Substantial increase assets pension funds and insurance companies in first quarter

11/06/2004 09:30

In the first quarter of 2004 the total assets of pension funds and insurance companies rose by 46 billion euro to 829 billion euro. On balance the value of shares rose by more than 24 billion euro, the value of bonds by 21 billion euro, according to the latest figures published by Statistics Netherlands.

Share ownership pension funds reaches new high

Share ownership of pension funds rose by 16 billion euro in the first quarter of 2004 to reach a new record of 242 billion euro, followed by the third quarter of 2000, when share prices peaked worldwide and were worth 237 billion euro. Subsequently, share prices dropped during a couple of years. In 2003 share prices began to rise again. In the first three months of 2004 share prices rose for the fourth consecutive quarter.

In the first quarter of 2004 the value of shares owned by pension funds increased on balance by more than 5 percent and equalled 12 billion euro. For the sake of comparison: the MSCI index for shares rose by almost 5 percent over the same period, the AEX index for Dutch shares remained virtually unchanged.

Bond ownership pension funds also on the increase

In the first quarter of 2004 pension funds on balance bought almost 7 billion euro worth of bonds. Bonds gained a 5 billion euro profit on the stock market. At the end of the first quarter the total value of bonds amounted to over 193 billion euro.

In the first quarter of 2004 the total assets of pension funds grew by 24 billion euro to 513 billion euro. Almost 508 billion euro concerns investments. Shares and bonds make up about 86 percent of the invested capital. The corresponding figure for the last quarter of 2003 was 84 percent.

Considerable growth investments insurance companies

In the first quarter of 2004 the total assets of insurance companies grew by 22 billion euro to almost 316 billion euro. Shares and bonds accounted for the strongest increase in invested capital.

On balance insurance companies bought shares worth almost 3 billion euro in the first quarter of 2004. Shares gained a profit of almost 4 billion euro on the stock market. At the end of the first quarter the value of shares owned by insurance companies amounted to over 93 billion euro.

In the first quarter of 2004 insurance companies bought bonds worth more than 5 billion euro on balance. The price of bonds generated a profit worth 2 billion euro. At the end of the first quarter the total value of bonds owned by insurance companies was more than 97 billion euro.

PDF contains complete press release, including tables and graphics.