Friday, June 26, 2015 - 14:05
Half of Netherlands debt in foreign hands
Half of the government debt is currently held by foreign parties, such as foreign pension funds, banks or central banks. In 1995 less than a quarter of the Netherlands debt was in foreign hands. This is according to figures released by Statistics Netherlands on Thursday. In the first quarter of this year, the government debt amounted to 459 billion euros, an increase of 9 billion euros compared to the fourth quarter of 2014. The government debt is currently 68.9 percent of the gross domestic product. The share of the government debt in the hands of domestic banks, pension funds and insurance companies is 45 percent. In 1995 that share was 70 percent. It dropped to 25 percent in 2008, when Dutch banks, pension funds and insurance companies sold their government bonds to invest a greater proportion of their assets in bonds of other sectors. From 2008 the share of the government debt in domestic hands has steadily grown to 45 percent in the first quarter of 2015. According to Statistics Netherlands, this growth is due to the fact that government bonds are once again considered safeinvestments.