13 Oct 2014

Angel investors remain active

1:42 pm on 13 October 2014

Angel investing is continuing at a robust pace with $50.1 million of investments made in the year ended June.

The latest Young Company Finance Index indicates more than $23.1 million was invested in 57 deals over the second half of the year, little changed from the record level of investment in the same period, a year earlier.

Chief executive of the New Zealand Venture Investment Fund, Franceska Banga, said New Zealand now has a growing track record of success over three to four investment cycles.

Software investments continue to dominate as a key area of interest for investors, attracting over 45 percent of the funds invested.

Ms Banga says the emergence of significant software companies - led by Xero and Orion Health - gives investors confidence that world-leading software companies can be developed from New Zealand.

NZX still attractive to OS investors - for now

The flip side of the increasing popularity of New Zealand shares with offshore investors is the risk that our market could fall out of favour.

Forsyth Barr estimates foreigners now own 38 percent of New Zealand shares, up from 30 percent two years ago and also above the 10 year average, of about 34 percent.

Investment strategist, Brian Stewart, said for the level of foreign investment to return to the long-term average, those investors would need to sell about $2.5 billion worth of shares.

"We will fall out of favour as an ownership destination, at some point, When we did this report we found the marginal buyer is effectively the Australian professional portfoilio pool, at this stage New Zealand is still, relatively, more attractive than their country."

Mr Stewart said although about 30 percent of the New Zealand market's value is also listed on the ASX, New Zealand shares represent about 1 percent of Australia's benchmark index, and so Australian investors do not need to own New Zealand shares.

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