Dutch institutional investors showed their confidence in the improving economic outlook during the first quarter by increasing their stake in more risky asset classes, such as equity and property, at the expense of fixed income, according to data released by De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB). 

The supervisor noticed that, on balance, €4.9bn has been added to equity investments, while the stake in real estate had risen by €900m during the first three months of the year.

At the same time, institutional investors withdrew capital from fixed income funds (€1.7bn), mixed funds (€400m), hedge funds (€700m) and other funds (€1.8bn).

DNB noted that the development was contrary to trends in the previous quarter, when €4.4bn was invested in fixed income funds, while €2.9bn was divested from equity funds.

The regulator reported that bond holdings returned 2% during the first quarter and said that equity yields were limited to 1%, following negative returns of emerging markets (-0.9%) and Asian holdings (-3.2%).

According to DNB, the total quarterly return (including interest and dividend) of all Dutch investment funds was 2%, after a 1.8% profit during the last quarter of 2013.

Following a new definition of investment institutions, DNB said it had included a number of private equity funds in its statistics, adding that their assets under management amounted to €16bn.

The supervisor also made clear that total assets under management of Dutch investment institutions reached a record high of €660bn at March-end.