Data from Morningstar points to strong net inflows to funds in Europe through March, for a total of some €38.5bn, according to its figures.
Bond funds took the largest share, some €25.6bn, driven by demand for emerging market debt, as well as flexible and diversified bond products. However, outflows were seen from funds focused on eurozone government bonds.
And, while allocation funds saw net inflows of some €10.9bn, actively managed equity funds saw outflows of €3.3bn. Open ended index funds saw net inflows of €3.3bn.
Other key trends spotted by Morningstar include:
- The largest single category inflows for March were seen in the Morningstar Global Flexible Bond – USD Hedged category, with inflows of €4.6bn; PIMCO GIS Income contributed the largest slice at €3.9bn
- Global Emerging-Markets Bond – Local Currency funds also featured strongly, taking more inflows in March than in any single month since January 2013: the main beneficiaries were BlackRock, GAM and HSBC
- In terms of outflows by category, funds in the € Diversified Bond category saw the highest net outflows at €2.2bn in March; $ High-Yield Bond funds also witnessed high redemptions with €1.9bn in net outflows, closely followed by Europe Large-Cap Blend Equity at €1.8bn in outflows
- Among the largest fund providers in Europe, PIMCO led the inflows with €4.9bn in March, bringing the manager’s 12-month flows to €19bn; BlackRock, Amundi and Vanguard also posted strong inflows at €3.1bn, €2.6bn, and €2.5bn respectively
- Pioneer Investments saw the largest outflows at €1.5bn, with two-thirds of redemptions coming from bond funds; AXA saw net outflows at €1.1bn
- Among the largest funds in Europe, PIMCO GIS Income saw the largest inflows – in March, the fund took in €3.9bn out of €15.3bn in the past 12 months, amounting to 80% of all PIMCO inflows during the period
- At €68m, the March inflows for Templeton Global Total Return also stand out for being the fund’s first month with positive flows since December 2014.
Ali Masarwah, EMEA editorial director for Morningstar, said the figures pointed to continued focus on higher yielding fixed income assets at a time when interest rates remained historically low. Another key points is the reversal of a hoped-for trend in growing sales of actively managed funds.
“After enjoying inflows in the first two months of the year, flows to active funds were back in the red in March, dashing industry hopes of a substantial turn-around in the first quarter,” Masarwah said.