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First fall in Dutch household portfolio investments in a year
Dutch households suffered losses on their portfolio investments in the third quarter of 2023. Overall, the value of portfolio investments fell some €3.6 billion (-2.1%) from a quarter earlier, to €162.4 billion.
Published: 20 November 2023
This ends a period of three consecutive quarters of value gains. A year ago, at the end of the third quarter of 2022, Dutch households’ portfolio investments were worth €152.1 billion. Their total value rose every quarter thereafter until last quarter.
The decrease in the value of portfolio investments was driven by price losses, given that Dutch households purchased a net total of €622 million worth of investments during this period. Without these purchases the decrease in value would have been even greater.
Portfolio investments in shares and investment funds fall in value
In percentage terms, Dutch households suffered losses on their listed shares in particular, whose value fell 2.7% to €55.6 billion quarter-on-quarter. This decrease in value was partly offset by households purchasing additional shares worth €529 million in the third quarter. In the same period, the AEX index lost 5.8% of its value, while the MSCI World global equity index declined 2.9% in euro terms.
The value of households’ investment fund positions decreased 2.1% compared to last quarter, to €101.0 billion. Nearly two-thirds (62.2%) of the assets invested by Dutch households consist of positions in investment funds, most of which are equity funds.
Households invest more in bonds
In contrast to listed shares and investment fund positions, the value of bond holdings rose again. At the end of the third quarter of 2023, portfolio investments in debt securities stood at €5.8 billion, up 3.3% from three months earlier.
Higher interest rates depressed the market value of existing bond holdings, but this was amply compensated by Dutch households simultaneously purchasing €366 million worth of new bonds. A potential explanation for this is again higher interest rates, which increase the yield for investors when purchasing new bonds.
The value of Dutch households' bond holdings has been on the rise for some time: since the start of 2022, it has increased every quarter. The last time households owned at least €6 billion worth of bonds was at the end of 2017.
Household portfolio investments viewed in perspective
According to figures from Statistics Netherlands (CBS), there are 8.3 million private households in the Netherlands. Of these, 1.9 million invest, according to research conducted by the Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM).
The total securities holdings of Dutch households consist of listed shares (€55.6 billion), investment fund positions (€101.0 billion) and debt securities (€5.8 billion), totalling €162.4 billion. By comparison, savings deposits in accounts held by Dutch households amounted to €449.3 billion at the end of June 2023.
Dutch households also hold substantial assets with pension funds, insurers, in their own enterprises and in the housing market; these assets have been excluded from this analysis.
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