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Longer trading hours for NZSE

Thursday 17th April 2003

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The New Zealand Stock Exchange is extending its hours to help improve liquidity and encourage the flow of company information.

The exchange's new 10am to 5pm operating hours will start on July 1, replacing the current 9am to 4pm session. The NZSE will review the changes in January 2004.

NZSE market development manager Geoff Brown said in a statement the exchange wanted companies to report profit announcements before 8.30am, to enable a more informed market response when trading starts.

"This new time will maximise the volume of trades in New Zealand companies on their home exchange," Brown says.

"It should increase liquidity in the New Zealand market."

As part of a wide-ranging review instigated by NZSE chief executive Mark Weldon, the exchange has evolved into a limited liability company and is heading for demutualisation and listing on its own exchange by the end of the year.

Last month the exchange introduced a gross top-50 index, which takes into account dividends, to replace the top-40 index as the new benchmark.

The exchange is also changing its pricing structure, recovering costs and charging for value from July 1.

Weldon said the NZSE's price structure was out of step with international standards and had meant the exchange was possibly the only global exchange to make a loss on its trading operations.

"The drive to be a low cost market operator forced the exchange to provide many of the services it offered for little or no cost, which, moving forward, would inhibit the organisation's ability to develop and grow," Weldon says.

Key pricing changes include:

* Revision of transaction pricing to eliminate all per order charges (currently 10c per order), and increase the base trading charge from $0.60 to $1.00 per trade;

* Introduction of infrastructure and transactions fees for registries;

* Decrease in membership fees, portions of the infrastructure charges and order fees;

* Revision of overseas issuer listing fees; and

* Simplification of main board listing fees and adjustment of the minimum fee.

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