Belfast Telegraph

Foreign ownership of UK firms on the rise

By Damian Clarkson

Foreign ownership of Britain's biggest firms has rocketed by more than 10%, or £167.7bn since 2010, official figures have shown.

A share ownership analysis of UK-domiciled firms found they were worth a total of £1.7trn in 2014, the latest year statistics available.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), foreign investors increased their share of these firms from 43.4% in 2010 to 53.6% in 2012 and 53.8% by 2014.

In value terms, this meant foreign ownership jumped from £760.9bn five years ago to £862.4bn in 2012 and then £928.6bn last year.

The total for foreign ownership includes both individual and institutional investors.

According to the ONS report, the large increases seen since 1994 "reflect the increasing internationalisation of the London stock market and the increasing ease with which overseas residents can invest in UK-quoted shares, for example through electronic trading".

In many cases, international investors were owning international companies, the ONS said.

Belfast Telegraph