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Liquidnet, the institutional investment community that enables secure and anonymous block trading of equities, is expanding its trading operations to include New Zealand listed securities.

Liquidnet will commence trading of New Zealand equities on 22 June 2010.

It is believed to be the first time an alternative trading venue has offered electronic trading access to equities listed in New Zealand.

Sam Macqueen, co-head of Liquidnet Australia, says the decision to facilitate New Zealand equities trading was led by strong demand from Liquidnet’s asset manager members who find the local market restrictive when it comes to trading large volumes of stocks.

“Our members face significant market impact costs when trading NZX-listed stocks because wholesale-sized trades in a small market can cause dramatic price changes,” Macqueen says. “Fund managers wanting to invest in NZX-listed stocks are effectively penalised for their size.”

Liquidnet’s expansion to New Zealand follows the group’s establishment in Australia.

Since its Australian launch in February 2008, Liquidnet Australia has grown a liquidity pool of AUD1.7bn, representing the average daily liquidity of the 180 members enabled to trade Australian-listed securities.

In Australia, Liquidnet’s average trade size during the first quarter of 2010 was AUD1.2m—116 times greater than that of the ASX.

Liquidnet now offers trading access to 36 equities markets around the world, with New Zealand and Mexico the most recent markets to launch. New Zealand will become the sixth market accessible in the Asia Pacific region, joining Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea and Singapore.

In addition to New Zealand and Mexico, Liquidnet also recently commenced trading in the eastern European markets of Poland, Lithuania, Estonia and Slovenia.

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