Life segment: investments

(€ million)31/12/2015Impact (%)31/12/2014Impact (%)
Equity instruments14,0664.2%12,9834.0%
Fixed income instruments296,43389.3%286,05689.2%
  Other fixed income instruments27,0528.1%24,8017.7%
Land and buildings (investment properties)8,9122.7%9,8813.1%
Other investments4,1001.2%5,0391.6%
  Investments in subsidiaries, associated companies and joint ventures3,8741.2%4,2821.3%
  Other investments1,0840.3%8290.3%
Cash and cash equivalents8,6052.6%6,6242.1%
General accounts investments332,117100.0%320,583100.0%
Investment back to unit and index-linked policies74,96667,707
Total investments407,082388,290

At 31 December 2015, total investments in the life segment showed a 4.8% increase over 31 December 2014, amounting to € 407,082 million. Group investments amounted to € 332,117 million (+3.6%), while the investments related to the unit/index linked investments amounted to € 74,966 million (+10.7%).

Even though the percentage was substantially stable, the exposure in absolute terms towards the fixed income instruments and the equity instruments were up, standing at € 296,433 million (€ 286,056 million at 31 December 2014) and € 14,066 million (€ 12,983 million at 31 December 2014) respectively. On the other hand, there was a drop in Group investment properties to 2.7% (3.1% at 31 December 2014). Finally there was an increase in cash and cash equivalents, standing at 2.6% (2.1% at 31 December 2014).

With reference to the breakdown of the bond investment portfolio, exposure to government bonds was slightly down, standing at € 149,400 million (€ 150,538 million at 31 December 2014), amounting to 55.5% of the portfolio (57.6% at 31 December 2014). The change during the period was due to the sales made in the period.

On the other hand, corporate bonds increased to € 119,981 million (€ 110,717 million at 31 December 2014), equal to 44.5% (42.4% at 31 December 2014). This trend is due to the net purchases made during the year, only partially offset by the impairment of their value.

Lastly, the average duration of the bond portfolio was 8.0 years (8.2 years at 31 December 2014), in line with ALM Group strategy.

Life segment: return on investments

Current return (*)3.4%3.6%
Harvesting rate 0.4%0.6%
P&L return4.0%4.5%

(*) Net of depreciations

The net current return from investments in the life segment recorded a modest decline, falling from 3.6% at 31 December 2014 to 3.4% even though the relative income increased to € 11,112 million (€ 10,914 million at 31 December 2014).

The contribution to the result for the period from the harvesting transactions stood at 0.4% (0.6% at 31 December 2014) against the value deterioration of the instruments at fair value through profit or loss.

Life segment insurance provisions

The technical reserves and financial liabilities of the life segment - not including deferred liabilities towards policyholders - amounted to € 369,460 million; the increase of 6.4% reflects both the increase in reserves for the traditional portfolio (+5.4%), and the linked portfolio (+10.5%), which reflects the developments in the inflows and financial market trends, even though to a lesser extent compared to the corresponding period of the previous year due to the performance of certain financial areas reflected in the trend of the unit-linked reserves.

Finally, deferred policyholders’ liabilities stood at € 22,642 million (€ 25,300 million at 31 December 2014), reflecting the decrease in the value of the investments, particularly in bonds.