NZX saw more trades in the first half of 2018 though new listings dropped off significantly, as the company works on its five-year strategy to recapture enthusiasm in the market.

Total trades in the six months to June 30 jumped 77.6 per cent to 1.6 million, while total value traded rose 3.7 per cent to $19.6 billion, with daily average value traded up 2.4 per cent to $165 million. The NZX50 Index was at 8,943.13 as of June 30, from 7,611 a year earlier.

Total equity securities fell 4.7 per cent to 143 in the first half, with capital raised from initial public offerings and compliance listings plunging to just $20 million from $480 million in the prior period. Listed debt securities rose 6.1 per cent to 121, with new debt listings up 9 per cent to $1.67 billion.

The stock market operator has been consulting the market on its ideas to overhaul its rules and processes in an effort to revive investor interest. NZX had already signalled plans to drop its NZ Alternative and NXT markets and has toyed with the idea of allowing easier disclosure obligations for smaller businesses. Final decisions are expected to be made in the third quarter of this year.

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NZX's funds services continued to gain, with its Superlife Kiwisaver funds under management up 18.6 per cent to $784 million, while total Smartshares funds rose 34.6 per cent to $2.5 billion. Subscriptions for NZX's agri data products rose 36.4 per cent to 3,632 in the first half.

NZX had nine ongoing investigations into issuers at the end of the first half, the same number as a year earlier. However, it had 16 ongoing investigations into market participants at the end of the first half, double that from 2017.

In calendar 2017, NZX's net profit rose 61 per cent to $14.8 million despite revenue dipping 2.9 per cent to $75.3 million as it lacked gains from sales made in previous years. It has this year sold its Australian grain data business and rural newspaper Farmers Weekly.

NZX shares last traded at $1.11 and have dipped 0.9 per cent this year. The company's first-half earnings announcement is scheduled for August 15.

- BusinessDesk