Stock retail investors from Central Visayas drop in 2014

Carlo S. Lorenciana (The Freeman) - August 17, 2015 - 10:00am

CEBU, Philippines – The Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) said there was an increase last year in the number of stock market investors outside Metro Manila, but retail investors from the Visayas slightly decreased in 2014 compared to 2013.

PSE’s 2014 Stock Market Investor Profile report showed that Visayas accounted for 4.4% of the total retail or individual investors in the country. That is lower than the 5% it posted in 2013.

The PSE noted in its report that majority of investors continued to be based Metro Manila with 68.5% of the total retail accounts. Investors based elsewhere in Luzon rose 18.7% last year from 13.2% in 2013.

Mindanao, on the other hand, accounted for 2.3% of total retail investors while overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) made up 6.1% of the total.

The Profile report, the PSE said, showed a continuous growth in the number of online accounts which rose 35.1% last year to 174,592 from 129,255 in 2013.

“Of this total, 99.6% or 173,895 were retail accounts. Since 2009, online accounts have grown at a compound annual growth rate of 43.9%,” the stock exchange said.

“The growth in online accounts continues to be impressive and validates our strategy of expanding the retail investor base through this platform. Online accounts now comprise 27 percent of total stock market accounts from a mere 6 percent share in 2009,” President and CEO Hans B. Sicat was quoted as saying in the report.

In total, investor accounts – including traditional and online accounts – rose to 640,665 in 2014, up 9.4% from 2013’s 585,562.

Of the total accounts, 95.3% were retail accounts and 98.5% were owned by local investors. Share of foreign investors was at 1.5%.

The PSE also found out the investors were getting younger, with those aged 18-44 years old accounting for 50.1% of the total 2014 accounts from 46.4% in 2013.

In an earlier interview with Lexter Azurin, equity research head at Unicapital Securities Inc., said the Philippines still has “huge potential” in urging Filipinos to invest in the stock market.

“If you compare our market to the rest of our counterparts in Asia, there are only about less than 1 million accounts opened here including retail and institutional,” Azurin said. “That’s less than 1% of the total population of the Philippines.”

But Azurin viewed it as an opportunity to encourage more people to get into stock market investing.

“I guess what we lack here in the Philippines is educating the people [on stock market],” he said.

The analyst added the PSE and stockbrokers must bank into disseminating about the benefits of stock investing amid the country’s growing economy.

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