Ownership of UK shares

ended 03. March 2022

Data just out from the ONS shows, among other things, that in 2020:

  • At the end of 2020, shares in quoted UK-domiciled companies listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) were worth a total of £2.17 trillion.
  • The proportion of UK shares held in the rest of the world increased again to set a record high, at 56.3% of the value of the UK stock market.
  • The proportion of UK shares held by UK-resident individuals fell to 12%, down by 1.3 percentage points from 2018.
  • The proportion of UK shares held by other financial institutions rose by 4.6 percentage points to 12.8%, the highest on record.
  • Unit trusts' proportion fell to 7.4%, down 2.0 percentage points from 2018.
  • Insurance companies' share of the market continued to fall and stood at 2.5%, down 1.4 percentage points from 2018.

What are your views on this?



3 responses from the Newspage community

"I'm not surprised by this data at all. The UK stock market has disappointed for several years, due in part to Brexit concerns but also it includes more 'value' stocks, which have also disappointed. Consequently, many investors eventually lost faith with the UK stock market and switched their UK investments into other markets and 'growth' stocks in particular. Of course, Sod's law, with many investors having switched out of the UK, the UK stock market was actually one of the best-performing markets last year. In part because the Brexit deal wasn't as bad as many feared, but also because investors started to recognise that 'value' stocks were probably undervalued and started rebuying these."
"The data is unsurprising given the poor performance of the UK stock market in recent years combined with Brexit, the pandemic, and uncertainty about the Government's ability to manage the country, both in terms of the economy and otherwise. Ultimately, many investors have lost confidence in the UK stock market and are preferring to look at alternatives such as property and global stocks."
"We are seeing an increase in families wanting to invest in shares, usually by way of unit trusts. This is partly driven by many realising that over the long term, holding their money in cash is not going to maximise their wealth. This has been exacerbated by the recent spike in inflation. When we do help those families to invest in shares, the focus is not solely on UK companies as a global portfolio is more diversified. Conversely, those overseas are probably doing the same and are now including UK shares as part of their portfolios."