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NZX CEO Peterson 'deeply apologetic' as internal testing triggers outage

Wednesday 29th August 2018

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NZX chief executive Mark Peterson is "deeply apologetic" about an internal mistake that shut down trading for most of yesterday. 

Trading through New Zealand's stock market stopped around 11.15am yesterday when an error was made during normal system testing, Peterson told BusinessDesk. Efforts to restart trading got close in the late afternoon, but lingering uncertainties meant NZX chose not to turn it back on. Derivatives trading resumed at 6.10pm and the cash market re-opened today. 

NZX is investigating the cause and Peterson said a report should be completed within a week. Most of the work will be on how to prevent a repeat. 

"It's not good enough - it doesn't meet the standard we set and we understand the seriousness and broader impact on things," he said. "We've got a very experienced team looking after our core systems, but in this particular instance at about 11.15 yesterday, we had the team performing some operational work and they made a mistake."

The benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index climbed 1.2 percent to 9,321.77 as at 1.27pm on turnover of $93.5 million. 

Peterson said the Nasdaq X-stream trading system wasn't at fault and NZX has had a "very stable trading system". 

The stock market operator introduced the Nasdaq system in 2014, which let it branch out into new securities trading such as derivatives and commodities. It extended trading hours for its dairy derivatives market in July to reach more traders in Asia and Europe. 

The Financial Markets Authority's 2017 review of the market operator said NZX needs sufficient technological resources to operate the markets properly. The FMA identified two trading system incidents in the year that had a total impact on the market of between 30-and-180 minutes but didn't think either indicated a failure to maintain market infrastructure. 

Peterson said NZX was in contact with the regulators yesterday and was "sure they'll take some interest what the root causes are and what the preventions will be."

NZX shares fell 0.9 percent to $1.11. 

(BusinessDesk)

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