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New Zealand Exchange Halts Equity Trading on Technical Issue

NZX Ltd., operator of New Zealand’s stock exchange, halted equity trading due to an unspecified technical issue.

“NZX is experiencing connectivity issues and has halted trading on all markets while it investigates the issue,” the company said in an e-mailed statement.

New Zealand is the third-smallest equity market among 16 major countries in the Asia-Pacific region tracked by Bloomberg News, ranking below Pakistan and the Philippines. The nation is headed for its busiest year for initial public offerings in a decade after the sale of about 49 percent of state-owned Mighty River Power Ltd. in May as Prime Minister John Key pledged to raise between NZ$5 billion ($3.9 billion) and NZ$7 billion selling shares in state-owned companies.

NZX spokeswoman Kate McLaughlin in Wellington declined to provide further details in a telephone interview today and said updates will be released to the market in due course.

Tim Bennett, chief executive officer of NZX, told Bloomberg TV June 28 that companies are currently more receptive to the possibility of listing on the country’s exchange.

The government plans to offer shares in Meridian Energy later this year. Infratil Ltd. appointed advisers for a potential IPO of fuel retailer Z Energy, and dairy company Synlait Milk Ltd. last week said it will offer new and existing shares to the public and seek a listing.

To contact the reporter on this story: Adam Haigh in Sydney at ahaigh1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Gentle at ngentle2@bloomberg.net

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