Free Float: Strong Base in Europe
According to our shareholder analysis (December 31, 2017), the number of shareholders in North America continued to decrease during the year. In December 2016, the level of US-held shares was 29 percent. A year later, it was 25 percent. Canadian shareholders were no longer represented (2016: 5 percent). The proportion of German shareholders was stable at 31 percent (2016: 31 percent). Our strongest shareholder growth in 2017 came from the UK, where investors held 20 percent of the shares (2016: 15 percent). By comparison, shares held by investors from the rest of Europe – excluding Germany and the UK – increased slightly, from 20 to 21 percent. In 2017, a further 3 percent of shares was held outside of Europe (2016: 0 percent), mainly due to increased interest among Australian investors.