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Silicon Valley Bank: NZ stock exchange opens lower

The New Zealand share market has opened lower after the collapse of a major bank in the United States over the weekend.

The benchmark NZX 50 fell at market open and settled about 1.1 percent lower, or about 130 points in early trading.

Nearly 40 out of the top 50 companies saw their share price fall. Broad technology stocks fell between 1 and 2 percent.

New Zealand was the first market to open this week, after the shut down of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) sent global markets tumbling.

Earlier on Monday morning, two New Zealand companies, honey exporter Comvita and digital measuring tools supplier IkeGPS, disclosed they had a combined US$5.7 million at the failed bank.

Comvita said its US skincare joint venture Caravan Honey, was a SVB customer, with US$2.5m in deposits.

Comvita said insurance would cover 10 percent of the money.

"Our working assumption is that monies will be released, but will advise if that position changes," it told the share market.

IkeGPS said its exposure was US$3.2m.

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The company said of its money held at SVB, US$250,000 was insured, which it said was the maximum insured balance allowed.

Its chief executive, Glenn Milnes, said the situation remained "highly fluid".

"At this time, we clearly cannot estimate the extent to which we will fully recover our cash on deposit at SVB. Notwithstanding, because of the strength of our broader cash position, growth momentum, and that our US operation is delivering positive cash flow, we believe [ikeGPS] remains very strongly positioned," Milnes said.

IkeGPS said its had a total cash balance of NZ$19.6m.

Accounting software firm Xero, which was listed on the Australian exchange, said it had US$5m at SVB, representing less than 1 percent of its cash and cash equivalents.

Over the weekend, New Zealand-founded space company Rocket Lab disclosed it had US$38m at the bank.

Travel and expense management software provider Serko and cinema software firm Vista confirmed they had no money held at SVB.

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