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Hong Kong's Investor Image a Myth: Survey : Stocks: Not everyone is a buyer and seller or wants the risk, phone interviews suggest.

August 09, 1993|From Bloomberg Business News

HONG KONG — The colony's image as a land where everyone from the tea lady to the taxi driver is happy to bet their shirt on the stock market doesn't hold up in the results of a survey conducted for the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

Stories have long circulated in Hong Kong about the domestic helpers or waiters who have the best tips on which China-concept stocks are going to take the market by storm. However, they appear to be more the stuff of myth than a reflection of reality.

The survey shows that only 9% of adults can be classified as stock investors and the "typical" profile of a Hong Kong retail investor is male, educated, with a white-collar job, aged 30-39 and earning more than $1,280 a month.

What's more, the average individual stock investor is hardly a wild gambler, the exchange said.

"Local stock investors and potential stock investors were quite unwilling to take risks. More than 80% of them preferred safe and stable investments which generate average or less than average return," it added.

Many of those who are classified in the report as potential stock investors--because of their financial standing or other investments--regard stocks as too risky, lack confidence in brokers and believe the Hong Kong stock market isn't well-regulated.

Findings of the survey, which was conducted through 2,541 telephone interviews in September to November last year, have only now been released.

The exchange said results indicated that the potential for future growth in the number of retail investors in the Hong Kong bourse wasn't very encouraging.

The survey defines 34% of the adult population as potential stock investors and 57% as lacking the potential.

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