The European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA) has today published its Investment Fund Industry Fact Sheet for Q4 of 2020, together with an overview of the full year.
The main developments through the quarter are as follows:
- Strong growth (+6.6%) pushed the net assets of UCITS and AIFs up to EUR 18.77 trillion - UCITS net assets increased by 7.6%, whereas AIF net assets grew by 5.1%.
- UCITS and AIFs attracted EUR 290 billion of net inflows in Q4 2020 - Net sales of UCITS amounted to EUR 226 billion, compared to EUR 145 billion in Q3 2020. AIFs attracted EUR 64 billion in net new money over the quarter, up from EUR 51 billion in Q3 2020.
- Demand for equity funds soared - Net sales of equity funds rose to EUR 129 billion, thanks to strong net sales of UCITS equity (EUR 122 billion). This outcome sets a new record for quarterly net sales of equity funds.
- Long-term funds attracted robust net inflows - Net sales of multi-asset funds increased from
- EUR 13 billion in Q3 2020 to EUR 39 billion in Q4 2020. Bond funds continued to attract positive net inflows, albeit less than in Q2 and Q3 2020. Net sales of money market funds (MMFs) remained high - Demand for MMFs amounted to EUR 44 billion, comparable to EUR 41 billion in Q3 2020.
Bernard Delbecque, Senior Director for Economics and Research - “Investors’ confidence strengthened in Q4 thanks to positive vaccine news, driving a surge in UCITS and AIFs net sales and bringing European investment fund assets to an all-time high. The developments through the year of 2020 showcase that despite the impact of the pandemic on financial markets in March, net sales promptly returned to positive territory, reflecting the attractiveness of UCITS and AIFs as investment vehicles.”
2020 full year highlights include:
- Net assets - UCITS and AIFs combined grew by 5.7% to EUR 18.8 trillion.
- Net sales - UCITS and AIFs recorded net inflows of EUR 647 billion, compared to EUR 549 billion in 2019. Net sales of UCITS reached EUR 466 billion, up from EUR 392 billion in 2019. Net inflows into AIFs also increased in 2020, to EUR 180 billion from EUR 156 billion in 2019.
- Equity funds – Despite net outflows of EUR 52 billion in Q1, equity funds were the bestselling long-term fund category in 2020, as many investors remained confident that the sharp fall in global stock markets in March would be short-lived.
- Bond funds - The stress in fixed-income markets in March led to net outflows from bond funds of EUR 82 billion in Q1 2020. The ensuing rebound was not strong enough to prevent a fall in total net sales to EUR 105 billion in 2020, from EUR 283 billion in 2019.
- Multi-asset funds - Net sales fell to EUR 51 billion, compared to EUR 108 billion in 2019, suggesting a decrease in investor interest for this type of funds.
- Money market funds – A record EUR 221 billion in net inflows indicates that many investors took a wait-and-see attitude during much of 2020, to protect themselves in the event of a worsening of the Covid- 19 pandemic.