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Securities trader up for regulation

15 December 2004

Securities trader up for regulation

Commerce Minister Margaret Wilson today made the first move towards the possible regulation of online securities trader Unlisted.

Unlisted is not a registered securities exchange and therefore is not subject to the disclosure, insider trading and oversight provisions of the Securities Markets Act. Margaret Wilson says Unlisted’s value and trading volumes, and the number and type of issuers, have developed to the point where it should afford its investors the protection offered under the Act.

Under the Securities Markets Act, the Minister of Commerce has the power to declare the Act should apply to an otherwise unregulated securities market.

Margaret Wilson has initiated this process by writing to Unlisted and outlining why she thinks the trader should be subject to the Securities Markets Act.

“Unlisted has operated for just over one year and now has a significant presence in New Zealand’s capital markets,” Margaret Wilson said. “It has marketed itself as a facility for small and medium sized businesses but I believe it is being used by larger organisations. It trades shares in 21 companies, one more than the regulated NZX Alternative Exchange market, but its capitalisation is more than twice that of the NZAX.

“Unlisted should offer its investors the protection of securities law so that they are kept fully informed about their investments and are protected from the likes of insider trading. It should also have securities exchange status to preserve confidence in New Zealand’s securities markets.”

Margaret Wilson has given Unlisted and other interested parties, including the companies trading on Unlisted and the Securities Commission, three months to send their views before a final decision is made.


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