NZX posted a 9.6 per cent gain in first-quarter revenue as more companies turned to the debt market to raise funds, driving listing fees for the stock market operator.

Revenue rose to $18 million in the three months ended March 31 from $16.4 million a year earlier, the Wellington-based company said in a statement. Of that, listing fees made the biggest contribution at almost $3 million, up 13 per cent from a year earlier, despite a sluggish start to the year for initial public offerings. The pick-up in fees came from $1.4 billion of new debt being listed, with companies taking advantage of low interest rates to raise money.

The stock market's funds management business was the second biggest contributor to revenue at $2.8 million, gaining 24 per cent from a year earlier. Market operations revenue slipped 1.2 per cent to $2.6 million and securities information sales fell 4.5 per cent to $2.5 million, while NZX's agri information revenue was down 0.5 per cent to $2.6 million.

NZX separately released background information to its upcoming case against the Ralec group of companies, the former owners of the stock market's Clear Grain Exchange. NZX said its updated claim against the companies is for A$20.7 million, while Ralec's claim is for about A$19 million. The hearing starts next week in the High Court in Wellington and is set down for eight or nine weeks.

"Based on NZX's assessment of the circumstances and information available to it, it does not believe it is probable that a loss will be incurred and accordingly no provision has been recognised," the company said.


NZX shares last traded at $1.01, and have dropped 8.4 percent over the past year.