At end Q1 2006, those holdings amounted to EUR 99.5 billion, or 39% of total investments. This increase came mainly at the expense of quoted shares and loans.
Notably investments in Dutch long-term debt securities expanded, growing from EUR 31.3 billion at end Q1 2006 to EUR 54.8 billion at end Q1 2010. Another marked rise can be seen in investments in French long-term debt securities, which surged from EUR 10.7 billion to EUR 20.4 billion. French bonds hence form the largest investment by life insurers in foreign long-term debt securities, closely followed by German bonds (EUR 18.5 billion). Interestingly, at EUR 16.7 billion, Germany still headed the field at end Q1 2006.
Dutch life insurers mainly expanded their Dutch investments in long-term debt paper issued by other financial institutions, such as financial holding companies and Special Purpose Vehicles, and the government. At end Q1 2010 they invested EUR 33.6 billion in long-term securities issued by Dutch other financial institutions, almost three times as much as at end Q1 2006. Life insurers particularly upped their investments in debt paper issued by Special Purpose Vehicles, the so-termed asset-backed securities and mortgage-backed securities. Holdings of long-term Dutch treasuries amounted to EUR 16.2 billion at end Q1 2010, compared to EUR 12.2 billion at end Q1 2006.