THE New Zealand Stock Exchange has received a clean bill of health for its performance last year but has also been given three areas it needs to work on.
The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) today released its annual report on the NZX's compliance with its obligations under the Securities Markets Act and the Authorised Futures Exchange Notice.
Elaine Campbell, FMA head of compliance monitoring, said the NZX had been fully compliant and had met its statutory requirements for the period of January 1 to December 31 last year.
"NZX has committed itself to a programme of continuous improvement in all aspects of its operations that contribute to its delivery of fair, orderly and transparent markets.
"Where we did identify areas that need more work, NZX displayed a willingness to take this feedback on board, and a commitment to implementing our recommendations," Campbell said.
The FMA report outlined three areas where NZX needed to focus further efforts in 2013: managing potential conflicts of interest, enforcing compliance, and board reporting and oversight.
Recommendations related to these points included developing an overarching Enforcement Policy to clarify NZX's enforcement objectives and considering ways of providing the market with information on enforcement activity.
The FMA also suggested developing a mechanism for overseeing and assessing exercise of the regulatory delegations and the quality of regulatory decision-making.
NZX chief executive Tim Bennett welcomed the review and said his organisation had made a number of changes to its structure and improvements to processes following the FMA's inaugural review last year.
These changes included a "tightly focused" regulation team and the formation of a new markets services group, responsible for regulated market operations and customer service.
NZX had also increased resourcing in Regulation and Market Operations, and put in place new processes, service standards and reporting, Bennett said.
"In partnership with FMA, we have made solid progress towards strengthening the quality of the operation of our markets, and we are delighted our considerable efforts in these areas are reflected positively in this report," Bennett said.
"Importantly, FMA noted NZX had, to the extent to which it was reasonably practicable, done all things necessary to ensure that each of our Registered Markets and the Derivatives Market was a fair, orderly and transparent market."
The FMA's assessment of the NZX covers the stock exchange's operation of equity, debt and derivatives markets.
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