Aegon asset fund to stay in Holland

The finance ministry has persuaded insurer Aegon not to shift its new €40 bn combined asset pool to Ireland, marking the first major victory in its campaign to keep institutional investment in the Netherlands, the Financieele Dagblad reported this morning.

Aegon is planning to centralise is own investments with those of its private and institutional investors in an asset pool from late 2007. The finance ministry has now agreed that this special construction is allowed under Dutch financial laws, halting the planned move to tax-friendly Ireland. Shell is also setting up Dutch investment pools for all its pension plans, the paper reports.
Dutch supermarket sales were up a record 6% in the second quarter of this year, reaching almost €7 bn, national statistics office CBS reported this morning. Higher prices only accounted for 1% of the rise with the rest coming from people simply buying more and the fact that supermarkets are carrying more non-food items, the CBS said.
Socially-responsible Ice-cream maker Ben and Jerry’s, owned by Unilever, is to work with fair trade organisation Max Havelaar to source products for vanilla ice-cream.

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