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Increased investor confidence sees UCITS sales up in first quarter of 2012

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Net sales of UCITS leapt to EUR91 billion in the first quarter of 2012, up from net outflows of EUR50 billion recorded in the last quarter of 2011, according to the latest quarterly figures released by European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA).

This was the result of increased investor confidence after the launch of the ECB’s longer-term liquidity operations, which helped alleviate tensions in financial markets. 
 
Long-term UCITS, ie UCITS excluding money market funds, recorded net inflows of EUR70 billion, marking a significant turnaround compared to the previous quarter when net outflows of EUR61 billion were registered.

All asset classes recorded net inflows in the first quarter, led by bond funds with net sales of EUR49 billion. However, the relatively low net sales of equity funds (EUR9 billion) highlights an element of investor caution.
 
Money market funds attracted net inflows for the second consecutive quarter amounting to EUR22 billion, up from EUR11 billion in the previous quarter.  This increase of net sales into money market funds contrasted with remaining uncertainties regarding the economic outlook and financial stability.
 
Total net assets of UCITS increased by 5.8 per cent in the first quarter to stand at EUR5,961 billion at end March 2012.  Net assets of equity funds increased 8.5 per cent during the quarter, followed by bond funds (5.6 per cent) and balanced funds (4.7 per cent).  Money market funds registered a modest increase in net assets of 1.3 per cent during the quarter.
 
Total net assets of non-UCITS increased by 4.2 per cent in the first quarter to reach EUR2,401 billion at end March 2012.  This increase was driven by special funds reserved to institutional investors, which enjoyed net inflows during the quarter of EUR31 billion.
 
The combined assets of the investment fund market in Europe, i.e. the market for UCITS and non-UCITS, enjoyed growth of 5.3 per cent in the first quarter to stand at EUR8,362 billion at end March 2012.  UCITS assets accounted for 71 per cent of the total investment fund market in Europe, with non-UCITS accounting for the remaining 29 per cent.
 

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