MANILA, Philippines - More people invested in the stock market last year, according to the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE).
The PSE said investor accounts rose to 505,054 accounts in 2011, breaching the 500,000 mark for the first time.
In a PSE poll based on data from 133 brokers, the number of investor accounts grew by 1.3% in 2011 from the previous year’s 498,838 total.
The bulk of the accounts or 478,362 were retail accounts held by individual investors, while the rest were institutional accounts or those held by companies.
Of the 478,362 retail accounts, there was a 32% increase in the number of active accounts.
"While the growth in 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%increase in value turnover year-to-date compared with last year,” PSE president and chief executive officer Hans B. Sicat said.
In 2011, the number of institutional accounts grew by 7.5% to 26,692, due to an increase in both local and foreign accounts. Active accounts also went up 16% last year.
Local accounts dominated the total investor accounts in the stock market with a 98.6% share, with the 1.4% attributed 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. As we continue to welcome more foreign investments in the stock market, the share of local trading is necessary in building a strong base for liquidity in the stock market. We continue to persist in our market education initiatives to reach a broader retail base," Sicat said.
However, foreign accounts were more active than the local accounts.
Who are the retail investors?
Based on the PSE study, the retail investor is mostly male (58.5%), while the rest are female (41.5%).
More than a third (37%) of the retail investors are individuals earning less than P500,000 a year. Investors who earn more than P1 million annually account for a third of the total, but they were the most active investors.
The remaining third of the retail investors earn between P500,000 to P1 million a year.
Seventy percent of the total retail investors are between the ages of 30 to 59. Investors aged 60 and above account for 18% of retail investors, while 10% were aged 18 to 29.
A majority (77%) of the local retail investors are based in Metro Manila, while 13% were from Luzon, 6.1% from Visayas and 2.3% from Mindanao.
"We are cognizant of the challenges that continue to face the PSE in broadening its investor base. On this score, we have pushed for the expansion of our presence in Visayas and Mindanao with the establishment of a PSE satellite office in Cebu last year, and hopefully another one in Cagayan de Oro to be opened later this year. We are also introducing new services to promote online trading to trading participants which should further boost retail participation," Sicat said.
Foreign retail investors were mainly of Chinese descent (37.2%), followed by other countries (22.1%) and United States (20%). Europeans, Taiwanese, Koreans, and Singaporeans accounted for 8.3%, 4.3%, 4.1%, and 3.2%, respectively.