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Unlisted not to be regulated

01 August 2005 Media Statement

Unlisted not to be regulated

Commerce Minister Pete Hodgson today announced online securities market Unlisted would not be regulated at this time.

In concluding a statutory process set in train by former Commerce Minister Margaret Wilson, Pete Hodgson said it had been a complex decision to make with the issues and submissions needing careful consideration.

“The characteristics of Unlisted are such that the question of regulation needed to be asked,” says Pete Hodgson. “However, at this point, there is not enough evidence to conclude that the statutory test of likely harm to New Zealand’s securities markets has been met.”

But the Minister said he is still concerned about two matters.

"There is a danger that Unlisted sends mixed messages to investors about the type of entity it is. This may cause confusion about the protections it offers
investors."

This is of particular concern as retail investors trading on Unlisted may not fully appreciate the differences between trading on the NZX and trading on Unlisted.

“I have discussed my decision and my concerns with the operators of Unlisted and intend to continue talking with them about making sure the message of buyer beware is communicated more effectively.”

"In addition, I am aware Unlisted would likely be regulated in some form in
comparable jurisdictions overseas. Should trading volumes increase
significantly, or concrete evidence of investor confusion arise, the issue of regulation may need to be reconsidered.

"That is why Unlisted's position will continue to be monitored."

ENDS

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