A contrary development was observed as regards government paper. While purchases of long-term government paper in previous quarters ran to € 2 billion, on average, net purchases dropped during the second quarter, to € 0.4 billion. Meanwhile, insurers continued to buy considerable quantities of German Bunds, while also buying Belgian paper. Contrasting this, however, were sales of, especially, Dutch long-term paper and of Finnish and French government bonds. As a result, the weight of Germany in this portfolio rose to 34%, whereas those of the Netherlands and France fell to 32% and 11%, respectively, as at June 2013. These figures include price losses during the second quarter totalling € 4 billion, reflecting rising long-term interest rates. Thus a rise in German long-term rates – with the 10-year benchmark going up 40 basis points to 1.76% – resulted in a depreciation by € 1.8 billion.
Insurers show increased demand for corporate bonds
- Statistical News Release
Date 12 September 2013
In the second quarter of 2013, Dutch insurers purchased € 2.8 billion worth of bonds, figures of De Nederlandsche Bank show. Underlying this figure was a shift away from government bonds and towards corporate bonds. On balance, however, price losses resulted in a decrease of the bond portfolio by € 2 billion to € 191 billion.