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Investor confidence not yet recovered

Investor confidence appears to have gone down in Switzerland


Private investors' confidence in the Swiss stock market has not yet returned – despite the two bumper years, according to a study published on Thursday.

It found that 20 per cent of people now had shares compared with a third of the population six years ago.

According to the report, issued by Zurich University's Swiss Banking Institute, trust in the markets has not yet returned. This is despite the market index being at a high.

The percentage of people with investments has remained unchanged since 2004 at around 20 per cent. This was also the case for investment fund owners.

"The bursting of the internet bubble and the discovery of several company scandals has led to a loss of confidence. This has left deep marks on the souls of investors," said co-author Teodoro Cocca in a statement.

Private investors have become more cautious and are more likely to buy shares in Swiss companies, found the study. This is surprising as the European capital market is growing, commented the authors.

They added that shares in Swiss companies were not necessarily guaranteed to be more secure and controllable.

As had been shown in 2002, Swiss blue chips can lose more than half of their value in a period of just a few weeks, added the study.


However, the report found that people were generally optimistic about their shares doing well over the next 12 months.

This sentiment appears to be borne out by past results. In 2005 85 per cent of investors said they had made a profit on their shares compared with only 50 per cent in 2004.

The study found that efforts to improve company corporate governance had not swayed investors.

It also commented on the current stock market high, saying that this was not due to new investors but to old hands who were wise to the market's ways.

swissinfo with agencies

In brief

The study is the fourth of its kind. The others were carried out in 2000, 2002 and 2004.

Around 2,000 people were questioned for the "Equity Ownership in Switzerland" report.

There were regional differences in the results: German speakers were most likely to invest (21.4%), followed by French speakers (10%) and Italian speakers (10.5%).

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