NZ share trading value more than doubles in August as Origin exits Contact stake
By Paul McBeth
Sept. 3 (BusinessDesk) - The value of share trading on New Zealand's stock exchange more than doubled in August, underpinned by ASX-listed Origin Energy's $1.8 billion sale of its controlling stake in Contact Energy.
The total value of equity cash trading climbed 132 percent to $6 billion on a 35 percent increase in the number of trades to 141,087 in August from the same month a year earlier. That was up from $3.2 billion across 127,328 trades in July. Of that, Origin's sale of its 53.1 percent holding in Contact on Aug. 4 accounted for almost a third of that value.
While the value of all equity on the market was 8.8 percent higher than a year earlier at $98.9 billion, or 41.7 percent of gross domestic product, it shrank from $103.1 billion, or 43.5 percent of GDP, at the end of July.
August heralded a busy month for share trading as 36 companies on the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index reported earnings or held annual meetings, with more than half receiving upgraded 2016 earnings outlooks. In the last two weeks volatility in global markets spiked on growing fears of a sharper slowdown of China's economy, prompting a selloff in equities around the world, including the biggest one-day drop on the NZX 50 in four years.
Across all trading on the NZX, total trades rose 34 percent to 143,382 for a 127 percent rise in the value of trading to $6 billion, or $287 million a day. The number of trades below $50,000 rose 32 percent to 131,580 from a year earlier. In the year to date, the number of trades is up 10 percent to 952,980 for a 17 percent increase in value to $27.2 billion.
Debt trading remained moribund, with the number of trades falling 15 percent to 2,295 for an 8.6 percent decline in the value traded to $82 million. The value of listed debt shrank 3.5 percent $13.2 billion, or 5.6 percent of GDP, from the same month a year earlier.
Some $2.87 billion of new capital was raised across 11 events in August, largely in dual and secondary issuers, and taking the year to date total to $6.48 billion,
NZX's SuperLife unit grew total funds under management 10 percent to $1.35 billion from a year earlier, of which $438 million was in KiwiSaver funds. Its Smartshares exchange traded funds had $958 million under management, of which $528 million was held in SuperLife funds.
The stock market's derivatives operations increased lots traded by 143 percent to 35,761 in August from a year earlier, while open interest rose 85 percent to 46,372. The volume of grain trading shrank 13 percent to 524,625 tonnes traded.
NZX shares last traded at 95 cents, and have dropped 19 percent this year.