/

Japan’s ranks of individual shareholders hit record high in fiscal 2012

Kyodo

The number of individual shareholders trading at five major stock exchanges in Japan hit a record high in fiscal 2012, rising 0.1 percent to 45.97 million, the bourse operators said Thursday.

The figure broke the previous record of 45.92 million set in fiscal 2010, reflecting an increase in the number of newly listed firms and stock splits, according to data compiled by the bourses, including the Tokyo Stock Exchange and the Osaka Securities Exchange.

Meanwhile, the percentage of shares owned by foreign firms in terms of market value reached an all-time high of 28.0 percent, up 1.7 points from the year before.

Foreign companies have been aggressively buying Japanese shares amid optimism over the Bank of Japan’s credit easing as well as the country’s economic recovery, they said.

The total number includes individuals who might hold multiple stocks and are therefore counted multiple times.