Thursday, August 30, 2007

IPO Quality indicative of poor economy

The poor number of IPO's listed on the New Zealand Stock Exchange in 2007 reflect the lack of confidence that the business sector and therefore market investors have in the NZ economy.

This is a good indicator of where our economy might be going, considering share markets usually anticipate real economic factors months before they happen.

Michael Cullen's tax, spend and welfare splurge has finally come home to roost. His huge taxpayer funded surplus has meant Kiwis have used credit to buy consumer goods instead of the cash that is theirs and the Labour Government's contribution to the current finance company mess must be stated clearly.

The quality of some IPO's listed this year have left investors a little bit cold. Xero [XRO.NZ] the software company listed at over NZ$1 and now languish at around 70c, Burger Fuel International [BFW.NZ] listed at $1 and are currently getting grilled at .70c (up 5c today!!!) Pike River Coal [PRC.NZ] , the biggest IPO this year started trading at $1 and is now selling at just above 80c.

We have had several prospective IPOs canceled this year because of investor nervousness. One of them, AMP's listing of their Summerset Retirement Village unit has been canned but ING's Retirement unit will still be listed later this year, even though some of its directors have been involved in major business failures and losses for investors in the past.

The New Zealand share market is lacking a big IPO that would possibly kick off a new wave of investing. One remote possibility would be this countries biggest company, the Dairy giant Fonterra. There has been talk around the traps from time to time about this happening but nothing concrete or with any substance as yet.

It would make perfect sense to list Fonterra, especially now as the Dairy business is doing historically well, more investment is needed to increase capacity and listing would allow farmers to free up capital more easily than currently and using the proceeds to reinvest in their business, pay back debt or buy that new Holden or Ford.

IPO's can be a good indicator of how well the business community sees the economy going. The dearth of good ones in 2007 indicate that the brakes have already been applied to the economy.

Lets hope the impact isn't too hard.

The resumption of some good IPO's will be one indicator of a turnaround.

Related Amazon Reading

IPOs for Everyone: The 12 Secrets of Investing in IPOs
IPOs for Everyone: The 12 Secrets of Investing in IPOs by Linda R. Killian
Buy new: $33.06 / Used from: $4.37
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c Share Investor 2007