NZX cash trading tops $5 bln as MightyRiverPower listing beefs up market

The value of cash market trading on the NZX topped $5 billion last month with the value of equities changing hands almost doubling from a year earlier after state-controlled energy company MightyRiverPower joined the bourse.

Total value traded jumped 92 percent in May for an average daily value of $218 million, according to NZX’s monthly shareholder metrics. That was off a 29 percent lift in total trades to 123,161, the bulk of which came in equity trading. The value of shares changing hands climbed 95 percent to $4.9 billion, with a 30 percent boost in the number of traders to 119,579.

The government’s partial privatisation of MRP on May 10 helped boost interest in the local stock market with the power company attracting a total of 113,857 individual New Zealand investors in the public sale at $2.50 a share. That listing helped lift the stock exchange’s market capitalisation 28 percent to $74.7 billion as at May 31 from a year earlier.

The stock exchange is bracing for a raft of new listings including dairy company Synlait Milk, petrol station chain Z Energy, security software maker Wynyard Group, online travel booking group Serko and state-owned Meridian Energy.

The benchmark NZX 50 index fell 2.2 percent in the month to 4,511.351, and closed yesterday at 4,453.581.

About $169 million in new capital was raised by the stock exchange’s issuers in May in 21 transactions. Of that, $139 million was in primary equity and $5 million in dual and secondary equity. Some $25 million of new debt was raised.

The stock exchange’s debt market continued to lag behind equities last month, with the number of trades falling 5 percent to 3,582 from the same month a year earlier, though the value rose 8.5 percent to $109 million.

NZX’s shares were unchanged at $1.37 yesterday, and have gained 13 percent this year. The stock is rated an average ‘sell’, based on three analyst recommendations compiled by Reuters, with a median target price of $1.10.

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