Sell in May and go away…

It seems European investors followed this old market adage in May 2015, since equity funds faced outflows of €3.1bn.

But, even more noteworthy, the European mutual fund industry faced a slowdown in flows into long-term mutual funds. That said, the European mutual funds industry still enjoyed net inflows of €16.3bn into these kinds of products for May, but the flow numbers stood far behind the numbers of the former months of the year. Opposite to April, the majority of the flows went into mixed-asset funds (+€18.9bn), followed by bond funds (+€1.1bn), property funds (+€0.6bn), and commodity funds (+€0.4bn). On the other side of the table, equity funds faced the highest outflows (-€3.1bn) from long-term mutual funds, followed by alternative/hedge products (-€1.4bn) and “other” products (-€0.4bn).

Money Market Products

Money market products showed a mixed picture for May; money market funds faced net outflows of €13.8bn, while enhanced money market products enjoyed net inflows of €1.0bn.

The flows into the money market segment brought the overall net inflows for May to €3.5bn and the overall net inflows for 2015 to a still outstanding €246.4bn.

Graph 1: Estimated Net Sales, May 2015 (Euro Millions)

15-07-13 Graph 1 - ENS by Asset Type

Source: Lipper, a Thomson Reuters company

Fund Flows by Markets

Single fund market flows for long-term funds showed a positive picture for May; even in this environment only 9 of the 33 markets covered in this report showed net outflows. The international fund hubs (Ireland and Luxembourg) were the domiciles with the highest overall inflows (+€7.7bn), while Italy (+€4.9bn) was once again the single market with the highest net inflows (+€4.9bn), followed by Switzerland (+€2.1bn), Germany (+€1.5bn), Denmark (+€0.6bn), and France (+€0.4bn).

Meanwhile, Spain (-€1.5bn), Austria (-€0.4bn), Finland (-€.0.2bn), Portugal (-€0.1bn), and Norway (-€0.1bn) stood on the other side.

Graph 2: Estimated Net Sales by Country, May 2015 (Euro Millions)

15-07-13 Graph 2- Market Flows

Source: Lipper, a Thomson Reuters company

Within the equity sector funds domiciled in Italy (+€0.4bn) led the table for May, followed by those domiciled in Spain (+€0.4bn), the international fund hubs (+€0.3bn), Denmark (+€0.2bn), and Poland (+€0.1bn). Equity funds domiciled in the United Kingdom (-€1.5bn), Sweden (-€1.0bn), and France (-€0.7bn) stood at the other end of the table.

For bond funds inflows were driven by funds domiciled in Switzerland (+€1.8bn), followed by funds domiciled in the international fund hubs (+€0.8bn), Sweden (+€0.6bn), France (+€0.5bn), and Denmark (+€0.4bn). On the other side Spain (-€1.8bn) was once again the domicile with the highest net outflows from bond funds, bettered somewhat by funds domiciled in Germany (-€1.1bn) and Austria (-€0.5bn).

With regard to mixed-asset products the flows were driven by net inflows into funds domiciled in the international fund hubs (+€6.2bn), followed by those domiciled in Italy (+€4.5bn), Germany (+€2.3bn), the United Kingdom (+€1.5bn), and Spain (+€1.3bn). Only 7 of the 33 countries covered in this report showed net outflows from mixed-asset products, with funds domiciled in Portugal showing the highest outflows (-€49m).

Fund Flows by Promoters

Intesa SanPaolo, with net sales of €2.5bn, was the best selling group of long-term funds for May, ahead of BlackRock (+€2.5bn) and Pioneer (+€2.0bn).

Table 1: Ten Best Selling Groups, May 2015 (Euro Millions)

15-07-13 Table 1 - Top Ten Groups

Source: Lipper, a Thomson Reuters company

Considering the single-asset bases, BlackRock (+€1.6bn) was once again the best selling promoter of bond funds for May, followed by KBC (+€1.1bn) and Credit Suisse (+€0.7bn) as well as Intesa SanPaolo (+€0.6bn) and GAM (+€0.6bn). Within the equity space Allianz Global Investors (+€0.7bn) stood at the top of the table, followed by UBS (+€0.6bn), Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management (+€0.6bn), Nordea (+€0.5bn), and Société Générale (+€0.5bn). Pioneer (+€2.0bn) and Intesa SanPaolo (+€1.7bn) changed their positions in the mixed-asset segment compared to April, followed by Standard Life (+€1.1bn) and GAM (+€0.8bn) as well as Invesco (+€0.7bn).

Best Selling Funds

The ten best selling funds gathered inflows of €6.3bn, 38.98% of the overall inflows for May, showing that fund flows in Europe are highly concentrated. With regard to the overall flows, it is remarkable that seven of these ten funds were mixed-asset funds, gathering €4.2bn or 22.39% of the overall flows within this asset class. It’s also remarkable that the only bond fund in the top ten was the best selling fund (+€0.8bn) for May. Despite the overall outflows from equity funds, there were two products in the top ten for May, gathering €1.3bn.

Table 2: Ten Best Selling Funds, May 2015 (Euro Millions)

15-07-13 Table 2 - Top Ten Funds

Source: Lipper, a Thomson Reuters company


Detlef Glow is head of Lipper EMEA Research at Thomson Reuters

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