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Share ownership levels increase

Friday 15th July 2005

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Approximately 100,000 more New Zealanders, equal to the population of a city the size of Tauranga, have invested directly in the local sharemarket since 2000 according to new research commissioned by NZX and ABN AMRO Craigs.

Latest figures show 23% of the 18+ population own shares directly (ie: not through managed funds or superannuation schemes). This is up from 21% when the survey was last conducted five years ago.

Since then NZX has demutualised, listed and revamped its operating and regulatory functions to bring New Zealand markets into line with international best practice.

Geoff Brown, head of NZX markets, said the rising trend of share ownership is good news for the investors and the New Zealand economy.

"But it still leaves 77% of the adult population who are not accessing the benefits of share ownership directly in their investments. This will continue to be a focus for NZX to increase participation in the sharemarket," he said.

"The culture in New Zealand remains mostly focused on owning property, but this research shows that a good number of people are adding shares to their investment mix," he said.

Frank Aldridge, head of client services for ABN AMRO Craigs, said it is very encouraging to see more New Zealanders participating in the capital markets.

"Establishing an investment portfolio provides New Zealanders with one of the best way to meet their medium to long-term goals. One of our primary aims is to ensure our clients' portfolios are adequately diversified," he said.

The survey indicates that although participation in the sharemarket has increased, there are a significant number of investors who own fewer than five securities.

Key findings from the research are:

  • 11% of non-share investors plan to invest in the sharemarket in the coming year
  • 28% of share investors say the media is the most influential source of information for investments, with 14% reporting a sharebroker or NZX Advisor
  • 57% reported having less than $50,000 invested in shares
  • 24% of share investors hold shares in only one company, and another 36% hold shares in between 2-5 companies
  • 38% of share investors report purchasing their shares mainly through a share broker or NZX advisor, 21% though a fund manager, 6% through a financial planner and a further 6% directly via an online trading facility
  • 39% of adult New Zealanders (those aged 18+) own shares either directly in a company, through a managed fund or an index or exchange traded fund.
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