Australian oilies exit risk-averse NZ bourse

NEW Zealand investors’ lack of experience in the resource sector and their liking for less volatile stocks have contributed to several Australian explorers recent delisting from the New Zealand Stock Exchange, says energy analyst Chris Stone.
Australian oilies exit risk-averse NZ bourse Australian oilies exit risk-averse NZ bourse Australian oilies exit risk-averse NZ bourse Australian oilies exit risk-averse NZ bourse Australian oilies exit risk-averse NZ bourse

“The Australian stock exchange is more weighted towards resource stocks than almost any other exchange in the world because they [Australians] are used to resources and more comfortable with their volatility,” the McDouall Stuart director told EnergyReview.net.

“New Zealand investors tend to be more risk averse and so settle for less risk and accompanying lower returns. Resource stocks in New Zealand are traded with a degree of care, if not suspicion.

“Obviously any company delisting has the potential to be negative. However, none of these companies [Santos, Cue Energy Resources and Lakes Oil] was supported sufficiently by New Zealand investors through the NZX.”

Santos and Cue shares are currently market darlings in Australia, but even these booming companies could not attract a significant NZ support base.

These companies also had to consider the added compliance costs of dual listing.

Stone said there were no particular impediments for New Zealanders to invest in energy stocks through the ASX as a lot of NZ brokers had Australian parent broking firms or associated companies. But there remained a degree of unfamiliarity if not wariness of foreign markets, even the ASX, by NZ investors.

Raising capital in New Zealand was not a problem, though the smallness of the local market restricted the size and frequency of IPOs, bonds or warrants.

Stone said opportunities for direct investment in energy stocks through the NZX were limited. But there were still Austral Pacific Energy, New Zealand Oil & Gas, Contact Energy, NGC, TrustPower, infrastructure company Infratil and the soon-to-be available Vector shares.

The NZX also offered a few Australian energy stocks, such as Alinta and Oil Search, through its mid-cap Australian fund. Serious energy investors could also take stakes in overseas oil and gas firms – such the US or European majors or even China’s Sinopec or India’s Reliance Industries – either directly or through various managed funds.

Adelaide-headquartered Santos last week said it would be delisting from the NZX at the end of this month, having only 1000 or so shareholders through the NZX out of a total of 80,000 shareholders. Melbourne-headquartered Lakes Oil said it also would be delisting from the NZX on June 30, as it only had 100 shareholders on the NZ register and in excess of 9000 in Australia.

Cue – which explores in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and New Zealand – delisted from the NZX late last month after nearly 25 years of trading on the NZ bourse, despite recently buying into the exciting offshore Taranaki Maari prospect.

All three companies said NZ investors would not be disadvantaged, as they could still trade on the ASX and receive annual reports and additional information through the internet.

Pan Pacific Petroleum, Horizon Oil and Energy World Corporation – which also have dual listings – have declined to comment about their future trading intentions on the NZX.

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