This percentage has increased in recent years (having been no more than 54% at the beginning of 2007) but has stabilised since end-2008, notably because of falls in the price of debt instruments. Considerable purchases of debt instruments in the second half of 2008 and the first half of 2009 only partially offset these declines.
The geographical distribution of the issuers of the debt instruments has no more than marginally changed in recent years. In 2009 insurance companies slightly increased the proportion of Dutch debt instruments in their investment portfolios. The share of debt instruments issued by institutions and governments from other Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) countries remained proportionately stable at approximately half of the insurers’ holding of debt instruments.