Silver lining in the Land of Mordor

The Kiwi stock market returned 25.1% last year, with companies raising more capital proportionally than any other Asian market. It''s a message the NZX is spreading north to Asia.

New Zealand has had a remarkable turn around in fortunes in the last five years, transforming from a fixed-rate agrarian economy to one where the stock market has doubled in size in two years and where corporate investment is booming.

The discount that stock investors once applied to the market for being a risky far-flung country has evaporated, and those without exposure to the benchmark NZSX50 index missed out on a 25.1% return last year.

By December, the market capitalization of the NZX had reached NZ$63.8 billion $45.6 billion, nearly 22% higher than December 2003. Trading volumes for the same period were up 10%...

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