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What Kind Of Investor Owns Most Of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKG:388)?

Simply Wall St

A look at the shareholders of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKG:388) can tell us which group is most powerful. Large companies usually have institutions as shareholders, and we usually see insiders owning shares in smaller companies. Companies that have been privatized tend to have low insider ownership.

Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing is a pretty big company. It has a market capitalization of HK$311b. Normally institutions would own a significant portion of a company this size. Our analysis of the ownership of the company, below, shows that institutional investors have bought into the company. Let's take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholder can tell us about 388.

View our latest analysis for Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing

SEHK:388 Ownership Summary, November 5th 2019

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing?

Institutional investors commonly compare their own returns to the returns of a commonly followed index. So they generally do consider buying larger companies that are included in the relevant benchmark index.

Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own 38% of the company. This implies the analysts working for those institutions have looked at the stock and they like it. But just like anyone else, they could be wrong. When multiple institutions own a stock, there's always a risk that they are in a 'crowded trade'. When such a trade goes wrong, multiple parties may compete to sell stock fast. This risk is higher in a company without a history of growth. You can see Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing's historic earnings and revenue, below, but keep in mind there's always more to the story.

SEHK:388 Income Statement, November 5th 2019

Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing is not owned by hedge funds. Quite a few analysts cover the stock, so you could look into forecast growth quite easily.

Insider Ownership Of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing

While the precise definition of an insider can be subjective, almost everyone considers board members to be insiders. The company management answer to the board; and the latter should represent the interests of shareholders. Notably, sometimes top-level managers are on the board, themselves.

I generally consider insider ownership to be a good thing. However, on some occasions it makes it more difficult for other shareholders to hold the board accountable for decisions.

Our most recent data indicates that insiders own less than 1% of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited. As it is a large company, we'd only expect insiders to own a small percentage of it. But it's worth noting that they own HK$270m worth of shares. It is always good to see at least some insider ownership, but it might be worth checking if those insiders have been selling.

General Public Ownership

The general public, mostly retail investors, hold a substantial 56% stake in 388, suggesting it is a fairly popular stock. With this size of ownership, retail investors can collectively play a role in decisions that affect shareholder returns, such as dividend policies and the appointment of directors. They can also exercise the power to decline an acquisition or merger that may not improve profitability.

Next Steps:

I find it very interesting to look at who exactly owns a company. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too.

I like to dive deeper into how a company has performed in the past. You can access this interactive graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow, for free.

But ultimately it is the future, not the past, that will determine how well the owners of this business will do. Therefore we think it advisable to take a look at this free report showing whether analysts are predicting a brighter future.

NB: Figures in this article are calculated using data from the last twelve months, which refer to the 12-month period ending on the last date of the month the financial statement is dated. This may not be consistent with full year annual report figures.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.