Published January 24, 2023, 5:02 pm
The seductive power of the stock market vanished with the fall in prices last year. Fewer French have invested in the markets and those who have remained involved have carried out far fewer transactions, according to the barometer made each quarter by the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) on the basis of transactions carried out in securities issued in the European Union.
The decline in private investors was particularly marked in the second half of the year. The MFA counted around 600,000 people active on the markets in the last two quarters of the year, compared to more than 850,000 in the first two. In total, more than 1.5 million French people carried out at least one stock transaction last year, down 5.5% from the 2021 record.
Even more marked is the drop in the number of transactions carried out: from 14.51 million in the first three months of 2022 to 8.56 million between October and December, despite the strong rebound in the CAC 40 at the end of the year, which allowed it to close 2022 with a drop of only 9.5%. In total, 42.2 million transactions were recorded in the year, which is 24% less than in 2021 and 29% less than in 2020.
Higher activity than before Covid
the renewed interest from the French for the stock market after the Covid pandemic it still remains perceptible. The level of activity in 2022 “remains much higher than the average volumes recorded in the years 2018-2019 (about 24 million transactions per year),” underlines the AMF. The French supervisor also counted 194,000 new investors last year, slightly fewer than in 2021 (214,000) despite degraded market conditions.
In addition to equities alone, the activity of French savers continued to progress last year on other securities, from derivatives (certificates and warrants) to exchange-traded funds (ETFs) via bonds. Individual investor interest in ETFs is confirmed, as these passively managed funds continue to do gain market share compared to traditional investment funds. The MFA recorded 250,000 transactions on these listed funds last year, up from 142,000 in 2018.
The interest rate hike has also reawakened the French appetite for bonds, which had been neglected in recent years when bond yields have remained paltry due to the extremely accommodative monetary policy of the European Central Bank (ECB). More than 100,000 savers carried out a bond transaction in 2022, compared to only 64,000 the previous year.