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Global doldrums push NZX trading to a five year low in 2009

Tuesday 5th January 2010

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Sharemarket trading by volume and value was at its lowest ebb for five years in the 12 months to December 2009, despite a record year for new capital-raising for NZX Ltd and a near 20% uplift in the NZX50 Index, according to the company's operational report for the last calendar year, released today.

With world sharemarkets in freefall in the early part of the year and investors favouring more exciting currency trading or cash and near-equivalents for much of the year, trades on the NZX's three platforms - NZSX, NZDX, and NZAX - totalled 575,213 for the year, worth a total of $24.79 billion, down 3% and 12% respectively on 2008 totals.

NZDX bucked the trend, with a 36% increase in trades as appetite for interest-bearing debt securities heightened, with 42,903 trades during the year.  However, the value of total NZDX trades was down 19% on the previous year, at $1.55 billion.

NZX monthly operational updates over the last five years show that trading by value hit a high point in 2006, near the top of the bull market, with securities valued at $35.263 billion changing hands over the year, while 2005 was the top year in the last five by total number of trades, at 647,010.

2007 was also highly active compared to the last two calendar years, with a total of 622,012 trades worth $34.139 billion.  The 2008 totals were 590,758 and $28 billion respectively.

Trading volumes picked up towards the end of 2009, as market confidence began to return, and the NZX50 Index was up 19% over the course of the year, compared with a 6% increase in 2008 and a static performance in 2007.

The number of customers paying NZX for real time data terminals has plummeted since a high point in late 2007 of more than 10,000 terminals, falling 27% over the course of the last year to 7272.  NZX removed some time delays on the public release of market-sensitive information during the year.

Total listed issuers, at 231, was down five from 2008, although NZDX issuers rose to 62, from 54 in 2008, reflecting the surge in new debt raisings last year, which totalled $3.35 billion, and comprised almost half the record $7.28 billion of total capital-raisings achieved through NZX channels last year.

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