Lipper’s Glow: Review of the European ETF market

The promoters of ETFs in Europe enjoyed net inflows for June. However, these inflows were not enough to offset the negative market impacts. As a result the assets under management in the European ETF industry decreased from €665.8 bn (as of May 31, 2018) to €660.4 bn at the end of June 2018. The decrease of €5.4 bn for June was driven by the performance of the underlying markets (-€6.3 bn), while net sales contributed a positive €0.9 bn to the assets under management in the European ETF segment.

With regard to the overall number of products, it was not surprising that equity funds (€471.5 bn) held the majority of the assets, followed by bond funds (€156.5 bn), commodity products (€21.3 bn), “other” funds (€6.5 bn), money market funds (€3.4 bn), mixed-asset funds (€0.7 bn), and alternative UCITS products (€0.4 bn).

Graph 1: Market Share, Assets Under Management in the European ETF Segment by Asset Type, June 30, 2018

Source: Thomson Reuters Lipper

Fund Flows by Asset Type
June witnessed contrasting numbers for fund flows compared to those of May; the asset type with the highest net outflows the previous month—bond ETFs—were the asset type with the highest net inflows for June (+€1.2 bn), followed by commodity ETFs (+€0.4 bn), money market ETFs (+€0.1 bn), and alternative UCITS ETFs (+€0.02 bn). Meanwhile, equity ETFs (-€0.7 bn), the best selling asset type for May, faced the highest net outflows, bettered by “other” ETFs (-€0.03 bn) and mixed-asset ETFs (-€0.004 bn).

This flow pattern drove the overall net flows to €22.8 bn for the year 2018 so far.

Graph 2: Estimated Net Sales, June 2018 (€m)

Source: Thomson Reuters Lipper

Assets Under Management by Lipper Global Classifications
With regard to the Lipper global classifications, the European ETF market was split into 160 different peer groups. The highest assets under management at the end of June were held by funds classified as Equity US (€114.1 bn), followed by Equity Global (€60.9 bn), Equity Eurozone (€53.1 bn), and Equity Europe (€37.3 bn) as well as Equity Emerging Markets Global (€32.7 bn). These five peer groups accounted for 45.14% of the overall assets under management in the European ETF segment, while the ten top classifications by assets under management accounted for 59.95%. Overall, 18 of the 1,160 peer groups each accounted for more than 1% of the assets under management. In total, these 18 peer groups accounted for €470.8 bn or 71.30% of the overall assets under management. In addition, it is noteworthy that the ranking of the largest peer groups was quite stable, indicating that European investors use the funds from these peer groups as core holdings and not just as so-called satellites that are bought and sold quite frequently to implement asset allocation views in the investors’ portfolios. These numbers show that the assets under management in the European ETF industry continued to be highly concentrated.

Graph 3: Ten Top Lipper Global Classifications by Assets Under Management, June 30, 2018 (€m)

Source: Thomson Reuters Lipper

The peer groups on the other side of the table showed that some funds in the European ETF market are quite low in assets and risk being closed in the near future. They are obviously lacking investor interest and might therefore not be profitable for the respective fund promoters (Please read our report: “Is there a consolidation ahead in the European ETF industry?” for more details on this topic.)

Graph 4: Ten Smallest Lipper Global Classifications by Assets Under Management, June 30, 2018 (€m)

Source: Thomson Reuters Lipper

Fund Flows by Lipper Global Classifications
With regard to the overall sales for June, it was surprising that the ten best selling peer groups were dominated by equity funds, since equity ETFs faced the highest net outflows for the month. The best selling Lipper global classification for June was Equity US (+€2.6 bn), followed by Equity Global (+€0.6 bn) and Equity UK (+€0.5 bn).

The inflows of the ten best selling Lipper classifications equalled to 648.60% of the overall net inflows. These numbers showed that the European ETF segment is also highly concentrated with regard to fund flows by sectors. Generally speaking, one would expect the flows into ETFs to be concentrated, since investors often use ETFs to implement their market views and short-term asset allocation decisions; these products are made for and therefore are easy to use for these purposes.

Graph 5: Ten Best and Worst Selling Lipper Global Classifications by Estimated Net Sales, June 2018 (€m)

Source: Thomson Reuters Lipper

On the other side of the table the ten peer groups with the highest net outflows for June accounted for €5.9 bn of outflows. Equity Japan (-€1.3 bn) faced the highest net outflows, bettered by Equity Emerging Markets (-€1.2 bn) and Equity Eurozone (-€1.0 bn).

Assets Under Management by Promoters
A closer look at the assets under management in the European ETF industry by promoters also showed high concentration, since only 13 of the 50 ETF promoters in Europe held assets at or above €1.0 bn each. The largest ETF promoter in Europe—iShares (€299.5 bn)—accounted for 45.35% of the overall assets under management, far ahead of the number-two promoter—Xtrackers (€70.8 bn)—and the number-three promoter—Lyxor ETF (€64.4 bn). (To learn more about the concentration of the European ETF market at the promoter level, please read our report: Spotlight on the concentration at the promoter level in the European ETF industry)

Graph 6: Ten Top ETF Promoters by Assets Under Management, June 30, 2018 (€m)

Source: Thomson Reuters Lipper

The ten top promoters accounted for 92.51% of the overall assets under management in the European ETF industry. This meant in turn that the other 40 fund promoters registering at least one ETF for sale in Europe accounted for only 7.49% of the overall assets under management.

Fund Flows by Promoters
Since the European ETF market is highly concentrated, it was not surprising that five of the ten largest promoters by assets under management were among the ten top-selling ETF promoters for June and that Europe’s largest ETF promoter—iShares—was the best selling ETF promoter in Europe for June (+€1.7 bn), well ahead of Invesco (+€0.2 bn) and JP Morgan (+€0.2 bn).

Graph 7: Ten Best Selling ETF Promoters, June 2018 (€m)

Source: Thomson Reuters Lipper

Since the flows of the ten top promoters accounted for 298.98% of the overall estimated net flows into ETFs in Europe for June, it was clear that some of the 50 promoters (17) faced net outflows (-€1.9 bn in total) over the course of June.

Assets Under Management by Funds
There were 2,551 instruments (primary funds and convenience share classes) listed as ETFs in the Lipper database at the end of June. With regard to the overall market pattern, it was not surprising that the assets under management at the ETF level were also highly concentrated. Only 156 of the 2,551 instruments held assets above €1.0 bn each. These products accounted for €400.8 bn or 60.70% of the overall assets in the European ETF industry. The ten largest ETFs in Europe accounted for €107.3 bn or 16.25% of the overall assets under management. (Please read our study: Is the European ETF industry dominated by only a few funds? to learn more about the concentration at the single-fund level in the European ETF industry.)

Graph 8: Ten Largest ETFs by Assets Under Management, June 30, 2018 (€m)

Source: Thomson Reuters Lipper

ETF Flows by Funds
A total of 739 of the 2,551 instruments analyzed in this report showed net inflows of more than €10,000 each for June, accounting for €15.9 bn or 1,737.59% of the overall net flows. This meant in turn that the other 1,812 instruments faced no flows or net outflows for the month. In more detail only 31 of the 739 ETFs posting net inflows enjoyed inflows of more than €100 m each during June, summing to €5.6 bn. The best selling ETF for June, iShares Core S&P 500 UCITS ETF USD (Acc), accounted for net inflows of €0.8 bn or 88.89% of the overall net inflows. It was followed by iShares EURO STOXX 50 (DE) (+€0.4 bn) and SPDR S&P 500 UCITS ETF (+€0.2 bn).

Graph 9: Ten Best Selling ETFs, June 2018 (€m)

Source: Thomson Reuters Lipper

The flow pattern at the fund level indicated that there was a lot of turnover and rotation during June, but it also showed the concentration of the European ETF industry even better than the statistics at the promoter or classification level. Given its size, it was not surprising that six of the ten best selling funds for June were promoted by iShares; these accounted for total net inflows of €2.0 bn or 221.10% of the net inflows into the European ETF segment.

Detlef Glow is head of EMEA Research at Thomson Reuters Lipper

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