Foreign Investors Have Confidence In Spain’s Listed Companies: They Hold 43% Of Their Shares

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Foreign investors have increased their leadership in terms of how many shares they own in Spanish listed companies. They held 43.1% of the total at end-2016.

Their share has risen by seven-tenths of a percentage point and is the highest figure in the historical series, almost 13 points higher than in 1992. Proof of foreign investors’ confidence in Spain’s listed companies is that nine years after the start of the crisis (2007), their holdings has increased by 6,3 points. This information is contained in the BME report on the distribution of share ownership published on Thursday.

The Spanish Survey of Household Finances coordinated by the Bank of Spain provides access to data regarding the characteristics of the holdings of Spanish households in listed firms. According to the last wave, at the end of 2014, 11.4% of households, representing 2.1 million homes, owned shares in listed companies. This is the result if we apply it to the number of households in Spain and the 5,25 million people who have exposure to shares, taking into account the average number of people per household, following the analysis of the data and calculations carried out by BME.

In 2016, Spanish households reduced their holdings in the stock market by one percentage point to 23.4%, after three consecutive years of rises. That said, they are still the second largest group of owners after foreign investors. The increase and the revaluation of the portfolio of shares in the hands of households during the crisis has served to boost the value of their financial assets. At end-2016, they totalled 2.1 billion euros, up 1.4% from a year earlier and 20% more than in 2008.

Spanish banks and savings banks once again registered a new low in terms of stock market holdings at end-2016, with a 3% share, six-tenths of a percentage point less than in 2015. This is the result of their propensity for divesting shares in listed companies with the aim of reinforcing their capital to deal with new regulatory requirements. The current 3% share is almost 13 points less than in 1992 and 6,3 points less than in 2007.

The Public Administrations’ holdings of shares in listed companies rose to 3.1% in 2016, the highest percentage for the last 19 years. This is mainly the result of the partial sale and stock market listing of airports operator Aena in the first half of 2015, and its subsequent revaluation throughout 2016.



About the Author

The Corner
The Corner has a team of on-the-ground reporters in capital cities ranging from New York to Beijing. Their stories are edited by the teams at the Spanish magazine Consejeros (for members of companies’ boards of directors) and at the stock market news site Consenso Del Mercado (market consensus). They have worked in economics and communication for over 25 years.