Friday, 13 July 2007

Changes in share-ownership

Thanks to my class traitor colleague at "the leading voice of workplace pensions in the UK" for flagging this one up. The ONS has just released its annual stats on UK share ownership, which show how the ownership "pie" is sliced up.

As long as I have been interested in workers' capital we have been talking up the fact that we notionally 'own' the UK's companies through our pension funds. But the ONS stats suggest that now UK pension funds' share of the domestic equity market is only equal to that held by individuals (13% in each case).

Actually it's probably still quite a bit higher as some of the money classed under insurance companies, unit and investment trusts and "other financial institutions" will also come from pension schemes. But the trend is definitely away from domestic equities. Interestingly the share held by overseas investors keeps going up. A large chunk of this will be North American pension funds. Given that the unions there are the leaders in the workers' capital movement this might open up some interesting opportiunities.

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