Hong Kong's Investor Base Shrinks to 840,000, Study Finds

by Damian Chmiel
  • The number of active investors in Hong Kong has decreased from 900,000.
  • However, there is a growing interest in trading abroad, mainly in the USA.
Hong Kong
Bloomberg
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The latest findings from Investment Trends' “2023 Hong Kong Online Investing Report” reveal a decline in the number of active online investors, falling from 900,000 to 840,000. Despite this drop, the report highlights growing optimism among investors for the local shares, strategic shift towards defensive assets and the rising interest in investing in international markets.

Hong Kong Online Investor Numbers Drop to 840,000

While the number of active online investors in Hong Kong has decreased, those who remain demonstrate resilience and adaptability in the face of changing market conditions. The report indicates that investors are forecasting a rise of 0.4% in the HSI over the next year, showcasing renewed confidence in the market.

A cautious pivot towards defensive assets accompanies this optimism as investors seek to manage risk amidst ongoing market uncertainties.

Brian Chong, the Head of Client Services & Sales at Investment Trends
Brian Chong, the Head of Client Services & Sales at Investment Trends

"The recalibration of investment portfolios to include a higher proportion of defensive assets underscores a sophisticated response to global economic shifts,” Brian Chong, the Head of Client Services & Sales at Investment Trends, commented.

The cryptocurrency market is also gaining significant popularity in the country, having been subject to regulatory relaxation in mid-2023. However, retail investors had until February 29 to transition to licensed platforms, of which a few are still in Hong Kong.

Diversification and Social Media Emerge as Key Trends

Despite the decline in active online investors, the Hong Kong online investing landscape is characterized by significant switching between brokers, driven by concerns over trade execution quality and the appeal of higher returns on cash accounts. Concurrently, investors are embracing diversification, with a notable focus on international equities, particularly in the US market.

The number of international investors has exceeded 400,000, aligning with trends from the past few years. However, their share in the total number of investors in Hong Kong has reached a record high, increasing to 48%.

Source: Investment Trends
Source: Investment Trends

Social media has also emerged as a crucial tool for investment-related activities with platforms like WhatsApp attracting the wealthiest investors and TikTok users mirroring the average online investor profile.

"The diversification into international equities, alongside the strategic use of social media for investment advice, reflects a dynamic and responsive investor base,” Chong added.

The fact that social media is currently an indispensable element of financial services stems from independent analyses and studies. Investors are increasingly seeking advice online and trusting financial influencers.

Evolving Priorities Shape Investment Decisions

The report also highlighted a shift in the factors driving investors to open accounts, with personal recommendations and financial incentives gaining prominence. This evolution in preferences signifies the importance of community and value in the decision-making process.

"As the landscape evolves, so too do the expectations and strategies of Hong Kong's investors," Chong concluded. "This year's report illuminates the changing priorities and adaptation strategies employed by investors to thrive in a changing economic environment."

The latest Investment Trends report, which Finance Magnates covered, focused on France. Although this market is far from Hong Kong, it also experienced a contraction of 17% in the number of active investors in 2023, from 430,000 to 360,000.

The latest findings from Investment Trends' “2023 Hong Kong Online Investing Report” reveal a decline in the number of active online investors, falling from 900,000 to 840,000. Despite this drop, the report highlights growing optimism among investors for the local shares, strategic shift towards defensive assets and the rising interest in investing in international markets.

Hong Kong Online Investor Numbers Drop to 840,000

While the number of active online investors in Hong Kong has decreased, those who remain demonstrate resilience and adaptability in the face of changing market conditions. The report indicates that investors are forecasting a rise of 0.4% in the HSI over the next year, showcasing renewed confidence in the market.

A cautious pivot towards defensive assets accompanies this optimism as investors seek to manage risk amidst ongoing market uncertainties.

Brian Chong, the Head of Client Services & Sales at Investment Trends
Brian Chong, the Head of Client Services & Sales at Investment Trends

"The recalibration of investment portfolios to include a higher proportion of defensive assets underscores a sophisticated response to global economic shifts,” Brian Chong, the Head of Client Services & Sales at Investment Trends, commented.

The cryptocurrency market is also gaining significant popularity in the country, having been subject to regulatory relaxation in mid-2023. However, retail investors had until February 29 to transition to licensed platforms, of which a few are still in Hong Kong.

Diversification and Social Media Emerge as Key Trends

Despite the decline in active online investors, the Hong Kong online investing landscape is characterized by significant switching between brokers, driven by concerns over trade execution quality and the appeal of higher returns on cash accounts. Concurrently, investors are embracing diversification, with a notable focus on international equities, particularly in the US market.

The number of international investors has exceeded 400,000, aligning with trends from the past few years. However, their share in the total number of investors in Hong Kong has reached a record high, increasing to 48%.

Source: Investment Trends
Source: Investment Trends

Social media has also emerged as a crucial tool for investment-related activities with platforms like WhatsApp attracting the wealthiest investors and TikTok users mirroring the average online investor profile.

"The diversification into international equities, alongside the strategic use of social media for investment advice, reflects a dynamic and responsive investor base,” Chong added.

The fact that social media is currently an indispensable element of financial services stems from independent analyses and studies. Investors are increasingly seeking advice online and trusting financial influencers.

Evolving Priorities Shape Investment Decisions

The report also highlighted a shift in the factors driving investors to open accounts, with personal recommendations and financial incentives gaining prominence. This evolution in preferences signifies the importance of community and value in the decision-making process.

"As the landscape evolves, so too do the expectations and strategies of Hong Kong's investors," Chong concluded. "This year's report illuminates the changing priorities and adaptation strategies employed by investors to thrive in a changing economic environment."

The latest Investment Trends report, which Finance Magnates covered, focused on France. Although this market is far from Hong Kong, it also experienced a contraction of 17% in the number of active investors in 2023, from 430,000 to 360,000.

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