Luxembourg tops Ucits sales in Europe for Q1 – EFAMA

Luxembourg gained the highest sales of Ucits funds within the EU during the first quarter of 2011, knocking Ireland off the top spot, but for many of the top selling countries sales decreased slightly on the previous quarter, data from the European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA) shows.

Luxembourg sold €24bn in Ucits funds over the first quarter of the year, a slight decline on the previous quarter when sales were €25bn. Ireland saw its sales fall off by more than half on the previous quarter, dropping to €13bn from €27bn.

Of 25 EU member states surveyed by EFAMA, only seven recorded positive sales of Ucits funds in Q1.

But Ucits sales in Europe improved overall on the previous quarter from €26bn to €30bn. For some countries, including Austria, France, Hungary, Italy and Portugal, redemptions from Ucits continued but were less severe than they were at the end of 2010.

In Switzerland, sales of Ucits funds hiked to €5,600bn from €-2,774bn. Parts of the Nordic region, Finland and Norway, and some of eastern Europe, Romania and Slovenia, saw improved sales. Major Norwegian life insurance companies invested in bond funds, while Romania’s sales over the quarter made up 11% of Ucits assets.

In Spain, sales of Ucits funds returned, rising to €327bn following redemptions of €7,158bn in the previous quarter. Investors in the region flocked to both equity and bond funds.

In contrast to sales, Ucits assets across Europe decreased slightly, indicating a less strong performance. Net assets fell by 0.9%, from €6,004bn to €5,949bn. Of the 25 countries surveyed, net assets fell in 14 countries over the quarter and increased in 12.

The largest Ucits domiciles suffered, including Luxembourg, where net assets decreased by 0.6%, France, where assets dropped 1.1%, and Ireland, where they fell 0.9%.

Aside from Sweden, Ucits performance in the Nordics improved. Net assets in Norway rose 6.8% over the quarter, while Finland and Denmark also recorded growth of 0.3% and 0.1% respectively.

While Spain and Greece increased net Ucits assets by 2.1% and 0.6% respectively, net assets declined in other parts of southern Europe. Italy and Portugal lost 4.4% and 4.7% of Ucits assets on the previous quarter.

Romania boosted Ucits assets by 15.9%, helped by sales which rose from €46bn to €137bn from quarter to quarter.

At the end of March 2011, Ucits funds made up 73% of the European investment fund market overall, said EFAMA.

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