Markets you can trade through ASB Securities

With ASB Securities, you can easily access markets in New Zealand, Australia and many major markets around the world. This guide takes you through the different markets you can trade, how they work, and what you’ll need to start trading.

Buying and selling in New Zealand

New Zealand has two markets, operated by the New Zealand Stock Exchange (NZX).

The NZSX is the Main Board and home to many of New Zealand’s best known organisations and brands. It offers shares and exchange traded funds (ETFs). There are strict rules for listing, including minimum turnover, assets, reporting and disclosure.

The NZDX is the Debt Market which provides a way for organisations to expand and grow their debt facilities. It offers some corporate and government bonds, as well as fixed income securities.

How the New Zealand market operates

The market operates with share registries and share brokers.

Share registries:
Share registries act on behalf of organisations issuing shares or bonds to administer investor holdings. Amongst other things, they manage the share ownership registers, issue holding statements and manage corporate actions, such as dividend, interest payments and stock splits.

There are two shareholder registries in New Zealand: Computershare and Link Market Services.

Share brokers:
ASB Securities is a broker that facilitates you buying and selling shares on the share market. We don't hold or administer your shares, as most share holdings are held directly with the shares registries. There are exceptions though, such as if you have elected to use the nominee or the ASB Securities Margin Lending services.

What is needed to trade on the New Zealand market

Common Shareholder Number (CSN):
Shareholdings are generally held on a Common Shareholder Number (CSN). A CSN is a single shareholder number common to all NZ share registries that can hold multiple shareholdings.

A CSN will be allocated to you, when you set up a share trading account with us. If you already have an existing CSN, let us know when you are applying and we’ll use that one with your account instead.

If shares aren’t held on a CSN, they will be on a holder number – a shareholder number that’s specific to a share registry or a particular shareholding. You may have more than one holder number if you have existing shareholdings.

Faster Identification Number (FIN):
Shareholders also require a Faster Identification Number (FIN), sometimes known as an Authorisation Code. It is a 4-digit number, like a PIN, for your shareholding and is issued to you by the share registries. A FIN is associated to a specific CSN or holder number and is required to sell NZ shareholdings. If you lose your FIN, you will need to contact the relevant share registry who can then advise you what it is.

Trading on New Zealand markets with us

You can buy and sell NZ shares and ETFs online with ASB Securities. If you want to buy or sell fixed interest on the NZDX, simply call us.

Find out more about trading on the New Zealand market with us.

Buying and selling on the Australian market

With ASB Securities, you can easily trade online on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) which lists shares, exchange traded funds and some hybrid securities. All Australian trades are available online.

How the Australian market operates

The market operates with share registries and share brokers.

Share registries:
Like New Zealand, share registries act on behalf of organisations issuing shares or bonds to administer investor holdings. Amongst other things, they manage the share ownership registers, issue holding statements, and manage corporate actions, such as dividend, interest payments and stock splits.

There are five main shareholder registries in Australia: Computershare, Link Market Services, Boardroom, Security Transfer Registry Services and Advanced Share Registry Services. There are many smaller operators as well.

Share brokers:
ASB Securities facilitates you buying and selling shares on the Australian share market. We use Finclear Execution Ltd (FinEx) as our agent for all trades on the ASX, so they are ASB Securities’ Australian broker.

There are two ways for investors to hold shares in Australia; broker-sponsored, or issuer-sponsored.

Broker-sponsored holdings are held with a broker in a client-specific CHESS account. CHESS stands for Clearing House Electronic Sub-register System. A CHESS account uses a Holder Identification Number (HIN), which is similar to a CSN in NZ as that it can reference multiple holdings. However, if you have more than one Australian share trading account with different brokers, you will have a different CHESS account and HIN for each.

Issuer-sponsored holdings are held with the share registry appointed by the issuing company. In this case, you’re given a Security Reference Number (SRN). An SRN is unique to each share holding, so you would have separate SRNs if you had multiple issuer-sponsored holdings.

What is needed to trade on the Australian market

To trade shares you’ll need either a HIN or a SRN.

Holder Identification Number (HIN):
When you register for an account with ASB Securities, we open a CHESS account and issue a HIN for you, so you’re set up and ready to trade. When you buy Australian securities through ASB Securities they are normally broker-sponsored, so we register them to your HIN. You can identify a HIN as it usually starts with an X and is followed by 9 digits.

Security Reference Number (SRN):
ASB Securities won’t have any record of holdings you may have on a SRN, as these holdings are held with the share registry and not held with us, so you’ll need to provide us your SRN to sell these holdings. You can identify a SRN as it usually starts with a capital letter ‘I’ followed by 9-10 digits.

Trading on the Australian market with us

You can buy and sell most Australian shares easily online. Your ASB Securities share trading account is set up with your HIN, so you can easily buy and sell securities issued to your HIN.

If you already hold Australian shares under an SRN, you can sell them through ASB Securities – you’ll just need to call us to do this. We check that your details match on your CHESS account and then load the SRN code against your stock in ASB Securities. If you don’t trade the stock within 20 business days, we clear the SRN code from our system.

Find out more about trading on the Australian market with us.

Buying and selling on overseas markets

We trade on many overseas markets, including the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, major European markets and others. Several markets are available to you through ASB Securities that you may not be able to trade through other New Zealand brokers.

How ASB Securities operates in overseas markets

ASB Securities doesn’t directly operate in international markets. To facilitate trading for our clients, we use overseas brokers who trade international markets to act as agents for placing orders, plus an international sub-custodian who holds and administers client shareholdings.

Shares are held in a pooled 'omnibus' account, where all international shareholdings are combined and held together in one place, rather than in individual accounts. You remain the underlying beneficial owner of the shares you buy and ASB Securities administers any dividend payments and corporate actions on your securities. We also provide a monthly custodial report, so you can easily keep track of your shareholdings that are held in custody.

What is needed to trade on overseas markets

Unlike NZ and Australian markets, you don’t need any special accounts or numbers. Generally, all you need is your ASB Securities account. Some markets can also have additional requirements, such as details of your tax status that we may need you to provide at a later date.

It’s important to note, that in order to trade on overseas markets, your shares must be held in ASB Securities’ custody.

Tax on your overseas holdings

Income from international shareholdings is usually subject to tax. Because your overseas shares are held in a single omnibus account with our sub-custodian, no concessional tax rates under individual tax treaties can be applied. Any interest, dividends or other income, is taxed at the maximum local withholding tax rate for your securities’ home market. Our sub-custodian deducts your tax at source, and pays the overseas tax authority directly.

You are also liable for tax in New Zealand, on any dividends from your overseas holdings. Merger considerations and certain other corporate actions may be deemed dividends, resulting in withholding tax being payable on the capital value of your shareholding.

As the tax rate depends on your circumstances, we recommend that you seek appropriate tax advice regarding your obligations.

Sometimes there are other complexities when dealing on international share markets; such as increased regulation. We will endeavour to keep you informed on a timely basis of any changes that affect your shareholding. On occasion we may require you to provide additional information, to comply with the legal requirements of the international jurisdictions you own shares in.

Trading on overseas markets with us

You can request overseas trades over the phone with one of our brokers. As there is more to think about when trading on international markets, the team can talk you through the process.

There are restrictions on certain stocks that can be traded or transferred into our custody, which our team can advise. Also, due to legal reasons, there may be restrictions on the services we can provide to a beneficial owner who is a US citizen.

Find out more about trading on the overseas markets with us.

Managing foreign exchange fluctuations

When you trade securities anywhere outside of New Zealand, changes in exchange rates may affect the value of your holdings. Settling your trades to an ASB Foreign Currency Account for share trading helps control your foreign exchange risk. You can open Foreign Currency Accounts in most major currencies to assist you in managing your different overseas holdings.

When selling securities, you can settle the proceeds to your ASB Foreign Currency Account, use the funds to reinvest in the same market, or transfer them to New Zealand dollars when the exchange rate is favourable. It’s an easy, efficient way to reduce your currency management costs.

Next steps

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Contact the ASB Securities team from 7am to 6pm NZT, Monday to Friday.

0800 272 732

+64 9 448 8120

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ASB Securities Limited is an NZX firm. When you trade on the NZX markets through ASB Securities you must comply with NZX rules as outlined in the ASB Securities Trading Conduct for Online Share trading. ASB Securities terms and conditions apply. Pricing data supplied by ASX and/or NZX. ASB Cash Management Account, ASB Foreign Currency Account, ASB Margin Lending and ASB Term Deposits are provided by ASB Bank Limited. ASB term's apply. Rates and fees may change. Refer to asb.co.nz for other fees and charges. This page does not have regard to the financial situation or needs of any reader. As individual circumstances differ, you should seek appropriate professional advice. See the ASB Securities glossary for share trading and investment terms or Morningstar for research terms. 

ASB Securities Markets you can trade through ASB Securities