FSMA: Belgians Traded 5 Times More BEL 20 Shares amid COVID-19

Young and infrequent traders have become increasingly active amid the pandemic.

Although the coronavirus pandemic has brought a multitude of challenges, it has also provided a boost to the trading markets. According to the Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA), a Belgian regulator, this boost was well and truly felt in the country.

In particular, the FSMA said this Wednesday that Belgians traded up to five times more BEL 20 shares than in the period before the crisis. Furthermore, more shares were bought than sold.

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During this period of heightened activity, young and infrequent investors were also more active during the crisis period, according to an analysis of data from the transaction reports the watchdog receives.

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FSMA study findings

According to the study, which is based on more than 3 million transactions for a total, for the period between the 24th of February 2020 until the 30th of April this year, during the crisis, individual investors bought up to €634 million worth of BEL20 shares more than they sold.

Not only that, but in the third week of February, young investors (between 18 and 35 years of age), bought more than €2 million worth of shares, and in the last week of March, this increased to €21 million.

Infrequent investors, in which the FSMA determines as having made a maximum of five transitions in two years before the crisis period, were also more active. According to the study, before COVID-19, they had bought only €3 million worth of BEL20 shares, which skyrocketed to €30 million in the second week of March.

“For the purposes of the study, the FSMA used the transaction reports it receives in accordance with the European Regulation on markets in financial instruments. The reports cover all transactions carried out via Belgian banks or investment firms, all transactions carried out on a Belgian regulated market, and all transactions that involve a financial instrument for which the FSMA is the competent authority, thus including shares listed on Euronext Brussels,” the authority said in its statement today.

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