The value of cash market trading on the NZX has dropped 20 per cent in the first quarter while a rise in smaller transaction has driven a jump in overall volumes on the New Zealand bourse.
Total trades rose 35 per cent to 313,903 in the three months ending March 31 from a year earlier, NZX said in a statement on Thursday.
Trades of less than $NZ50,000 ($A46,548) jumped about 39 per cent to 292,895. The value traded dropped 20 per cent to $NZ8.1 billion while daily average value traded fell 21 per cent to $NZ133 million.
Of that cash market trading, equity transactions dominated, with value traded declining 20 per cent to $NZ7.9b and the number of trades rising 37 per cent to 307,458. Debt transactions fell nine per cent to $NZ209m and volume declined 12 per cent to 6,445 trades.
The first quarter saw no new listings, after a boom 2013 that was led by the government taking electricity companies MightyRiverPower and Meridian Energy public.
NZX has warned it won’t be able to replicate last year’s pace of listings in 2014, although it welcomed Genesis Energy last month and that stock has since climbed 23 per cent.
Trading volumes have been climbing as the growth of retirement savings through KiwiSaver generated funds for investment, with a portion finding its way to the New Zealand equities market.
“The program has been critical for the development of New Zealand’s capital markets, with the newly listed companies now comprising 7.3 per cent of total market capitalisation, which combined with the impact of KiwiSaver and an increased savings rate, is underpinning a structural shift in the capital markets,” said Tim Bennett, NZX chief executive.
He said NZX was talking to other companies considering listing, from a range of industries including tourism, agriculture, energy and transport.
Shares in the stock market operator were unchanged at $NZ1.25 before trade opened on Thursday morning and have declined 6.7 per cent in the past year.