Vienna Stock Exchange News

Institutional Ownership predominant among Austrian prime market free float (study)

  • US investors very well represented among Austrian free float 
  • Domestic shareholder base growing
  • Top 3 institutional investors: Norges, BlackRock and Vanguard
  • Erste Asset Management, BlackRock and Norges increased their positions compared to 2018

(Vienna) In the Austrian prime market, the top segment of the Vienna Stock Exchange, institutional investors remain the largest investor group, holding two-thirds (EUR 33.7 billion) of the free float shares. Thereof, EUR 28.1 billion are held by international funds and EUR 5.6 billion by domestic institutionals. This is the result of the latest analysis of the free float of prime market companies, which IHS Markit (previously Ipreo) has been conducting on behalf of the Vienna Stock Exchange for more than ten years. At EUR 50.9 billion, around half of the total market capitalization of the prime market (as of the end of 2020: EUR 94.3 billion) is in free float. As part of the study, IHS Markit was able to identify 98.6% of owners and assign them to an investor group.

2/3 institutional investors in prime market

"Being included in a large sovereign wealth funds' portfolio is a quality label for any listed company. At the same time, it is important to be able to rely on loyal domestic investor group. Strengthening the national investor base should therefore be at the top of the political agenda. Tax relief for Austrians who invest rather than speculate, in other words hold their shares for the longer term, could be the right incentive here," says Christoph Boschan, CEO of the Vienna Stock Exchange.

Domestic shareholder base grows

In 2020, three domestic fund companies made it into the ranking of the top 10 institutional investors. Growing investor appetite among Austrians is also evidenced by the statistics of the Austrian National Bank. Financial assets of private households grew strongly in 2020. According to these statistics, Austrian private individuals invested a record amount in stocks (EUR 2.4 billion) and in investment funds (EUR 4 billion). This is a peak value when looking at the last 20 years.

International funds remain committed to Austrian equities

US investors dominate the ranking of institutional investors. At the end of 2020, their share increased from 24.5% to 28.4% compared to 2018. Austrian institutional investors follow in second place with 16.6%, down from 23.5% two years earlier. Third place goes to the UK with 15.7%, up from 16.7% previously. Germany moved ahead of France (6.6%) into fourth place in the country rankings, with a share of 7.3%, up from 6.1% in 2018.

The top 10 investors hold about one-third of the identified free float of Austrian prime market stocks. If all share packages are cumulated, Norway's sovereign wealth fund remains the largest single investor. Four US funds are in the top 10. All three Austrian fund companies increased their positions in Austrian equities.

Top 10 Institutional Investors 

1. Norges Bank Investment Management (Norway)
2. BlackRock Fund Advisors (USA)
3. The Vanguard Group, Inc. (USA)
4. Erste Asset Management GmbH (Austria)
5. BlackRock Advisors (U.K.), LTD (United Kingdom)
6. Amundi Asset Management S.A. (France)
7. Raiffeisen Kapitalanlagegesellschaft mbH (Austria)
8. LSV Asset Management (USA)NEW
9. Dimensional Fund Advisors, L.P. (USA)
10. 3 Banken-Generali Investment GmbH (Austria)
Focus on corporate value and growth – passive investments still a trend

In terms of investment strategies, institutional investors in the prime market focus on shareholder value (30.7%) and growth (30.5%). However, passive strategies are also gaining ground: while 16.1% invested via an index in 2015, the figure was 18.3% in 2018 and 22.6% in 2020. Those investors who increased their holdings significantly show a low to medium turnover rate. This can be interpreted as long-term interest in Austrian companies.

Download infographics:

2/3 institutional investors in prime market (png-file 130 KB)
Institutional investors at the Vienna Stock Exchange (png-file 130 KB)


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Julia Resch

Julia Resch

Head of Corporate Communications & Marketing, Spokesperson

+43 1 531 65-186


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