Retail investor interest hallmark of 2013

The New Zealand Stock Exchange (NZX) was working hard to secure several opportunities it saw in the market this year, chief executive Tim Bennett said yesterday.

Releasing the NZX shareholder metrics, Mr Bennett said 2013 was significant in the history of New Zealand's capital markets, in particular for the resurgence of interest from retail investors.

''NZX continued to invest in building a strong foundation from which to grow the business and the capital markets in the long term.''

The NZX 50 index was up 16.5% for the year to 4737. Initial public offering activity was at a nine-year high, resulting in new capital listed of $7.5 billion.

The 10 new listings comprised Airwork Group, GeoOp, Meridian Energy, Mighty River Power, SLI Systems, Synlait Milk, Snakk Media, Wynyard Group, Z Energy and the reverse listing of Mad Butcher through Veritas.

Cash market trading activity also grew strongly in the year, he said.

Total value traded was up 39.6% to $42.3 billion while trading volume was up 32%, small trades (less than $50,000 in value) were up 31.4% reflecting a resurgence of interest in capital markets by retail investors.

Stock lending activity also grew strongly, up 28.3% to $2.8 billion.

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