By Rebecca Howard
June 6 (BusinessDesk) - The number of trades on New Zealand's stock exchange rose in May but the value tumbled as the average on-market trade size fell sharply despite prices holding up.
Total equity transactions in May rose 26.5 percent to 426,314 from a year earlier, although the $30.4 billion value of total equity transactions dropped 30 percent versus May last year. The average on-market trade size fell 47 percent to $4,371.
The S&P/NZX 50 Index, however, was up 17 percent from a year earlier to end May at 10,118. It closed yesterday at 9,956.06, down from its record 10,265.46 on May 23.
NZX has put a premium on driving more trading through the formal market, introducing new listing rules and an updated fee structure designed to encourage more on-market activity. The value of equity trades on-market in May was 52.4 percent, in line with April's reading of 52.8 percent.
A total of $914 million of new capital was raised in May bringing the year-to-date tally to $5.9 billion. In May, retail debt listings accounted for $250 million while secondary capital raisings accounted for $664 million across 164 events. Within the secondary raisings, $430 million was equity raised by New Zealand issuers, $165 million was debt and $69 million raised by funds.
Debt market trading activity fell 18.4 percent to 2,674 while the value traded was up 1.7 percent at $142 million.
There were 131 equity securities listed on the NZX at the end of May, down 7.7 percent from a year earlier. Debt securities were up 15.3 percent at 136 and fund securities rose 2.8 percent to 37.
NZX's derivatives trading continued to grow, with total futures lots traded climbing 22 percent on the year to 24,723. Total derivatives traded rose 15.2 percent to 30,164. Open interest grew 32.6 percent to 61,687.
Wholesale data terminal numbers for professionals rose 3.9 percent to 6,230 in May from the same month a year earlier, while retail terminals were up 10.9 percent at 1,296. Dairy subscriptions fell 9.9 percent to 946.
NZX's SuperLife funds management business lifted total funds under management 13.7 percent to $2.25 billion, while Smartshares funds swelled 24 percent to $2.75 billion.
The wealth technologies unit lifted funds under administration 84.9 percent to $2.08 billion from a year earlier.
NZX shares last traded at $1.05 and are up 4 percent so far this year.