Dutch pension funds buy e20bn of equities

NETHERLANDS – Dutch pension funds bought eight billion euros worth of bonds and 20 billion euros in equities in 2002, according to government statistics.

The Dutch statistical office said in a statement that pension funds bought eight billion worth of bonds during the year – which compares to insurers, which sold six billion euros in bonds.

It also said that pension funds bought “close to” 20 billion euro in equities in the period. Insurers bought more than five billion in equities.

The statistics office said that the total investments of pension funds and insurance companies fell by almost 6% in the year.

“The main cause was the 82 billion euro drop in share prices,” the office said. Pension funds were hit by falling share prices to the tune of 61 billion euros, or –26%, it added.

Things took a turn for the better in the fourth quarter of 2002, though, with pension funds posting an almost 1% increase in asset values.

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