Fisher & Paykel Appliances' new refrigerator technology announcement this week obviously came as no surprise to many in the market given the amount of shares traded the day before the news came out.

Just over 2.75 million shares were traded on Tuesday - the day before the announcement - well ahead of the 2.13 million shares traded on the day of the announcement.

The shares rose from 53c to 56c on Tuesday and increased a further 2c on Wednesday. So much for continuous disclosure.

It's nothing new on the New Zealand sharemarket, although one commentator noted that it would be good if the market regulator actually did something about it.

F&P Appliances shares closed up 3c at 61c yesterday.

SLAP ON THE WRIST

Eyebrows have been raised at a decision by the NZX's NZ markets disciplinary tribunal to ping a participant just $11,900 for an alleged 179 breaches on the debt market.

The alleged breaches took place over a three-month period between February and March when the participant failed to report 120 purchases of debt securities from a financial institution before selling them to its clients.

Only the client sales were reported, and in a further 59 cases even those were not reported.

All the transactions were supposed to be reported under the listing rules. The tribunal says its decision - which included not naming the party involved - was based on its belief that the breaches came about because of a misinterpretation of the rules.

It says they were not a deliberate attempt to mislead and there was no loss to clients. But the decision has left other participants unimpressed.

Some feel there is favouritism towards certain market players and inconsistency because some who receive fines are named and others are not.

The brokers have been quick to point the finger at the banks but so far no one has been willing to name names.

NZX MELTDOWN

The NZX's trading platform hit an embarrassing snag yesterday when its servers failed. The multiple hardware failure saw it having to switch over to its backup system.

The stock exchange says it caused a brief interruption to its index feeds but they were restored by mid-morning. Its twice-daily settlement was also dropped down to one settlement.

The NZX was upbeat about the problem, stating: "The servers are the 'tyres' upon which the clearing house settlement system is driven, but are outside that system, and the failure in the servers is unrelated to the implementation of the clearing house. The clearing house system continued to function, and business continuity processes also ensured that there was no market interruption or change to trading conditions." But it can't be a good look for an exchange no matter how you put it.

QUAKE SELL-UP

The Earthquake Commission has been given permission to sell some of its $6 billion in assets to help pay for the Christchurch earthquake.

Chief financial officer Phillip Jacques says around 30 per cent of its investments are in global shares and these will be the first to be sold off because they are easily liquidated. It doesn't own any local shares but does have a large chunk of money in New Zealand Government bonds and Treasury bills.

It's just as well the earthquake didn't happen at the same time as the global financial crisis. The commission is likely to sell $800 million plus worth of shares but Jacques says it will be done methodically as the claims come in rather than all at once.

BUILDING UP

Fletcher Building has had a stellar run in the past two weeks after the Christchurch earthquake but some are beginning to doubt whether it is sustainable, given that any financial gains from potential building work are likely to be a way off.

The top stock's share price was around $7.60 before the quake and this week it hit $8.80. Some investors are kicking themselves for not buying in sooner after the quake.

But others believe the share price rise is a bit overheated given the amount of time it will take the insurance companies to pay out for the building work and the length of time it takes to get the ball rolling on actually building houses.

Sure, it is all being fast-tracked by the Government but building a new house is not something that happens overnight.

Some aren't expecting the financial benefits to flow through until 2012 - a year when Fletcher already has a strong order book.

There are also concerns that the sums the Government will have to pour into Christchurch may hit other projects.

Fletcher Building closed down 2c at $8.33.

SETTING AN EXAMPLE

The Shareholders Association has increased its level of diversity by adding three women to its board.

The eight-member board is now 37 per cent women, says new chairman John Hawkins, who officially took over from well-known shareholder advocate Bruce Sheppard at the end of July.

The association has been trying to encourage listed companies to boost their numbers of female directors but Hawkins says the appointments were "made on merit", not because it wanted women to join the board.

Two of the new directors are lawyers and the third is an accountant.

Jacqui Bensemann is managing director of Argus Fire Protection - a family business where she manages 140 staff - while Gayatri Jaduran and Lyn Lim are commercial lawyers who both run their own firms.

The association sourced the members through the Ministry of Women's Affairs. While only Bensemann has previous board experience, Hawkins says it's all about giving people a chance.

"It's a chicken and egg situation - you've got to start somewhere."

ON BOARD

One new director who has been very successful getting on to boards is James Miller.

Miller, who until recently was head of institutional equities at broker Craigs Investment Partners, is permanently leaving his job at the end of the year to be a full-time director.

The 48-year-old Miller joined Vector's board last year and has since found his way on to the board of Auckland International Airport and stock exchange operator NZX.

This week he added all the Fisher Funds' listed investment companies - Barramundi, Kingfisher and Marlin - to his list.

Not bad for a beginner.

However some have questioned the wisdom of sitting on the board of both NZX and Fisher's investment funds, saying it creates a potential conflict of interest.

Miller is expecting the NZX board position to be hard graft and, given his industry background, admits there is a fair amount of pressure on him to help improve the capital markets.

It's a big change for Miller, who has been with Craigs, and its previous owners, for most of his career.

Miller says he decided to leave Craigs because it was the "right time for someone younger to take leadership".

He decided to move into directorships to give something back to the industry.

"They are all areas I am passionate about," he says.

Stock Takes hears the pay rate isn't too bad either and mounting up the directorships will earn Miller a tidy sum thought to be in the hundreds of thousands.