ASX Sees More New Zealand Companies Listing as Red Tape Reduced

  • Firms seeking dual listing to save about $700,000 in costs
  • New Zealand pipeline offers exchange its `biggest opportunity'

New Zealand companies will pay less for a dual share listing in Australia from next week, according to ASX Ltd.

Publicly-traded New Zealand firms seeking a Sydney listing won’t be required to submit a prospectus from Sept. 7, said Max Cunningham, who runs listings and issuer services at ASX, Australia’s main stock exchange. The regulatory change may save them about A$1 million ($712,000), he said. Issuers will still have to meet other criteria including having a minimum number of shareholders and passing corporate governance tests.

ASX is seeking to expand Australia’s $1.1 trillion equity market as sales at the exchange’s derivatives division stagnate. Cunningham’s unit accounted for the largest proportion of revenue growth in the year ended June, tapping a flurry of initial public offerings and newly debuted exchange-traded funds. Australia’s stock market is about 18 times the size of neighboring New Zealand’s.

“Our biggest opportunity for listings is New Zealand,” said Cunningham, who previously ran Australian equity capital markets for Goldman Sachs Group Inc. “The big goal here is to allow New Zealand companies really to do what they want to do: which is to come to Australia to access a broader capital market cheaply and more efficiently,” he said by phone from Sydney on Monday.

Adherium Ltd., which makes devices to treat chronic respiratory disease, last month became the 40th New Zealand company listed in Australia. Cunningham is expecting that number to grow to 50 within the next 12 months.

Solid Pipeline

“The pipeline is still pretty solid,” he said. “This new rule framework only helps.”

The regulatory change will cut costs for companies by allowing them to avoid maintaining primary listings in both markets, said Andre Khoury, Sydney-based spokesman for the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

“The proposed amendments are designed to reduce red tape for established NZX listed companies, that are seeking to list on the ASX,” Khoury said. “ASIC continues to support initiatives that reduce the regulatory burden for business, and which support Australia as a regional financial center.”

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