Retail investors return to bourse in February: FSC

2017/02/17 17:32:39 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
Retail investors return to bourse in February: FSC

Taipei, Feb. 17 (CNA) Retail investors have returned to the local stock market, raising their equity investments in the first half of February which in turn helped to boost average daily turnover, according to the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC).

Citing data, the FSC, the top financial regulator in Taiwan, said that the average daily investment by retail investors from Feb. 2-14, after the Lunar New Year holiday ended on Feb. 1, was NT$23.82 billion (US$773 million) higher than January's average at NT$60.43 billion.

Foreign institutional investors also increased their investment in the local equity market over the same period, the FSC data showed. According to the statistics, foreign institutional investors parked a daily average of NT$34.65 billion on the local main board in the first half of February, up from a daily average of NT$21.2 billion in January.

As a result, average daily turnover of the Taiwan Stock Exchange hit NT$113.01 billion from Feb. 2-14, compared with about NT$70 billion in January.

During that period, retail investors accounted for 53.48 percent of total turnover, up from 52.3 percent in January, while foreign institutional investors made up 30.66 percent, up from 30.4 percent, the FSC said.

The latest FSC data indicates that retail investors are now keen to park their funds in the local equity market, leaving last year's tepid market behind.

According to the TWSE, the aggregate turnover on Taiwan's stock market totaled NT$18.9 trillion in 2016, the lowest in 15 years. It was also the third consecutive year in which annual turnover has fallen, TWSE data showed.

Average daily turnover in 2016 was about NT$75.5 billion, down more than 18 percent from a year earlier, the TWSE data indicated.

Since the end of the Lunar New Year holiday, the local main board has made a strong showing on the back of rising enthusiasm from retail investors and their institutional counterparts, market analysts said.

Riding the wave of ample liquidity, the weighted index on the TWSE gained 270.83 points or 2.79 percent from Feb.2-14.

High liquidity also continues to boost local shares. After Feb. 14, the local main board continued to gain, with the weighted index passing 9,800 at one point. Since the beginning of February, the weighted index has risen 311.81 points or 3.30 percent to close at 9,759.76 on Friday.

Analysts said that Taiwanese investors operating in China have rushed to repatriate their funds and pour money into the local bourse in recent trading sessions, ever since Chinese authorities started to crack down on tax evasion by foreign investors.

Chang Chen-shan (張振山), deputy director of the FSC's Securities and Futures Bureau, said that the increase in turnover on the local equity market showed investors have faith in local economic fundamentals.

On Wednesday, the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) raised its forecast for Taiwan's gross domestic product growth for 2017 from 1.87 percent announced in November to 1.92 percent.

(By Tsai Yi-chu and Frances Huang)
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