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investment funds assets up 7.5 per cent in Q4 2011

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Investment fund assets worldwide increased by 7.5 per cent during the fourth quarter to stand at EUR19.97 trillion at end 2011, according to the latest quarterly international statistical release published today by the European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA).

This result came on the back of renewed net inflows into worldwide investment funds. In US dollar terms, worldwide investment fund assets increased by 3.0 per cent during the quarter to USD 25.84 trillion. The appreciation of the US dollar vis-à-vis the euro during the quarter explains this result.
 
Worldwide net cash flows into investment funds returned to positive territory during the fourth quarter, registering net inflows of EUR 83 billion, against net outflows of EUR 104 billion in the previous quarter. This turnaround is attributable to positive net inflows into both long-term funds and money market funds.
 
Long-term funds (all funds excluding money market funds) recorded net inflows during the fourth quarter of EUR 11 billion versus net outflows of EUR 58 billion in the previous quarter. 
 
Bond funds enjoyed increased net inflows during the quarter amounting to EUR 49 billion, up from EUR 7 billion in the previous quarter. 
 
Equity funds experienced net outflows for the second consecutive quarter, albeit at a reduced level, totalling EUR 52 billion (EUR 79 billion in the third quarter).
 
Balanced/mixed funds experienced reduced net outflows during the quarter of EUR 1 billion.
 
The situation contrasted across continents with long-term funds in Europe registering net outflows of EUR 61 billion, whereas in the United States long-term funds recorded net inflows of EUR 60 billion during the quarter.
 
Money market funds experienced quarterly net inflows for the first time since the first quarter of 2009. Net inflows amounted to EUR 72 billion during the fourth quarter, compared to net outflows of EUR 46 billion in the third quarter of 2011. This result is attributable to positive net sales recorded in both Europe and the United States of EUR 11 billion and EUR 45 billion respectively. These inflows reflected increased risk aversion amongst investors during the fourth quarter.
 
At the end of 2011, assets of equity funds represented 37 per cent and bond funds represented 23 per cent of all investment fund assets worldwide. The asset share of money market funds was 18 per cent and the asset share of balanced/mixed funds was 10 per cent.  
 
The market share of the ten largest countries/regions in the world market (excluding non-UCITS) were the United States (49.0%), Europe (28.2%), Brazil (5.7%), Australia (5.6%), Japan (3.9%), Canada (3.6%), China (1.3%), Rep. of Korea (0.9%), South Africa (0.6%) and India (0.3%).
 
Overall in 2011 worldwide investment funds attracted net sales of EUR 228 billion. Worldwide long-term funds registered net inflows of EUR 335 billion in 2011. The United States recorded net inflows into long-term funds of EUR 239 billion, whereas long-term funds in Europe experienced net outflows (EUR 55 billion). On the other hand, worldwide money market funds recorded net outflows of EUR 107 billion during the course of the year, with net outflows being recorded on both sides of the Atlantic (EUR 86 billion in the United States and EUR 33 billion in Europe).
 

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