The big shareholder groups in AIA Group Limited (HKG:1299) have power over the company. Institutions often own shares in more established companies, while it's not unusual to see insiders own a fair bit of smaller companies. We also tend to see lower insider ownership in companies that were previously publicly owned.
AIA Group has a market capitalization of HK$1.1t, so it's too big to fly under the radar. We'd expect to see both institutions and retail investors owning a portion of the company. Taking a look at our data on the ownership groups (below), it seems that institutional investors have bought into the company. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about AIA Group.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About AIA Group?
Institutions typically measure themselves against a benchmark when reporting to their own investors, so they often become more enthusiastic about a stock once it's included in a major index. We would expect most companies to have some institutions on the register, especially if they are growing.
We can see that AIA Group does have institutional investors; and they hold a good portion of the company's stock. This implies the analysts working for those institutions have looked at the stock and they like it. But just like anyone else, they could be wrong. When multiple institutions own a stock, there's always a risk that they are in a 'crowded trade'. When such a trade goes wrong, multiple parties may compete to sell stock fast. This risk is higher in a company without a history of growth. You can see AIA Group's historic earnings and revenue below, but keep in mind there's always more to the story.
Since institutional investors own more than half the issued stock, the board will likely have to pay attention to their preferences. AIA Group is not owned by hedge funds. The company's largest shareholder is Capital Research and Management Company, with ownership of 7.4%. In comparison, the second and third largest shareholders hold about 5.2% and 3.4% of the stock.
Our studies suggest that the top 25 shareholders collectively control less than half of the company's shares, meaning that the company's shares are widely disseminated and there is no dominant shareholder.
While studying institutional ownership for a company can add value to your research, it is also a good practice to research analyst recommendations to get a deeper understand of a stock's expected performance. Quite a few analysts cover the stock, so you could look into forecast growth quite easily.
Insider Ownership Of AIA Group
The definition of an insider can differ slightly between different countries, but members of the board of directors always count. Company management run the business, but the CEO will answer to the board, even if he or she is a member of it.
I generally consider insider ownership to be a good thing. However, on some occasions it makes it more difficult for other shareholders to hold the board accountable for decisions.
Our data suggests that insiders own under 1% of AIA Group Limited in their own names. It is a very large company, so it would be surprising to see insiders own a large proportion of the company. Though their holding amounts to less than 1%, we can see that board members collectively own HK$685m worth of shares (at current prices). In this sort of situation, it can be more interesting to see if those insiders have been buying or selling.
General Public Ownership
With a 47% ownership, the general public have some degree of sway over AIA Group. This size of ownership, while considerable, may not be enough to change company policy if the decision is not in sync with other large shareholders.
It's always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand AIA Group better, we need to consider many other factors.
I like to dive deeper into how a company has performed in the past. You can find historic revenue and earnings in this detailed graph.
But ultimately it is the future, not the past, that will determine how well the owners of this business will do. Therefore we think it advisable to take a look at this free report showing whether analysts are predicting a brighter future.
NB: Figures in this article are calculated using data from the last twelve months, which refer to the 12-month period ending on the last date of the month the financial statement is dated. This may not be consistent with full year annual report figures.
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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.
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