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European investment funds bounce back to positive asset growth

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Investment fund assets in Europe increased by 15.6 per cent in 2009 from EUR6,088bn at the end of 2008 to EUR7,039bn at the end of 2009, according to data from the European Fund and Asset Management Association.

Ucits registered net inflows of EUR123bn in 2009, compared to net outflows of EUR356bn in 2008.
 
Long-term Ucits (Ucits excluding money market funds) enjoyed net inflows of EUR165bn in 2009, due to net inflows into equity funds (EUR66bn), bond funds (EUR72bn) and balanced funds (EUR44bn).
 
Investors withdrew EUR43bn from money market funds in 2009, down substantially from the EUR64bn they invested in 2008.
 
Special funds reserved to institutional investors gathered EUR48bn in 2009, and real estate funds another EUR4bn.
 
Ucits accounted for 75 per cent of the total European fund market, with a value of EUR5,299bn at end 2009.
 
Efama says the strength of the recovery in investor demand for Ucits and non-Ucits in 2009 is the result of the following factors:
 
• Low short-term interest rates convinced investors to seek alternative investments to bank deposits to secure higher returns
• Low stock prices, plus the confidence generated by the wide-ranging policy actions by governments and central banks, gradually strengthened investor appetite for equity funds
• High concentration of wealth in liquid investments encouraged investors to move towards more balanced asset allocations
• Ucits’ status as a global brand continued to boost net sales of cross-border funds outside Europe, especially in Asia

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