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Oct 13, 2022

Asian firms grow domestic investor base, new data shows

But North American and European investors lose influence in the region

Asian ownership of domestic firms increased by 12 percentage points in 2021, with 70 percent of shareholders coming from the region, according to the IR Magazine Global and Regional Investor Relations Practice Report 2021.

Based on a survey of more than 800 professionals from the IR community, the report provides data and insights on IR practice across a wide range of areas such as IR budgets, team sizes, external spending and shareholder base composition.

Research on shareholder bases reveals that Asian firms recorded the highest growth in levels of domestic ownership in 2021, with the report noting a fall in the proportion of shares held by investors from North America and Europe.

The percentage of domestic investors in Asia is also the second-highest for each of the regions studied, with the number of North American domestic shareholders dropping by 4 percentage points to 84 percent year on year, and European domestic bases marginally increasing to 66 percent.

As well as reporting the biggest growth in domestic shareholdings, Asian companies hold the highest number of regional bases in small-cap companies, with nine in 10 investors targeting this company size. Conversely, only 38 percent of the shares in mega-cap firms come from the region.

This compares with Europe, where 88 percent of investors target small-cap companies, and on average 60 percent hold bases in other market caps. The picture is different in North America, where there is a more uniform spread across the board, with regional investor shares averaging 83 percent in all market caps.

The investor landscape

On a global basis, on average 60 percent of publicly listed companies’ shareholdings are held by institutional investors, with North American firms reporting the highest percentage in 2021 at 69 percent, though 2 percentage points lower than in 2020.

European firms maintain the same level of institutional investors as the previous year, at 58 percent of all holdings. By contrast, only 30 percent of Asian companies’ shares are held by institutional investors, the lowest percentage of all the regions surveyed.

The full IR Magazine Global Investor Relations Practice Report 2021 is available to Advanced subscribers to IR Magazine, while a global overview of the report is available to Essentials subscribers. 

View a sample of the report:

Click to read Global Investor Relations Practice Report Sample