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Taskforce to ponder ways to deepen capital markets

Monday 21st July 2008

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New Zealand's government has named a taskforce to consider ways to deepen the nation's capital markets and ensure they contribute to economic growth.

The taskforce is a result of an investment forum in November which concluded New Zealand has a relatively illiquid stock market below the handful of largest companies, an immature venture capital market and a thin market for corporate debt.

"To deliver wealth and jobs, New Zealand firms need ready access to affordable capital," Commerce Minister Lianne Dalziel said in a statement "We must continue to develop the breadth and depth of our capital markets."

Rob Cameron, partner at Wellington-based investment bank Cameron Partners, was named chairman of the taskforce, whose members include Fletcher Building chief executive Jonathan Ling and NZX CEO Mark Weldon.

The taskforce, which answers to a group of senior ministers led by Finance Minister Michael Cullen, is to develop an action plan in time for a late 2009 release.

By Jonathan Underhill

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