Stock trading was suspended at the New Zealand stock exchange on Wednesday morning because of problems with a software upgrade at an associated share registry.
In a statement, the New Zealand Exchange Ltd (NZX), which operates the market said that electronic messages originating from RMLT, one of the three New Zealand share registries that manage the transfer of shares between brokers accounts and clients accounts, were faulty.
The problems stemmed from a RMLT software upgrade. The messaging failure meant that the exchange was unable to confirm that transfers of shares were being recorded. NZX says it felt the inability to confirm trades against holdings compromised the integrity of the market and it therefore decided to halt trading just before 11.30 am local time.
The exchange was down until 4:30pm. NZX says it kept the market closed until it confirmed that shareholder balances within the RMLT registry were correct, that client positions were accurate and that the message uplift had been restored.
NZX stressed that the closure was not the result of a failure of its own technology and that under its current system of share transfer, it is dependent upon the efficient and consistent operation of New Zealand share registries.
However NZX says it is now assessing all of its relationships in this context. In Australia the ASX controls the entire chain of events and information required to ensure that trades can be internally matched against holdings.