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November in Brief: Institutions play safe whilst others hang onto hope of returns

Hopes of a solid final quarter, following October’s sales rebound, were dashed in November and now look unlikely to recover by the year-end. Against a backdrop of relatively flat markets, investor sentiment was buffeted by strong hints of interest rate rises in the US and increased monetary easing in Europe. This brought buyers into the market wanting to build more equity exposure into their portfolios but to do this, they reduced their fixed income holdings. The net result was a €14bn exit from bond funds and a €15bn inflow into equity and mixed asset funds. In the context of the current market dynamics mixed asset funds are included here because, for many European investors, they represent a diluted and ‘safer’ exposure to the equity markets. And, it was the mixed asset sectors that made the most gains, improving on last month’s position but still a shadow of the volumes generated in the first six months of the year.

Equities, meanwhile, failed to live up to last month’s promise. Volumes fell back by nearly a third and the sector was led by alternative funds offering returns that generally aim to smooth out the market turns. Arguably more interesting was the tidal wave of money that moved into safe-haven money market funds. This is an asset class that has been more or less dormant for the last six years, struggling from impoverished yields and the regulatory threat of extinction, at least for the institutional vehicles offering a constant NAV. Now they are back to form and it was institutional money that was fuelling their success in November. Is this a case of the smart money moving out before a period of correction? Read more.

European Fund Market - Data Digest
Mid-Year Review 2015

Broadridge's annual review of the European funds industry provides 20 pages packed with sales and assets data on activity in different markets, as well as a look at which groups and products prospered in 2015. The report includes unique data on cross-border activity, as well as commentary on various issues that impact the industry over the near term and long term.

You can view the report by clicking here