Non-resident investors own 50.2% of spanish listed shares, a record high

16 July, 2020


  • Share ownership by Spanish households falls one percentage point to 16.1%, although more than 2 million families own Spanish listed shares
  • Non-financial companies account for 20.8% of the Spanish stock market and collective investment institutions for 7.3%

Non-resident investors owned 50.2% of Spanish listed shares at the end of 2019, according to the latest report from the Corporate Research & IR department of BME. It marks the fourth consecutive historical record and represents two percentage points more than in the previous year and ten more than a decade ago.

The participation of international investors in the Spanish stock market is higher than that of other large European markets such as the French one, where it amounted to 42.2% at the end of 2018, according to data from the Bank of France. The internationalisation of Spanish listed companies and the technological competitiveness and transparency of the Spanish stock market are some of the reasons for this significant weight of non-resident investors.

Spanish households own 16.1% of the shares listed in Spain, one percentage point less than in the previous year and well below the record high reached in 1998, when they accounted for 35.1%. This points to a convergence with the rest of Europe, where the direct participation of retail investors in the stock market has been usually lower than in Spain. The growth of investment funds is one of the reasons for this decline. All in all, 2.14 million Spanish households own shares, according to data from the Bank of Spain.

The report examines possible changes in retail investment in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, with ESMA having pointed to an increase in retail investors’ trading in the stock market.

The second investor group with the largest ownership of Spanish listed shares is that of non-financial companies. At the end of 2019 they accounted for 20.8% of the total capitalisation of Spanish listed companies, the same as last year. Banks and savings banks own 2.8%, the same percentage as Public Administrations.

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