Dividend obsession hampers NZ stock market
New Zealand's dividend-focused stock market is good for retirees but is crippled by a lack of growth companies, and the blame for its malaise lies in a number of places, a boutique fund manager says.
Tuesday, May 8th 2012, 6:00AM
by Niko Kloeten
As reported by Good Returns, financial advisers are sceptical as to whether the upcoming SOE floats will revive the flagging stock market, which is much smaller relative to its host country's economy than its Australian counterpart.
Pie Funds managing director Mike Taylor has reinforced this view, telling Good Returns the NZX already has too many of these types of companies.
What the stock market really needs, he says, is an injection of growth companies to attract excitement as well as capital.
He used listed internet auction site Trade Me as an example, saying it could have greatly benefited New Zealand's share market if it had been listed initially instead of sold to Fairfax for $700 million.
New Zealand listed companies offer some of the highest dividend yields in the world, a fact Pie Funds is looking to capitalise on through its Australasian Dividend Fund, which it launched last year.
Asked whether the market's focus on dividends was a result of investor demand or the limited scope for growth in New Zealand's small economy, Taylor said, "Both of those answers - there's a culture down here to pay dividend yields and most of the companies are mature businesses.
"I think New Zealanders are quite conservative in their investment still - the level of sophistication is quite low. When people take risks they take the wrong kinds of risks and don't diversify.
"You have to ask some people, why did you have all of your portfolio in one finance company? And having it spread across five different finance companies isn't diversification either."
Niko Kloeten can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
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