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MANILA - Investor accounts at brokerages registered with the Philippine Stock Exchange breached the 500,000 level last year as more individuals earning less than P500,000 participated in the stock market, the bourse said on Friday.
Data gathered from 133 active brokers showed that total investor accounts rose by 1.3 percent to 505,054 in 2011 from the previous year’s 498,838.
Of the total last year, 94.7 percent pertained to retail accounts or those held by individuals, while 5.3 percent were institutional accounts or those generally held by corporations.
While the number of retail accounts only inched up by 0.9 percent to 478,362 from 474,002 in 2010, active retail accounts increased by nearly a third to 149,233 from 112,880.
The share of active retail accounts to total retail accounts also increased to 31.2 percent compared with 23.8 percent in 2010.
“While the growth in the number of accounts was tempered in 2011, we are pleased with the significant increase in the number of active accounts in the market. This reflects robust trading activity the past year which was sustained this year with the 40 percent increase in value turnover year-to-date compared with last year,” Hans Sicat, PSE president and chief executive, said in a statement.
Institutional accounts went up by 7.5 percent to 26,692 from 24,836 in 2010 brought about by the increase in number of both local and foreign institutional accounts. Active institutional accounts, likewise, registered a 16.3 percent increase to 8,302 from 7,136 in 2010.
Local accounts continued to dominate total investor accounts in the stock market with a 98.6 percent share, while the remaining 1.4 percent belonged to foreign accounts.
“It is noteworthy that local accounts continue to provide a healthy base for our stock market as seen in the growth of active local accounts,” Sicat said.
However, a bigger percentage of foreign accounts were active as compared with their local counterparts in 2011. Of the total foreign accounts, 48.5 percent were considered active accounts against the 30.9 percent figure for local accounts.
Retail investor profile
The PSE study also shows a shift in the profile of retail investors in the Philippines as more individuals earning less than P500,000 accounted for the biggest share of retail investors at 37.4 percent, up from 29.1 percent in 2010.
Those earning above P1 million annually accounted for a third of the retail investors, while investors earning between P500,000 to P1 million contributed 28.1 percent. These numbers are down from 36.7 percent and 29.1 percent, respectively, in 2010.
Most retail investors were engaged in the services sector and were professionals, which comprised 30.4 percent and 24.7 percent of retail accounts, respectively. Self-employed individuals accounted for 19.4 percent of retail accounts.
Of the total retail investors, 71.4 percent were between the ages of 30 to 59, while investors aged 60 years and above comprised 18.5 percent of retail accounts. The number of retail investors between ages 18 to 29 years nearly doubled their share to 10.1 percent.
Retail investors were mostly male as they accounted for 58.5 percent of the total in 2011, while 41.5 percent were female.
About 76.8 percent of local retail investors were based in Metro Manila, while 13 percent were based in Luzon, excluding Metro Manila. Local retail investors from Visayas and Mindanao represented 6.1 percent and 2.3 percent of total retail accounts, respectively.
Overseas local investors comprised 1.9 percent.
The PSE is cognizant of the challenges to broaden its investor base, Sicat said, as the bourse has expanded its presence in Visayas and Mindanao with the establishment of a satellite office in Cebu last year. Another one is expected to rise in Cagayan de Oro later this year. It is also set to launch an online trading platform for brokers to boost retail participation.
Of the total foreign retail investors, 37.2 percent were of Chinese descent. Investors from other countries and American investors comprised 22.1 percent, and 20.0 percent, respectively. The remaining were Europeans, Taiwanese, Koreans, and Singaporeans.
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