7 Apr 2014

Bond market 'looks healthy'

6:52 am on 7 April 2014

A portfolio manager says New Zealand's corporate bond market is in a healthy position, and while the appetite for risk isn't widespread it could pick up this year.

In the NZX's latest monthly metrics, total listed individual debt securites stood at 85 in March, down 10.5 percent compared with the same month last year.

The value of that debt has fallen 6 percent to $13.5 billion, or 6 percent of economic growth.

By contrast, the value of listed equities rose 24 percent from a year ago to $87.4 billion.

Harbour Asset Management's Mark Brown says corporates have been more conservative about borrowing but things have picked up so far this year and the corporate bond market is in good shape.

Mr Brown says companies' books are now in much better shape and many have been trading well and the drive to borrow isn't that great.