European funds set record Q1 inflow, says Lipper

The European funds industry has recorded its greatest inflows over the first quarter of the year since the beginning of 2007, at €87.4bn according to data provider Lipper.

Flows into the European funds industry hit €37.1bn in March, with net sales of long-term funds excluding money market funds at €77.1bn for the quarter.

At group level, Allianz/PIMCO, AXA/AllianceBernstein and M&G/Prudential generated the greatest net sales over the period of €7.3bn, €5.7bn and €4.3bn respectively.

“Seven funds attracted inflows of more than €1bn this quarter, headed by AllianceBernstein’s American Income Portfolio (€2.0bn), PIMCO Global Investment Grade Credit (€1.8bn) and M&G Optimal Income (€1.6bn),” said Ed Moisson (pictured), head of UK & cross-border research at Lipper.

In 2010, investors withdrew €112.2bn from money market funds. Moves into other asset classes or out of funds altogether have slowed dramatically since.

“The start to the year has been dominated by interest in high yield funds with US$ products accounting for €8.1bn of the €17.4bn total and emerging market debt at €11.6bn, of which €3.4bn moved into local currency funds,” said Moisson.

He added: “Cross-border funds accounted for 72% of European inflows over the past three months at €63.2bn, with €44.3bn moving into bonds. This proportion was greater than the previous Q1 high in 2007, when cross-border sales made up 59% of the total”.

Moisson also noted that exchange-traded funds accounted for just 5% of European fund industry sales since the beginning of the year, with sales at €4.4bn, although they have gathered 25% of inflows to equity funds over this period – €3.1bn of the wider industry total of €12.2bn.

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