Dutch hedge funds’ assets under management have contracted by nearly 3% to €21.5bn over the third quarter, due mostly to a combined quarterly loss of 3.4% on investments, according to pensions regulator De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB).

Over the same period, the number of Dutch hedge funds fell by seven to 97.

The DNB, which did not release further details on returns, said local hedge funds invested 77% of their assets in other investment funds – and foreign hedge funds in particular.

They invested nearly 15% of their combined assets in equities, while deposits and liquid assets made up 6.1% of invested assets, the DNB said.

The remaining 2% was invested in derivatives and bonds.

The watchdog also pointed out that Dutch hedge funds were currently relatively unleveraged.

Local pension funds, with a combined 92% stake in the industry, are by far the largest stakeholders in hedge funds in the Netherlands.

‘Other’ investment institutions and insurers own 3.9% and 3.6%, respectively, of the issued participations, the DNB said.

The combined assets of hedge funds across the euro-zone came to €157.2bn during the third quarter, according to the European Central Bank.

The Dutch hedge-fund market is currently Europe’s second largest, after Ireland’s, which currently boats more than €100bn in assets.

Hedge funds in Luxembourg manage just under €20bn in assets.