Nonresident ownership of shares dives 4%

Kyodo News

Nonresident investors owned 23.6 percent of shares traded on stock exchanges in Japan in fiscal 2008, down 4.0 percentage points from the previous year in the largest fall on record, the Tokyo Stock Exchange said Friday.

Foreign ownership of domestic shares declined for the second consecutive year in the face of the economic slowdown, the TSE said.

Shares sold by nonresident investors were partially taken over by Japanese individuals, given the cumulative number of them topped 40 million for the first time.

The TSE analyzed the ownership of companies listed on the Tokyo bourse, as well as the Osaka, Nagoya, Fukuoka and Sapporo stock markets in fiscal 2008, which ended in March. It began compiling data in fiscal 1970.

Nonresident investors sold more shares than they bought by a cumulative ¥4.22 trillion, the TSE said. Foreign ownership of shares fell in all 33 sectors.

Individuals owned 20.1 percent of shares, up 1.9 percentage points for the second straight yearly rise, and scored a buying excess of ¥729.2 billion.