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Dutch households suffered large losses from equity investments in first quarter of 2022


The volume of investments by Dutch households in listed equities fell by €3.0 billion to €58.9 billion in the first quarter of 2022. The 4.9% drop compared to the previous quarter was mainly due to falling share prices; only a small part was caused by sales of shares.

Published: 07 June 2022

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Biggest quarterly drop since pandemic started

The €3.0 billion decrease in the first quarter of 2022 represents the second largest decrease since 2018, when DNB started recording this statistic. Only in the first quarter of 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, a larger quarterly loss was recorded. At that time, the value of listed shares held by Dutch households fell by €8.9 billion (-19.9%) on a quarterly basis.

The current €3.0 billion (-4.9%) decline in value of the equity portfolio is mainly due to falling stock market prices. In addition, Dutch households sold €250 million worth of shares.

At €58.9 billion, total shares held by Dutch households is back at the level reached around mid-2021. They showed a growing trend from 2018 onwards, reaching a record value of €62.6 billion in October 2021.

Source: DNB statistics

At De Nederlandsche Bank, we independently compile statistics on the Dutch financial sector and economy. This article is based on these statistics. More information on our statistics and all dashboards can be found on our Statistics homepage.

The fall in value already started in January amid rising interest rates and inflation: the value of the households’ equity portfolio fell by €2.3 billion (-3.7%) in that month.  In February, the month of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the decline was €2.1 billion (-3.5%). In these months, the AEX index fell 6.3% and 2.3% respectively. In March, the total volume rose €1.3 billion (+2.3%) to €58.9 billion, while the AEX index still lost 0.8% to reach 724 points. 

Large differences between listed companies

Households suffered losses mainly on shares of financial institutions. For example, the positions in Rabobank Member Certificates, which according to statistical guidelines (ESA 2010) are considered part of equity capital, decreased by €604 million (-15%) to €3.4 billion. Similarly, investments in ING Group decreased by €285 million (-14%) to €1.8 billion.

The large losses on the stock exchange were partly compensated by large positions held in Shell, the company in which Dutch households invest the most. The value of these investments actually increased by €497 million (+11%) to a total of €5.0 billion, partly driven by rising oil prices.

Remarkably, Shell's share price rose by 22% in the same period, likewise partly driven by rising oil prices. In the three months following the transfer of Shell's headquarters to the United Kingdom at the end of December 2021, Dutch households sold a net of €742 million worth of Shell shares. As a result, the increase in market value for Dutch households was limited to 11%.

Household equity portfolio in perspective

According to Statistics Netherlands data, the Netherlands has 8 million private households. In the first quarter of 2022, total investments in securities (listed shares, investment fund units and bonds) amounted to €173.3 billion, equivalent to an average of €21,500 per household. In contrast, savings averaged over €51,500 per household.

The average shareholding was over €7,000 per Dutch household. Apart from direct equity investments, Dutch households held €109.2 billion in investment fund units; an average of €13,500 per household. These indirect investments experienced a decline in value (-5.0%) similar to that of the equity portfolio (‑4.9%) in the first quarter of 2022.

More information

The securities holdings of Dutch households is a regular statistical publication containing monthly data on investments. It is updated quarterly. The data include the investments of Dutch households from December 2018, broken down by type of security (bonds, listed shares and investment fund units). A “top 25” of individual listed companies in which households invest the most is also included in this publication.  

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