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Which bank has beaten BHP Billiton Limited to be Australia’s most traded share?

Mining giant BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) looks set to lose its title as Australia’s most heavily traded share with Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) sitting comfortably ahead with just over a week left in 2016.

As highlighted by The Sydney Morning Herald, BHP Billiton has been Australia’s most heavily traded public company by value in each of the last five years. That included figures of $73.7 billion of shares being traded in the 2014 calendar year and almost $153 billion worth back in 2010. The SMH says the value of shares traded so far this year is currently sitting at just $56.88 billion, compared to $64.94 billion worth of Commonwealth Bank of Australia shares.

Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC), Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ) and National Australia Bank Ltd. (ASX: NAB) rounded out the top five most traded shares by value while Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) reportedly featured somewhere in the top 10.

Indeed, it’s been a dreadful year for BHP Billiton shares which were recently trading at their lowest price in more than a decade. They’re currently trading for less than $17 a share, down from roughly $27.50 at the beginning of the year as a result of plummeting commodity prices and a catastrophe at one of its mines in Brazil.

The lower share price is one of the primary reasons why the value of BHP Billiton shares traded throughout 2015 has been so much lower than in previous years. The demerger of South32 Ltd (ASX: S32) in May this year would have also played a key role.

As quoted by The SMH, BT Investment Management analyst Brenton Saunders said: “The over-riding message is that the resources stocks, in importance of value traded, have slipped relative to other sectors.”

Given that each of the four major banks featured in the top five ASX shares traded by value, it is clear that the banks are still very relevant, as are other blue chip companies such as Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS).

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Motley Fool contributor Ryan Newman has no position in any stocks mentioned. Unless otherwise noted, the author does not have a position in any stocks mentioned by the author in the comments below. You can follow Ryan on Twitter @ASXvalueinvest.

The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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