The combined assets of Dutch investment funds increased by 4.5%, or €29.3bn, to a new record of almost €700bn over the second quarter, due in particular to rising equity markets, according to De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB).

The Dutch regulator said the total quarterly return on investments, including interest and dividends, was 4.2%, the highest since the first quarter of 2012.

Equity holdings increased by 7.8%, on the back of a 5.6% return on investments, it said, adding that net investment in equity amounted to €3.6bn, including €1.8bn in emerging markets.

Investment in property funds increased by €1.2bn.

By contrast, investment institutions divested €2.4bn from fixed income funds, €200m from mixed funds and €900m from hedge funds, continuing divestment strategies put in place during the first quarter, the DNB said.

Despite the divestment from fixed income funds, the asset class returned 3.2% over the period.

The DNB also reported positive results for property funds (2.8%), hedge funds (2.2%) and “other” funds (€5.1%).

The regulator said the level of assets had climbed to a record level for the fourth consecutive quarter.