NZX, the sharemarket operator, has been chosen by Fonterra to run its private farmer-shareholder market.
The Fonterra Shareholders’ Market will let farmer-owners trade shares in the dairy cooperative among themselves as part of the Trading Among Farmers (TAF) regime scheduled to kick off in November. NZX will operate the market independent of its other bourses, and will provide trading, clearing, settlement, surveillance, regulatory and other reporting services.
NZX will operate the market under a flat fee structure, and is ironing out the finer commercial details, it said.
The TAF regime will see farmers hold so-called ‘wet’ shares equivalent to the volume of milk solids they produce each year, and ‘dry’ shares equalling up to 100 percent of their ‘wet’ shareholding. Both types of shares will be open to trading, and a fund will be set up which could hold a farmer’s shares on their behalf, paying out cash to farmers or helping purchase shares if need be.
The fund would also be open to public investment, something that has raised the ire of some Fonterra shareholders.
Fonterra chairman Henry van der Heyden was an NZX director between 2006 and 2009, stepping down from the sharemarket operator's board in July 2009 to "to remove any perceptions of potential conflicts of interest" as Fonterra worked on its capital restructuring plans.