Bond funds best-selling in Europe despite yield woes

The Refinitiv Lipper European Fund Flow report found that European positive fund-flows accelerated in July, making it the fifth month that long-term mutual funds posted net inflows in 2019.

Taking the current interest rate environment into account, Lipper from Refinitiv reported “It was surprising that bond funds (+€37.7bn) were once again the best-selling asset type in the segment of long-term mutual funds, followed by equity funds (+€9.4bn) and commodity funds (+€0.9bn).”
The August 2019 Bank of America Fund Manager survey found that 33% of fund managers thought corporate bonds were most at risk of a central bank-induced bubble. In the Lipper study, the other asset types tracked all faced outflows, with alternative UCITS funds (-€3.5bn), mixed-asset funds (-€1.3bn), real estate funds (-€0.04bn), and “other” funds (-€0.004bn) all down.

These fund flows added up to overall net outflows of €43.2bn from long-term investment funds for July, while exchange-traded funds (ETFs) contributed inflows of €16.1bn to these flows. BofAML analysts noted in July that the past 10 years have seen an overall US$2.3tn into passive equity, and US$2.6tn out of active equity globally, which indicates that AUM in passive equity funds is set to surpass active equity AUM in August 2022 (see p.6 for PwC’s estimate).
The highest assets under management for ETFs at the end of July were held by funds classified as Equity US (€143.1bn), followed by Equity Global (€77.5bn), Equity Eurozone (€49.0bn), Equity Europe (€39.8bn), and Equity Emerging Markets Global (€39.7bn). These five peer groups accounted for 45.17% of the overall assets under management in the European ETF segment.
European investors found money market products attractive in the current environment, making money market funds the best-selling asset type overall, witnessing net inflows of €38.3bn for July. ETFs investing in money market instruments contributed net outflows of €0.7bn to the total in contrast with their active managed peers.
This flow pattern led to overall net outflows of €81.5bn for July, and inflows of €127.0bn for mutual funds in Europe to date this year.
Money Market EUR (+€21.0bn) was the best-selling sector overall, followed by Money Market USD (+€16.3bn), Money Market GBP (+€1.4bn), Money Market NOK (+€0.2bn), and Money Market CHF (+€0.1bn). At the other end of the spectrum, Money Market Global (-€0.4bn) suffered the highest net outflows overall, bettered by Money Market EUR Leveraged (-€0.2bn) and Money Market SGD (-€0.1bn).
Based on a comparison of the July flow pattern with that of June led Lipper to observe that European investors are building up their positions in the euro and are increasing their positions in the British pound sterling and the US dollar. Lipper also noted that shifts might have been caused by asset allocation decisions or for cash dividends or cash payments since money market funds are also used by corporations as replacements for cash accounts.

©TheScienceOfInvestment 2019



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