What percentage of public equity is held by institutional investors versus retail investors?

Corporate Governance

Austria Small Flag Austria

According to statistics of the Austrian stock exchange, in the year 2018 two thirds of investors in the free float are institutional investors, whereas only 17% are private investors and 13% non-financial investors.

Brazil Small Flag Brazil

According to the information disclosed by B3 (the São Paulo Stock Exchange), in 2018, investors in Brazilian listed corporations may be categorized as follows:

  1. retail investors (17.8%);
  2. institutional investors (26.7%);
  3. foreign investors (50%);
  4. companies (1%);
  5. financial institutions (4.6%).

France Small Flag France

Institutional investors reportedly have held, in recent years, about 25% of public equity.

Germany Small Flag Germany

According to a study by EY, institutional investors held on average 63% of the shares in all DAX companies in 2017.

Greece Small Flag Greece

Apart from the minimum free float requirements (which must not be less than 10% of the share capital), there is no other legal requirement regarding the shareholding structure of public companies.

In practice, institutional investors are primarily engaged in shares of the four Greek systemic banks and certain large non-financial corporations. There is no public data on the overall percentage of public equity which is held by institutional investors versus retail investors.

Hong Kong Small Flag Hong Kong

When a company goes public, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange requires at least 25% of the company’s total number of issued shares to be held by the public, including but not limited to retail investors, at all times so as to maintain an open market in its securities. If the listing applicant has more than one classes of securities apart from the class of securities for which listing is sought, so long as the total securities of the listing applicant held by the public at the time of listing is at least 25%, the class of securities sought to be listed can be not less than 15% of the listing applicant’s total number of issued shares, if the expected market capitalization at the time of listing of is not less than HK$125,000,000 for companies seeking to list on the Main Board, and HK$45,000,000 for companies seeking to list on the GEM Board (rule 8.08 of the Main Board Listing Rules and rule 11.23 of the GEM Listing Rules). For companies seeking to list on the GEM Board, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange may, at its discretion, accept a lower percentage of between 15% and 25% in case the company has an expected market capitalization at the time of listing of over HK$10,000,000,000, and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange is satisfied that the number of securities concerned and the extent of their distribution would enable the market to operate properly with a lower percentage (rule 11.23 of the GEM Listing Rules).

Japan Small Flag Japan

According to the TSE, the shareholding percentage at market value by retail investors is 17.0%. While the shareholding percentage by institutional investors itself is not available, the aggregate percentage held by trust banks and foreigners, which could be deemed to be approximately the same as the shareholding ratio of institutional investors, is 50.7%.

Portugal Small Flag Portugal

There are no specific rules in this respect and it varies greatly in each company. Qualified holdings in listed companies are those equal to or above 2% of the voting rights (and usually correspond to institutional or strategic investors).

South Korea Small Flag South Korea

According to the KRX, 19.6% of KOSPI investors were institutional investors, 26% were foreigners, and 53.4% were individual retail investors, as of the end of July 2018. In the case of KOSDAQ, 5.1% were institutional investors, 9% were foreigners and 85% were individual retail investors. In total, the percentage in the two markets is as follows: 13.1% institutional investors, 18.4% foreigners and 67.6% individual retail investors.

Switzerland Small Flag Switzerland

It is difficult to make an accurate statement in this regard as there are no reliable and up-to-date statistics available. However, estimates and approximations indicate that more than half of public equity is held by institutional investors.

United States Small Flag United States

Ownership of public corporations has changed dramatically in the past few decades. In 1970, private individuals held approximately two-thirds of U.S. equities. In 2017, two-thirds of total outstanding U.S. equities were controlled by institutional investors like BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street. Currently, institutional investors own about 78 percent of the market value of the U.S. broad-market Russell 3000 index, or about $21.7 trillion. Likewise, institutions own about 80 percent of the market cap of the large-cap S&P 500 index, or $18 trillion, and between 70 and 85.8 percent of the market cap of the 10 largest U.S. companies. In addition, 42 percent of all U.S. stock fund assets as of June 30, 2017 were held in index funds.

United Kingdom Small Flag United Kingdom

The latest data released by the Office of National Statistics estimates that the value of UK quoted companies listed on the London Stock Exchange at the end of 2016 was approximately £2.04 trillion, of which 53.9% was held by investors from outside of the UK, 33.8% was held by UK-based institutions (including, amongst others, unit trusts, insurers, pension funds, banks, and the public sector) and the balance of 12.3% was held by UK individuals. The data do not discriminate between individuals and institutions for non-UK persons but it is likely that the majority of these shares are held by institutional investors.

Italy Small Flag Italy

According to the latest publicly-available data (Report on corporate governance of Italian listed companies, issued by CONSOB in December 2017): ‘Ownership of Italian listed companies is still highly concentrated. In line with medium-term evidence, almost 9 out of 10 firms remain controlled either by a single shareholder or by a shareholders’ agreement […]. At the end of 2016 institutional investors resulted to be major shareholders in 61 listed firms, representing slightly more than 26% of the market […]. At the end of 2016, the average share of capital held by major institutional investors is equal to 7.5%, slightly lower than its former levels’.

Turkey Small Flag Turkey

The public stocks of the company can be owned both by the institutional or the retail investors. The institutional investor must appoint a real person representative to fully act on behalf of the said investor. The pension funds, insurance companies and the fund managers are the main institutional investors. In 2018, the total portfolio value of institutional investors was TRY 173 billion (per Borsa Istanbul). 68% of the public debt instruments issued in TRY by private sector are held by local institutional investors whereas 27% of the same are held by local retail investors, 4% is held by foreign institutional investors (https://www.tuyid.org/files/yayinlar/Borsa_Trendleri_Raporu_XXVII_TR.pdf).

Luxembourg Small Flag Luxembourg


Ukraine Small Flag Ukraine

There is no public data on the overall percentage of public equity held by institutional investors versus retail investors in Ukraine. In general, retail investors dominate in the public equity over institutional investors.

Australia Small Flag Australia

There is no typical spread of equity between institutional and retail investors, rather the split would vary widely between different listed entities.

Egypt Small Flag Egypt

In accordance to the EGX website market watch on 17 April 2019, the institutions investors represent 81.06% of the ownership of listed shares of companies, compared to 18.93% owned by individuals.

Updated: September 18, 2019