In the fourth quarter of 2013, the number of Dutch investment funds increased by 37, bringing the total to a record 1624. At the same time, total net assets under management of Dutch investment funds rose by 3.0% quarter-on-quarter (EUR 18.8 billion) to EUR 644.1 billion.
The increase was mainly due to deposits into new funds and price gains on equity investments. At the end of 2013, assets under management stood at the highest level attained since the start of the collective investment vehicles statistic in the fourth quarter of 2008 (Figure 1).
Figure 1: Investments by Dutch investment funds
* Other deposits include real estate, loans, deposits, derivatives and others.
Net deposits into Dutch investment funds during the fourth quarter of 2013 amounted to EUR 6.2 billion, of which EUR 6.8 billion in newly created funds. Bond funds were favourite among investors, with net deposits equalling EUR 4.2 billion. Other funds (EUR 3.0 billion), real estate funds (EUR 0.8 billion), mixed funds (EUR 0.8 billion) and hedge funds (EUR 0.3 billion) also recorded net deposits. Equity funds, however, recorded net withdrawals of EUR 2.9 billion.
Investment funds realised total returns on invested assets of 1.8% Q-o-Q in the fourth quarter of 2013. Equity investments (EUR 252.3 billion) recorded net price gains of 3.1% Q-o-Q (in euro terms). The MSCI World Index measured in euros – a popular benchmark – rose by 5.7%. However, prices of emerging market equities (according to the MSCI Emerging Markets Index measured in euro) declined by 0.2% Q-o-Q in the final quarter of 2013. As a result, Dutch equity funds investing in emerging markets recorded negative overall returns of -0.2% Q-o-Q. Investments in bonds (EUR 205.5 billion) saw -0.3% quarter-on-quarter price losses, in euro terms, owing to price losses on government bonds (-0.7% Q-o-Q), whereas corporate bonds recorded positive returns of 0.3% Q-o-Q.