The financial crisis forced the Dutch government to intervene in the affairs of a number banks and insurance companies at the end of 2008. Among other things, this intervention resulted in a substantial increase in state-owned shares. One consequence of this is that the government has received more dividend in 2009.
Capital injection of 37 billion euro
In October 2008 the Dutch government gained complete control of ABN Amro Bank and Fortis Bank Nederland. Shortly afterwards it acquired more shares through capital injections in ING, Aegon and SNS Reaal.
The interventions in these five financial and insurance companies represent a value of 37 billion euro. This pushed up the balance sheet value of the portfolio of state-owned shares to nearly 90 billion euro.
In the first half of 2009 the government received 3.2 billion euro dividend on company shares, of which 0.6 billion from the newly acquired shares. The dividend payments were 40 percent higher than in the first half of 2008.
Composition of share portfolio
At the beginning of 2009, the Dutch government owned shares in more than thirty companies and nine organisations for development cooperation. The state is 100 percent shareholder of around fifteen companies, including the Dutch Central Bank, Nederlandse Gasunie (distribution of natural gas), Nederlandse Spoorwegen (national railways) and ABN Amro Bank. The government also has a majority shareholding in Schiphol Airport, among other companies. None of the shares presently held by the state are listed on the stock exchange.