EFAMA’s monthly and quarterly statistical releases provide detailed information on the latest trends in the European fund industry. The international quarterly statistics are compiled by EFAMA and the Investment Company Institute (ICI) on behalf of the International Investment Funds Association (IIFA), the organization of national investment fund associations.
For the third consecutive month, net inflows into UCITS equity funds exceeded EUR 50 billion, a level that had never been reached before November 2020. This exceptional outcome can be traced to the arrival of the first COVID-19 vaccines, which restored investor optimism about future growth prospects.
- Net sales for UCITS and AIFs totalled EUR 83 billion, down from EUR 174 billion in December 2020.
- UCITS recorded net inflows of EUR 66 billion, compared to EUR 121 billion in December 2020.
- Long-term UCITS (UCITS excluding money market funds) recorded EUR 83 billion of net sales, compared to EUR 96 billion in December 2020.
- Equity funds registered net inflows of EUR 55 billion, compared to EUR 59 billion in December 2020
- Net sales of bond funds decreased to EUR 23 billion, down from EUR 26 billion in December 2020.
- Multi-asset funds recorded net inflows of EUR 4 billion, down from EUR 9 billion in December 2020.
- UCITS money market funds recorded net outflows of EUR 17 billion, compared to net inflows of EUR 25 billion in December 2020.
- AIFs recorded net inflows of EUR 17 billion, down from EUR 53 billion in December 2020.
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. As the developments through 2020 show, despite the pandemic-driven March sell-off, net sales promptly returned to positive territory, reflecting the attractiveness of UCITS and AIFs as investment vehicles.
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%. The robust growth rates were helped by the rise of global stock markets in November, when a number of vaccine breakthroughs raised hopes that the end of the Covid-19 pandemic was in sight.
UCITS and AIFs attracted EUR 290 billion of net inflows in Q4 2020, a new all-time high.
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. Increased investor confidence due to positive vaccine news pushed the net sales of European investment funds to this new record.
Demand for equity funds soared to an all-time record high. Net sales of equity funds rose to EUR 129 billion, thanks to strong net sales of UCITS equity (EUR 122 billion). The exceptional inflows into equity funds accompanied the rise of global stock markets over the quarter.
Other long-term funds also 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 relatively high. Demand for MMFs amounted to EUR 44 billion, comparable to EUR 41 billion in Q3 2020. This level of inflows indicates that some investors did remain cautious, despite the rise in stock markets.
Investors’ confidence strengthened in the last quarter of the year thanks to positive vaccine news, driving a surge in net assets and inflows across the world. A sharp rebound in equity fund net sales in Europe and sustained net inflows into bond funds in the United States underpinned long-term fund sales growth internationally. Meanwhile, sales of worldwide MMFs turned positive again due to strong net inflows in China and Europe, offsetting net outflows in the United States.
The main developments through the quarter are as follows:
- Net assets - Net assets of worldwide investment funds increased by 10.9 percent in Q4 2020. The United States and Europe, registered net asset growth of 9.5% and 6.8%, respectively.
- Net inflows - Worldwide long-term funds recorded net inflows of EUR 582 billion, up from EUR 411 billion in Q3 2020. Europe and the United States accounted for the majority of net sales (EUR 243 billion and EUR 194 billion, respectively)
- Bond funds - Bond funds attracted the largest net sales (EUR 274 billion), mostly in the United States (EUR 190 billion) and Europe (EUR 47 billion).
- Equity funds - Net sales of equity funds bounced back strongly in Q4 2020 (EUR 167 billion), compared to net outflows of EUR 24 billion in Q3 2020.
- Multi-asset funds – Multi-asset funds recorded robust net inflows (EUR 121 billion), with China accounting for EUR 49 billion in net sales, followed by Europe (EUR 38 billion) and Canada (EUR 22 billion).
- Long-term funds - Sales for long-term fund assets surged in Q4 2020, mainly due to a rebound of equity fund net sales in Europe and sustained net inflows into bond funds in the United States.
- Money market funds - Worldwide money market funds (MMFs) recorded net inflows of EUR 75 billion, compared to net outflows of EUR 167 billion in Q3 2020. Net outflows from MMFs in the United States slowed down to EUR 59 billion, compared to EUR 197 billion in Q3 2020. MMFs continued to attract net inflows in Europe (EUR 44 billion), slightly higher than in Q3 2020 (EUR 41 billion). China recorded high net sales of MMFs (EUR 91 billion), compared to net outflows in Q3 2020 (EUR 21 billion).