Trading on the NZX's cash markets jumped by a quarter in December, led by a surge in turnover of stocks as the NZX 50 Index rounded out its best year since 2004.

Total trades rose 24.3 per cent to 78,408 last month from a year earlier, while the value of trading soared 61 per cent to $3.6 billion.

Equity transactions climbed 27 per cent to 76,098 and the value of trade jumped 65 per cent to $3.6 billion. That more than offset a 31 per cent drop in debt security trades to 2,310 and a decline of about 25 per cent to $69 million.

The NZX 50 gained almost 25 per cent in 2012, outpacing gains on Wall Street and in Australia. Yet the year was slimmer for new equity and debt capital raising through the NZX. Some $1.75 billion was raised in December for a total in the year of $4.6 billion, down from $11.9 billion in 2011


Of that, equity raised where the issuer had a primary listing in New Zealand fell to $999 million in the year from $1.6 billion in 2011, while dual and secondary listed capital raisings fell to $3.3 billion from $9.2 billion.

There was $319 million raised through the issue of debt securities, down from about $1 billion in 2011.

Total equity securities fell 2.3 per cent in December to 167, down from 171 at the end of 2011. Debt securities fell to 97 from 107.

Shares of NZX were unchanged at $1.23 and have gained 21 per cent in the past 12 months.