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Low Cost Listings Popular With Innovative Co.s

LOW COST LISTINGS POPULAR WITH INNOVATIVE COMPANIES

Innovation Festival Listing Seminars Spells Out The Benefits Of The NZAX

Auckland, 8 July 2004 - Innovation Festival NZX seminars have proven popular with fast-growing companies considering low-cost mechanisms for raising capital and the benefits of the alternative market (the NZAX Market). With a good turn out at the first seminar in Wellington, interest is high for the Christchurch seminar on 13 July.

Geoff Brown, Markets Development Manager, from NZX says that in comparison with a full listing on the NZSX Market, the NZAX enables lower-cost access to capital with lower entry thresholds; a structure well-suited to New Zealand's economy of predominantly small to medium sized businesses.

"For example, Just Water recently raised $8.25 million on the NZAX Market at a cost of 7.1%, where as Turners Auctions raised $6 million on the NZSX in September 2002 at a cost of 11%."

Brown, says another major benefit of listing is that, by providing staff with share options, a company can increase its staff retention.

"Equity is a great motivator. Having a financial stake in a business is a strong incentive for staff to focus on bottom line delivery and potentially grow wealthy with the company that they work for."

The final Innovation Festival listing seminar in Christchurch on 13 July will be hosted by Duncan Cotterill Solicitors and ABN AMRO Craigs, in association with NZX.

Stephen Brent, Associate, Duncan Cotterill, says that from a legal perspective, companies looking to list have a number of important considerations to make before opening their books to public and shareholder scrutiny. However, the process of raising capital is vital in enabling a company to expand.

"We support the Innovation Festival, both as a celebration of our country's great innovation success stories and as a unique opportunity for fast-growing new businesses to tap into the commercialisation expertise that can lead them to success on the world-stage," says Brent.

"The listing seminars have been extremely effective in communicating the benefits, considerations, and challenges of listing."

Currently, the NZAX Market has 17 listed companies which traded around ten million shares last month.

For more information on Innovation Festival events in your area visit: www.nzinnovation.org or contact Festival organisers.

ENDS

About the Innovation Festival 2004

The New Zealand Innovation Festival 2004 ( www.nzinnovation.org) is a tangible, unique way to celebrate the extent to which innovation is utilized by businesses and organisations to achieve success and competitiveness across a range of industries and sectors.

The inaugural Festival 2004 sees more than 70 events happening at centres and regions throughout the country which collectively showcase the creativity and entrepreneurial spirit that characterises the special New Zealand approach to providing innovative leading edge solutions regardless of whether it is in healthcare, forestry, science, applied research or the film industry.

The 70 Festival events and participants all represent the three stages in the process of innovation: invention, translation and commercialization. These three core aspects typify the pathbreaking nature of New Zealand innovation which is also characterized by originality, collaboration and a pioneering spirit. The Festival captures this spirit, and as an annual event will become a platform for taking the New Zealand innovation story to the world.

About New Zealand Exchange Limited (NZX)

NZX operates New Zealand's sole registered securities exchange. Utilising its proprietary FASTER technology, NZX facilitates fully electronic trading, clearing and settlements across its three principal markets, the NZSX - Stock Market, the NZDX - Debt Market, and the NZAX - Alternative Market. In addition, NZX offers a comprehensive suite of data products, indices and funds, and is responsible for the ongoing surveillance and regulation of New Zealand's securities markets.

By providing a ready market for capital raising and business growth, NZX is at the forefront of business in New Zealand. At both the Board and management levels, NZX is committed to developing and ensuring the integrity and international competitiveness of New Zealand's capital markets. NZX demutualised in October 2002 and became a publicly listed company on 4 June 2003. For more information, visit www.nzx.com.

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