Temporary fall for margin loans
Margin loan balances dropped slightly from $36.2 billion in the June quarter to $35.9 billion in the September quarter as investors pulled out of a volatile equities market. However it is expected that this is only temporary with the head of margin lending at St George Bank, Andrew Black, saying that investors are not closing down but simply taking some profits and getting ready to go back in again. According to Mr Black the average investor gearing ratio fell to 39 per cent from 42 per cent but the demand for loans has rebounded this month as the equities market recovers. Margin calls hit a three year high in September with an average of 104 made each day out of 193,000 accounts.