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Do publicly-traded companies have an incentive to "promote" their stock to their customers in any way?

Personal Finance & Money Asked by bitmaker on December 21, 2020

For this question I’d like to stick to companies serving mostly regular consumers and not B2B — i.e. Apple, not Boeing. Do companies like these have any incentive to offer something to their shareholders beyond a dividend? For example, a Disney shareholder might receive a free Disney+ subscription or an Apple shareholder might be allowed to pre-order phones a day early. Does the company gain anything by offering this kind of non-financial/non-dividend incentive to encourage the public to invest?

One Answer

In Japan, the average market capitalization of publicly traded companies is smaller than in other developed economies. In order to list on the Tokyo Stock Exchange's 1st section, companies need to have at least 2200 shareholders. This is difficult for the smaller firms. So what do these smaller firms do to attract shareholders? Give them gifts and other perks!

These gifts are called "yutai" gifts (株主優待), and they are fairly common in Japan. Nowadays, these gift-giving practices are not limited to the smaller companies. To read more about the reasons for this gift-giving, and the history of it, you can find research papers about this phenomenon on Google Scholar. Also see: Ramen dividends: Holders of some firms' shares fancy 'yutai' gifts.

Answered by Flux on December 21, 2020

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