Tamsyn Parker

Money Editor for NZ Herald

Software to aid NZX probes

Market operator signs 3-year deal with Wynyard for tools to help manage investigations.

NZX chief executive Tim Bennett. Photo / Sarah Ivey
NZX chief executive Tim Bennett. Photo / Sarah Ivey

Stock market operator the NZX hopes to streamline its handling of insider trading and market manipulation complaints in a deal with crime analytics software provider Wynyard Group.

Wynyard yesterday announced it had signed a three-year contract to provide the NZX with software to help manage its investigation cases.

NZX operations manager Mandy Simpson said the software would help improve its cross-team communication in several areas, including trading suspensions, trading halts, rule waivers, continuous disclosure and price queries.

She said at the moment its regulation and surveillance teams used email to communicate any information uncovered in a case, including who the trader was, contact with the listed company and the clients. The new system would allow all the information to be accessed in one place.

Simpson said it was the first time the NZX had used an external company for case management and the system would initially be rolled out across its capital markets business.

NZX chief executive Tim Bennett said the change was not a reaction to recent criticism over the handling of alleged insider trading.

The firm received a complaint in December from a New Zealand-born Canada-based fund manager about the high number of units in the Fonterra Shareholders Fund traded just days before Fonterra announced a dividend cut.

The NZX investigated the case and found no evidence of insider trading. Instead it found the trading was most likely linked to a broker sell report and an international investor selling out of all its New Zealand shares.

Bennett said insider trading was a very rare event in New Zealand. The NZX received one to two complaints a month about it, mostly from fund managers and brokers, but most turned out to be unfounded.

He said the NZX had been improving its processes for the past year and had signed up Wynyard in November to provide the service.

"Wynyard will seamlessly combine data from different sources which will help our analysts to rapidly piece together more threads of information and identify gaps and areas for further investigation of suspicious trading activity."

It will start using the new system next month.

Shares in the NZX closed down 1c at $1.28 yesterday.

Regulatory action in 2013

12 Issuer suspensions
42 Trading halts at request of issuer or NZX Regulation
148 Issuer waivers
35 Complaints about issuers
8 Price inquiries
108 Continuous disclosure inquiries
125 Issuer investigations begun
16 Participant waivers
9 Complaints about participants
18 Inquiries about participants
15 Participant investigations.

- NZ Herald

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