German fund industry hits new record in H1 2017
During the first six months of the year, the German fund industry recorded net inflows of €79.1bn, making this the second highest result for new business in any single half year, according to BVI. Only the record year of 2015 saw fund companies collecting higher inflows from the beginning of January to the end of June, then standing at €110.8bn. With inflows of €49.2bn during the current year, open-ended Spezialfonds remain the driver of new business. Open-ended retail funds raised €36.4bn by the end of June. By comparison, they accounted for €45bn during the first half of the 2015 record year. Closed-ended funds brought in €2bn net. Institutional investors withdrew €8.5bn from discretionary mandates. As at the end of June, fund companies managed assets totalling €2.9trn.
Balanced funds dominate new business In the open-ended retail fund segment, balanced funds once again led the sales chart, attracting inflows of €18.8bn during the first six months. This is the best result for new business for any half year since 2015, when balanced funds collected €24.9bn from the beginning of January to the end of June. This year’s inflows are dominated by products that invest more or less equally in equities and bonds, with €9.8bn accounting for 52% of all fresh money. Balanced funds that invest at least two thirds of their capital in equities rank second, at 29 per cent, and products focusing on bonds rank third, at 19 per cent.
Since the beginning of 2013, assets under management in balanced funds more than doubled, from €123bn to their current level of €251bn. During the same period, the share of products that invest more or less in equities and bonds decreased from 53% to 47%. Equity-focused products increased their share from 22% to 27%. The share of bond-focused balanced funds remains almost unchanged at 26%. At €368bn, equity funds continue to be the largest retail-fund segment in terms of volume. Balanced funds are followed by bond funds with assets totalling €203bn, property funds with €88bn and capital protected funds with €22bn.
Spezialfonds: retirement benefit schemes strongly invested
Since the beginning of 2011, assets under management in open-ended Spezialfonds have almost doubled, from €814bn to their current level of €1,546bn. The largest investor groups are insurance companies, with assets of €600bn under management by fund companies, and retirement benefit schemes, such as pension schemes, with a volume of €379bn. The share of retirement benefit schemes in Spezialfonds’ assets grew from 15% to 25% over the past seven years. As in the whole of 2016, they topped the sales chart during the first six months of the current year, recording inflows to the tune of €24.5bn. Insurance companies invested €16.4bn of fresh money in Spezialfonds during the first half of the year.