The promoters of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) enjoyed net inflows for January. These net inflows, in spite of negative market impacts, led to increased assets under management in the European ETF industry (€523.9bn) for January, up from €514.8bn at the end of December. The increase of €9.1 bn for January was completely driven by net sales (+€10.7bn), while the negative performance of the markets subtracted €1.6 bn from the assets under management in the ETF segment. With regard to the overall number of products, it was not surprising that equity funds (€363.3bn) held the majority of the assets, followed by bond funds (€132.8bn), commodity products (€17.1bn), “other” funds (€6.7bn), money market funds (€3.1bn), mixed-asset funds (€0.5bn), and alternative Ucits products (€0.4 bn).
Fund flows by Asset Type
Equity ETFs (+€7.1bn) posted for January their fourth consecutive month of having the highest net inflows in the European ETF industry, followed by bond ETFs (+€2.4bn), commodity ETFs (+€0.6bn), money market ETFs (+€0.3bn), and “other” ETFs (+€0.2bn) as well as mixed-asset ETFs (+€0.02bn) and alternative UCITS ETFs (+€0.004bn).
Assets under management by Lipper global classifications
With regard to the Lipper global classifications, the European ETF market was split into 163 different peer groups. The highest assets under management at the end of January were held by funds classified as Equity US (€83.7bn), followed by Equity Eurozone (€41.8bn), Equity Global (€38.2bn), and Equity Europe (€30.5bn) as well as Bond EUR Corporates (€26.7bn). These five peer groups accounted for 42.16% of the overall assets under management in the European ETF segment, while the ten top classifications by assets under management accounted for 57.78%. Overall, 21 of the 163 peer groups each accounted for more than 1% of the assets under management. In total, these 21 peer groups accounted for €383.0 bn or 73.11% of the overall assets under management. These numbers showed that the assets under management in the European ETF industry continue to be highly concentrated.
The peer groups on the other side of the table showed that some funds in the European ETF market are quite low in assets and may face the risk of being closed in the near future. They are obviously lacking investor interest and might therefore not be profitable for the respective fund promoters.
Fund flows by Lipper global classifications
With regard to the overall sales for January, it was not surprising that equity peer groups dominated the ten best selling Lipper classifications. The best selling Lipper global classification for January was Equity US (+€2.6bn), followed by Equity Global (+€2.0bn) and Equity Europe (+€1.2bn). The inflows of the ten best selling Lipper classifications equalled to 84.34% of the overall inflows. These numbers showed that the European ETF segment is also highly concentrated with regard to fund flows by sectors. Generally speaking, one would expect the flows into ETFs to be concentrated, since investors often use ETFs to implement their market views and short-term asset allocation decisions; these products are made for and therefore are easy to use for these purposes.
On the other side of the table the ten peer groups with the highest net outflows for January accounted for €4.7bn of outflows. Bond emerging markets global in local currencies (-€1.0bn) faced the highest net outflows, bettered somewhat by equity emerging markets global (-€0.9bn) and bond emerging markets global in hard currencies (-€0.6bn).
Assets under management by promoters
A closer look at the assets under management in the European ETF industry by promoters also showed high concentration, since only 19 of the 47 ETF promoters in Europe held assets at or above €1.0 bn each. The largest ETF promoter in Europe—iShares (€252.9bn)—accounted for 48.28% of the overall assets under management, far ahead of the number-two promoter—db x-trackers (€53.6 bn)—and the number-three promoter—Lyxor ETF (€51.8bn).(To learn more about the concentration of the European ETF market on the promoter level, please read our report: Is the dominance of big players killing the competition in the European ETF industry?)
The ten top promoters accounted for 92.63% of the overall assets under management in the European ETF industry. This meant in turn that the other 37 fund promoters registering at least one ETF for sale in Europe accounted for only 7.37% of the overall assets under management.
Fund flows by promoters
Since the European ETF market is highly concentrated, it is not surprising that nine of the ten largest promoters by assets under management were also among the ten top-selling ETF promoters for January. iShares, with net sales of €2.5bn, was the best selling ETF promoter in Europe, followed by UBS ETF (+€0.9bn) and SPDR (State Street) (+€0.9bn).
Since the flows of the ten top promoters accounted for 95.82% of the overall estimated net flows into ETFs in Europe for January, it was clear that some of the 47 promoters (10) faced net outflows (-€0.2bn in total) over the course of January.
Assets under management by funds
There were 2,122 instruments (primary funds and convenience share classes) listed as ETFs in the Lipper database at the end of January. With regard to the overall market pattern it was not surprising that the assets under management at the ETF level were also highly concentrated. Only 109 of the 2,122 instruments held assets above €1.0bn each. These products accounted for €294.8bn or 56.27% of the overall assets in the European ETF industry. The ten largest ETFs in Europe accounted for €91.8bn or 17.52% of the overall assets under management. (Please read our study: Is the European ETF industry dominated by only a few funds? to learn more about the concentration at the single-fund level in the European ETF industry.)
ETF flows by funds
A total of 785 of the 2,122 instruments analyzed in this report showed net inflows of more than €10,000 each for January, accounting for €18.9bn or 176.90% of the overall net flows. This meant in turn that the other 1,337 instruments faced no flows or net outflows for the month. In more detail only 44 of the 785 ETFs posting net inflows enjoyed inflows of more than €100m each during January, summing to €9.3 bn. The best selling ETF for January, Source Bloomberg Commodity Ucits ETF A $, accounted for net inflows of €0.8 bn or 7.58% of the overall net inflows; it was followed by Vanguard S&P 500 Ucits ETF $ (+€0.6 bn) and iShares $ Corp Bond UCITS ETF USD (Dist) (+€0.5 bn).
The flow pattern at the fund level showed the concentration even better than the statistics at the promoter or classification level. Overall, five of the ten best selling funds for January were promoted by iShares and accounted for total net inflows of €2.0bn or 18.80% of the net inflows in the European ETF segment.