Hardman & Co have just published an influential piece of share ownership research, along the lines of the long-standing ONS share ownership survey, but covering all the stocks in the London market.
CEO Keith Hiscock revealed the key findings to London South East. Overseas ownership now accounts for more than 50% of the entire London market, and London is clearly where companies from across the world choose to raise capital. Although the capital markets and companies spend the majority of their time communicating with Institutional investors, "in fact other investors are becoming increasingly important, and are critical to creating liquidity or turnover in shares. Post-Woodford this is very important" said Hiscock.
The latest ONS survey shows that retail investors hold 13% of the market. But the Hardma research suggests they are more important to share prices and liquidity than their percentage ownership would indicate. Retail investors hold 5.3% of the FTSE 100, 8.4% of the Main Market ex FTSE 100, 27.1%of AIM and 52% of NEX. "Large Institutions hold big lumps of stock which they rarely trade.
They dominate when they do trade, but in between, on most days and for most companies, small trades set the price. In November last year, nearly 83% of AIM-listed companies had an average trade size of less than £10,000" explained Keith Hiscock.