LONDON (Reuters) - Investments by insurers active in the European Union dipped to 10.3 trillion euros ($11.2 trillion) in the region in 2018 after several years of increases, curtailed by weak equity markets, trade body Insurance Europe said on Wednesday.
The insurance sector is the largest institutional investor in the EU, with assets under management equivalent to 58% of the bloc’s gross domestic product, Insurance Europe said.
Insurers tend to focus on long-term investments to match policy payouts for products such as pensions. Their investments can include mortgages, real estate and infrastructure, as well as equities and bonds.
But after expanding since 2009, investment slipped by almost 1% from 10.4 trillion euros in 2017.
“The main factor is likely to have been the poor performance of equity markets, particularly in the last quarter of 2018,” said Nicolas Jeanmart, head of personal and general insurance at Insurance Europe.
UK fund assets stabilized at 7.7 trillion pounds ($9.4 trillion) last year amid political and market uncertainty, the sector’s leading trade body said last month.
Reporting by Carolyn Cohn; Editing by David Goodman