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NZX reopens after 3 hour trading halt

NZX reopens after 3 hour trading halt

By Suze Metherell

June 27 (BusinessDesk) - Trading on the New Zealand stock exchange resumed after a three hour halt as the share market operator dealt with a technical issue, its second outage this month.

Of the 30.9 million shares traded on the NZX 50 Index, more than 20 million were traded in the first ten minutes of the resumed session. The benchmark was recently at 5142.462. Forsyth Barr broker David Price told BusinessDesk the outage was noticed by foreign investors who queried the lack of trading.

"There have been a few issues, we had a long period of no issues and then we've had a few in a short space of time," Price said.

At issue was a FIX messaging problem, the second such technical messaging glitch to cause a halt in trading this month. In April, trading on the market was delayed 15 minutes, without further explanation.

Brian Gaynor, executive director at Milford Asset Management, told BusinessDesk the regularity of these outages was the major concern.

"It happens around the world, you get these things, but it is happening too often with the NZX and I think it dents confidence in the way the organisation is run. It shouldn't have these kind of problems," he said. "They really need to scrutinise and investigate what's wrong, and what they can do to improve it."

Trading was halted half an hour into the morning session and had initially been,expected to resume at 10:45am after a "restart to the message gateway" and connectivity was confirmed. It later targeted an 11:25am time to resume trading before saying it was "experiencing ongoing technical difficulties" and would stay "on halt until further notice."

The trading halt comes in a week that saw two new listings on the NZX, Serko and Gentrack, while Hirepool had been set to list next month but has since pulled its initial public offer. Other upcoming listings include Scales Corp and IkeGPS.

DeutscheCraigs chief executive Brett Shepherd, whose firm has managed several of the recent IPOs, said he didn't think the NZX's technical issues would deter companies from listing, or offshore institutions investing in the local market.


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