27 Nov 2012

Changes afoot for NZAX

8:34 am on 27 November 2012

Changes to the stock exchange's junior market, NZAX, are on the cards next year to prompt more firms to list.

NZX chief executive Tim Bennett has been re-structuring the business during his six months in the job, to have a clear separation of its commercial and regulatory roles and reduce staff turnover.

He is also preparing the stock exchange for the next stage of its development, including offering more investment products such as exchange traded funds and bonds.

The NZAX has been criticised for failing to attract new company listings, and for the lack of firms already listed going on to list on the main board.

Mr Bennett admits the alternative market has been hampered by high compliance costs, a lack of liquidity in stocks and little research into those firms on it .

Mr Bennett says changes are needed, though progress is being held up by delays to legislation to promote the country's capital markets.

He told Radio New Zealand that a regulatory environment that is easier to understand for both investors and companies would help the junior market gain traction.

He also wants to encourage better liquidity provision and provide better information about companies listed on the NZAX.