The detailed and comprehensive information contained in this, the 14th annual Australian Financial Markets Report (AFMR) highlights one of the primary reasons for the Australian economy being one of the world's strongest performing in recent years - the existence of deep, liquid and sophisticated financial markets.
The size and stability of Australia's financial markets play a vital role in the performance of the economy as a whole. The finance and insurance sector is currently the third largest sector of Australia's economy, contributing more than 7 per cent of GDP and employing around 345,000 people. .
While Australia has not been entirely immune to the volatility affecting global markets over the last 12 months, we have weathered the financial storm better than most.
This year's AFMR shows that turnover across Australia's exchange and over-the-counter financial markets amounted to $50.1 trillion in the year to June 2002, an increase of 19.5 per cent on the same period 12 months ago. Gains have been particularly strong in the swaps market where turnover rose 77 per cent to $2.6 trillion, and in the repurchase agreement market where turnover increased by nearly 60 per cent to $6.7 trillion.
The report also confirms that Australia continues to be one of the key centres for capital markets activity in the Asia-Pacific region, with liquid markets in equities, debt, foreign exchange and derivatives. The breadth of reliable data, the liquidity and efficiency of our markets, the availability of state-of-the-art technology and a highly skilled and innovative workforce all work together to maintain Australia's reputation as a world-class financial services hub in the .
The growth in our markets and their importance regionally, is driving Australia's shift to a services-based economy, with financial services at its heart. Over the last 10 years, the market capitalisation share of finance and insurance companies listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) has more than doubled from 17.