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Small investors cashing in

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Investors withdrew £3.1bn from the stock market during February and March this year, crystallising profits following strong growth in share prices.

Individuals have approximately £198bn invested in the UK stock market.

This means they cashed in around 1.6% of their holdings during the months, according to share registration group Capita Registrars.

The group said the sale of shares reversed the trend seen during the previous two months when consumers increased the amount of money they had invested in shares.

John Roundhill, director of Capita Registrars, said: “During December 2005 and January 2006, private investors were adding to their shareholdings but that trend has reversed markedly over the last two months.

“There is clearly an appetite by some investors to lock in profits after a period of exceptional stock market performance.”

The financial sector, which is the largest, saw the biggest outflow of investors’ funds, with people selling £907m of shares in financial companies.

This was followed by the oil, gas and basic materials sector at £843m.

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