The stock market's capitalisation crossed $200 billion last month as asset prices rallied in a low interest rate environment, new bonds and funds were listed, and companies already on the exchange raised new equity and debt.

Total market capitalisation was $202b at the end of December, up 23.2 per cent from a year earlier and equivalent to 67.1 per cent of gross domestic product. Of that, the value of equity and funds rose 24.9 per cent to $166.5b, and the debt market grew 15.3 per cent to $35.5b.

NZX added 11 securities in the year with 323, as 11 new debt listings and nine new funds more than offset nine fewer listed companies or other securities. It kicked off 2020 with 131 equity securities, 45 funds, 138 retail debt securities, five wholesale debt securities, and four 'other' securities such as warrants and options.

Of last year's $38.5b boost to the domestic stock exchange's market capitalisation, $18.7b came from new listings and secondary capital raisings. That compares to $9.5b of new listings and secondary raisings in 2018, when total market capitalisation was up just $1.9b after Xero delisted early in the year, taking its then-$4.7b value to Australia.


The stock market operator's benchmark equity index – the S&P/NZX 50 Index – jumped 30.4 per cent in 2019, its biggest gain since the gross index was introduced in 2003. The capital index, which excludes dividends, was still up 26 per cent.

NZX adopted new pricing, updated governance and listing rules, and aligned disclosure practices to those in Australia as it attempts to revive activity on the local bourse.

That's also seen a greater emphasis placed on encouraging activity to take place on the formal market, rather than brokers settling deals with less transparency. About 54.3 per cent of the value of trading in 2019 was done on market, compared to 53.4 per cent a year earlier.

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The value of cash trading rose 9.4 per cent to $2.8b in the month of December compared to a year earlier, with the volume of transactions jumping 93.5 per cent to 462,636.

Of that, share trading volumes almost doubled to 459,754 for an 8.6 per cent increase in value traded at $2.6b. Bond trading volume rose 14.7 percent to 2,882 with the value up 33 percent at $116 million.

Through the year, total trading volumes rose 49.7 per cent to 4.9 million while the value traded slipped 1 per cent to $37.8b.