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Fonterra fund to start trading on Friday

The tolling of a cowbell will start one of the bigger launches in New Zealand market history when Fonterra units become available on Friday.

Trading will begin at noon in units in the Fonterra Shareholders Fund, in which unit holders would get rights to share dividends without owning the shares.

There is also trading in the Fonterra Shareholders Market, in which the farmers can trade shares in the company among themselves alone.

Trading at share markets is traditionally opened and closed by the ringing of a bell, and Fonterra thought they'd put their own spin on it when trading among farmers opens at noon at its site in Darfield, Canterbury.

"Being Fonterra, we couldn't look past a traditional cow bell, but we increased the size just a little to note the importance of the event," Fonterra Southern operations engineering manager Greg Millane said.

The company announced its unit price would be $5.50 price on Tuesday, which was at the top end of the range provided in the fund's prospectus, meaning the fund will launch at a size of $525 million.

ANZ Bank chief economist Cameron Bagrie told NZ Newswire the initiative was a significant one.

"Without actually buying a farm, it's not easy to get direct exposure into the rural sector in New Zealand.

"Even if you have a look at how many listed companies there are that you would call agri-focused firms, there's not a lot of them."