The European Fund and Asset Management Association (Efama) has reported net assets of European Ucits and alternative investment funds reached €15.69trn of net assets under management at the end of 2017, up from €14.19trn as of December 2016.
According to Efama’s data, Ucits and AIFs’ net sales have established a new record last year with €937bn of inflows reported over 2017 against €457bn in 2016.
In detail, net sales of Ucits funds across Europe amounted to €736bn while AIFs drew €201bn of net new inflows.
Long-term Ucits net sales totaled €667bn, with bond funds leading inflows (€314bn) followed by multi-asset funds (€180bn), equity funds (€157bn). Money market funds recorded net sales of €69bn; the remain Ucits funds categories registered €16bn of net sales over 2017.
Efama notes bond funds set a new all-time high regarding net sales. The low volatility and diversification benefits offered by bond funds have most certainly helped boost investor demand in a market environment which remained characterised by very low interest rates, suggested the European fund industry representative body.
Net sales drop in December
Though if 2017 is branded an “exceptional year” by Efama, last December was marked by a decrease in Ucits funds’ net sales – €29bn of net inflows, down from €62bn in November.
Net sales of equity funds amounted to €15bn in December 2017, down from €26bn the month before while bond funds faced similar drop to €18bn of net sales in December from €29bn in November 2017.
Multi-asset funds’ net inflows also plummeted to €16bn from €20bn in November 2017. Other Ucits funds boarded €0.9bn of net new money in December 2017 while they faced outflows of €12bn a month earlier.
Outflows pursued in money market funds as €21bn of assets were withdrawn from this type of funds across Europe (outflows of €1bn in November 2017).
Lastly, AIFs recorded net outflows of €1bn, in comparison with net inflows of €10bn reported in November 2017.
Bernard Delbecque, director of Economics and Research at Efama, commented: “Net sales of Ucits and AIFs in December dropped to the lowest level of the year. This primarily reflected net outflows from money market funds, a normal development at year end, as well as a noteworthy drop in net sales of bond funds amid uncertainty over interest rates.”
Efama’s director general Peter de Proft said: “The strong net sales of European investment funds in 2017 testify to investors’ confidence in the general economic outlook and the quality of the Ucits and AIF frameworks. They also confirm that the wide range of investment strategies and risk mitigation techniques used by Ucits and AIFs acts as a driving force in the fund industry by allowing investors to find funds that meet their needs and expectations in terms of market performance.”