The total amount of direct investment held by Belgians abroad, for both individuals and companies, exceeded €1 trillion in the third quarter of last year, according to data for the National Bank of Belgium on Tuesday. This is the first time that this sum has ever surpassed this amount.
This figure also includes stakes of at least 10% in foreign companies, Belgian subsidiaries located abroad, as well as real estate held by Belgians abroad.
This direct investment totalled €1.004 trillion in the third quarter of last year, against €993.1 billion in the second quarter. The bank admits that the increased value of investments held abroad is largely due to currency effects.
Of this amount, 22% of investments are held in the Netherlands, 15% in Luxembourg, 13% in both France and the United Kingdom, and 5% in Switzerland.
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Belgians are also known to be cash hoarders, stashing away untold wealth in their homes and outside of bank vaults. A staggering €48.4 billion of Belgian household savings are kept in cash and coins. The average Belgian household has €4,200 stashed away in their homes.
Total household assets peaked at €1.5 trillion in 2021, on the back of strong economic recovery following the Covid-19 pandemic.