a less
onerous disclosure regime for companies.
The new ''growth market'' platform, which will replace the
existing NZAX (alternate) platform in two to three years, is
designed to encourage companies in the $10 million to $100
million market capitalisation band to float their shares.
The exemption, granted by Commerce Minister Craig Foss
yesterday, is the latest in a series of regulatory hurdles to
be overcome, and the NZX is now applying to the Financial
Markets Authority (FMA) to have the new market registered and
the new market rules approved.
NZX head of markets Aaron Jenkins said the exemption was a
''significant milestone'' in the launch of new market, which
is designed for small and mid-sized businesses.
''The proposed disclosure regime is a critical component of
NZX's new market.
"It will provide investors with regular and understandable
information that is tailored to the size and nature of the
companies that will list on the new market,'' Mr Jenkins said
in a statement.
Included among his ''key'' market features was a reduction in
the costs and complexity of listing, both during the listing
process and ongoing, and a streamlined regulatory environment
with simpler rules and procedures, Mr Jenkins said.
Mr Foss said the alternative disclosure regime would make it
easier for firms to manage their disclosure obligations
''This could lower the cost of capital raising for New
Zealand's smaller and high-growth businesses,'' Mr Foss said.
The exemption, recommended by the Ministry of Business,
Innovation and Employment, was supported by the FMA, he said.
Companies listing on the new platform would be required to
disclose information to investors periodically rather than
''I am confident the alternative disclosure regime and the
additional features will assist more small and medium-sized
enterprises to list and raise equity capital publicly,'' Mr
The new market's additional features include a research
provision, market-making services and the support of a
dedicated sponsor, which would support liquidity and
efficiency in the market, he said.
Encouraging new public growth markets is part of the
Government's Business Growth Agenda.
Mr Jenkins said the FMA had to approve the new market's rules
before the NZX could approve listings on the new market.
A progress update was scheduled for late August.
The new market would operate on NZX's X-stream trading
platform, which handles NZX's trading of equity and debt
securities and dairy and equity derivatives, and other
markets, such as the Fonterra Shareholders' Market, Mr