(Bloomberg) -- A hunt by Australians for exposure to advances in technology and Asia’s booming consumer demand is driving investors to offshore equities, according to National Australia Bank Ltd.

Demand for international shares on the lender’s nabtrade platform jumped almost 30 percent last year, spurred by rising interest among younger investors and amid a broader focus on sectors including online retailing, the Melbourne-based bank said Monday in a statement.

Online trade in international equities surged 38 percent among so-called Generation Z investors, which the bank defines as those born after 1995, and top international buys among all users on the platform included Tencent Holdings Ltd., Facebook Inc. and Amazon.com Inc.

“While the Australian sharemarket offers some great opportunities, many critical, fast-growing sectors are not well represented on the local bourse,” Gemma Dale, nabtrade director of SMSF and investor behavior, said in the statement. “These investors are generally pursuing two key thematics -- technology, and the rise of the Asian consumer.”

Other top international picks on the platform, which the bank said has a database of about 300,000 clients, included Tesla Inc., Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and chipmaker Nvidia Corp.

Data on domestic equities showed that baby-boomers and Gen X investors cut exposure to financials, consumer discretionary and telecommunications, and raised holdings in sectors including healthcare and materials, according to Dale. Leading domestic picks among younger investors included A2 Milk Co. and Afterpay Touch Group Ltd., the bank said.

To contact the reporter on this story: David Stringer in Melbourne at dstringer3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Shamim Adam at sadam2@bloomberg.net, John McCluskey

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