2012 fifth best year for European fund sales in past decade, ex-money market

Sales of funds across Europe hit €9.8bn in December – excluding money market funds – taking the total for the year to €230.4bn, which made 2012 the fifth best year for the industry over the past decade, according to the latest Lipper Fund Flash report.

Cross border sales did even better on a historical basis. Inflows of €220.7bn, excluding money market funds, made it the second best year ever – second only to 2010’s tally of €231.4bn.

Three groups attracted inflows of more than €10bn in 2012: PIMCO (€35.1bn), AXA (€24.0bn) and BlackRock (€14.8bn), Lipper said.

Nine groups generated net sales of over €1bn.

The overall figures mask some interesting trends. Bond funds had their largest inflow on record – €225.2bn – but money market funds saw outflows of €44.5bn. Including those outflows then the total European industry sales across all asset classes hit €185.9bn over the year.

And despite a surge in equity fund sales in December – €13,1bn – over the full year there was a net outflow of €8.8bn.

Given that bond funds attracted a further €19.4bn in December too, report author Ed Moisson, head of UK and Cross-Border research concludes that the evidence points to a “small oscillation” in investor demand, rather than a “great rotation” out of fixed income into equities.

Another continued trend is the growing importance of cross-border funds. By assets of some €2.6trn, these now account for 45% of the industry, the report said.

The top four European markets by total net assets at the end of December 2012 were: UK (€744bn), Germany (€452.3bn), France (€284.4bn), and Italy (€275.1bn).

By estimated net sales in December, there was a significant slant towards northern Europe. Sweden (€2.3bn) and Norway (€1.3bn) were particularly strong, while two other non-eurozone markets also did well; Poland saw estimated net sales of €831bn, and the UK €724bn.


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