Australian corporates are planning to increase their investments in New Zealand over the next six months, according to research from banking consultancy East and Partners.
New Zealand has continuing appeal for Australia's largest companies, with over two-thirds of respondents to an East and Partners survey planning to invest or increase their investments directly during the next six months.
About 70 per cent of Australia's top 500 businesses, with turnovers in excess of A$530 million, interviewed as part of East's bi-monthly business banking index research programme, said that they were "definitely" or "likely" to invest or increase investment in the New Zealand markets in the coming six months.
The survey showed 60 per cent of corporates, with turnover between A$20m and $540m, shared their sentiment.
Most of the planned investment was coming out of New South Wales and Queensland companies and was spread across most industry sectors, East and Partners said.
Victoria and Western Australia-based business are proportionately the least active trans-Tasman investors.
Much of the planned increase business investment appeared to be driven by the relative strength of the Australian dollar, with many companies noting their forward views of the Australian/New Zealand dollar exchange rate as the final "trigger" for increasing their near-term investment, East and partners principal analyst Paul Dowling said.
"These plans clearly reinforce that New Zealand remains a critical market for large Australian businesses, with planned investments being a mix of scaling up and existing operational businesses, new business acquisitions, increased export efforts out of New Zealand, and significant capex spending," he said in a statement.
The Australian dollar has performed very strongly against most currencies over the last few years.
The Aussie once again broke parity with the US dollar in June, and traded today at US$1.06. Since 2008, the currency has risen by 45 per cent - the biggest gain across more than 150 currencies.
The New Zealand dollar traded today at 77.07 Australian cents, down from 79.50c in April.
East and Partners is a banking research and advisory firm providing the financial services industry with market research and analysis for the institutional, corporate and business banking markets.
- APNZBy Jamie Gray Email Jamie