Increase in Dutch investment funds’ total net assets

Statistical News Release
Date 23 May 2011

In the first quarter of 2011, Dutch investment funds’ total net assets rose by EUR 8.0 billion to EUR 449.9 billion, up 1.8% from the previous quarter and equal to the growth rate for the last quarter of 2010.

Dutch investment funds reported a negative total return of 0.6% QoQ on their investment portfolios. In the first quarter of 2011, investments in both equities and bonds posted negative price performances. The last time this occurred was in the first quarter of 2009.

Dutch investment funds' total net assets

The net inflow was EUR 10.6 billion. This amount is distorted upwards by, among others, so-called transfers, in which institutional investors transferred directly held investments to investment funds. Corrected for this distortion, the remaining net outflow was EUR 0.3 billion. Investors withdrew EUR 3.6 billion worth from equity funds (corrected for the transfers, among other factors). Bond funds recorded a net inflow of EUR 2.3 billion.

In the first quarter of 2011, equity investments sustained price losses of 1.8% QoQ. In the same period, the benchmark, i.e. the MSCI World index measured in euros, slid 1.2% QoQ. The appreciation of the euro vis-à-vis the US dollar by 6.3% QoQ was a major factor in the negative return on equity investments. Besides, in March 2011 share prices were under downward pressure from deteriorated investors' sentiment due to the political turmoil in the Arab countries and the aftermath of the earthquake in Japan.

For the second consecutive quarter, bond investments sustained a loss (2.2% QoQ). Price losses on treasuries amounted to 2.2% QoQ, while corporate bonds posted a loss of 2.3% QoQ. This loss should be considered in the context of the steady rise of interest rates on (long-term) treasuries in the euro area seen since the autumn of 2010 as a result of market expectations that the economic recovery will persist.

In the first quarter of 2011, the other funds were one of the few investment categories posting a positive total return (+2.0% QoQ). Commodity funds, which fall in this investment category, benefited from the further rise in commodity prices (notably oil prices: +25.9% QoQ for a barrel of Brent). Real estate funds, too, realised a positive total return (+0.7% QoQ). supported by the stable investment returns in this category, e.g. by way of rental income. The other fund categories, like equity funds (-0.8% QoQ) and bond funds (-1.2% QoQ) showed a negative total return.

For more information, you may contact Tobias Oudejans (Tel.  524 96 961) or Herman Lutke Schipholt (+ 31 (0)20 524 2712, + 31 (0)6 524 96 900). 020-524 2272, 06-211 23 922).