The NZX 50, New Zealand's benchmark sharemarket index, is set to be rebranded as the S&P NZX 50.

Wellington-based sharemarket operator NZX has secured a "strategic agreement" with S&P Dow Jones Indices, a global provider of index data and research.

From June 21 S&P DJI will assume responsibility for calculating, publishing and disseminating the NZX indices, as well as their distribution and marketing, in overseas markets, NZX said, adding that a greater variety of benchmarks representing the New Zealand financial market could be developed through the partnership.

NZX chief executive Tim Bennett said the changes would increase the appeal and profile of the local market among domestic and global investors.


"This partnership will put the New Zealand market on an equivalent footing with other leading markets around the world in terms of calculation methodology, format and distribution," Bennett said.

All of NZX's existing and future indices will be co-branded with S&P, bringing New Zealand into line with major sharemarkets overseas. Australia's benchmark index is the S&P ASX 200, while the United States has the S&P 500.

"NZX and S&P DJI will shortly be providing additional information regarding updates to the current index methodologies to align them with S&P DJI's global benchmarks," NZX said.

Mark Lister, head of private wealth research at Craigs Investment Partners, said the partnership could help to increase New Zealand's profile in international markets.

But the fundamentals of NZX-listed firms would continue to be the major driver of international investment in the local market, Lister said.

"They look at whether the companies are big enough and liquid enough to warrant their attention, and whether they like the New Zealand Inc story."

The attractive dividends offered by many firms on the NZX already attract significant interest from yield-hungry, international investors.