Record year for European investment fund industry

Bild: Pixabay
Bild: Pixabay

European investment fund assets passed the EUR 15 trillion threshold at the end of 2017. Net assets of UCITS and AIFs rose by 10%. Since 2007, total investment fund assets have increased by 95%.

03.07.2018, 15:35 Uhr

Autor: ans/cwe

According to the 16th edition of the Fact Book of EFAMA European investment fund assets increased 10% to reach EUR 15,6 trillion at the end of 2017.

Net assets of UCITS increased by 12% to EUR 9,714 billion. Of the largest UCITS domiciles, Ireland recorded the largest net asset increases in 2017 (15.9%), followed by Luxembourg (11.9%), the UK (11.6%), and France (9.8%). Elsewhere in Europe, net asset growth greater than 20% was recorded in Belgium, Bulgaria Cyprus, Czechia, Hungary, Malta, Poland and Portugal.

Net assets of AIF increased 7% to EUR 5,909 billion. Of the largest AIF domiciles, Luxembourg recorded net asset growth of 15.1%, followed by Ireland (11.8%), Germany (6.9%), Netherlands (5.6%), and France (5.2%). Elsewhere in Europe, net asset growth greater than 20% was recorded in Croatia, Cyprus and Czechia.

Peter De Proft, Director General of EFAMA, comments: "In its first Fact Book published in 2003, EFAMA reported that assets held in investment funds rose from slightly less than EUR 1 trillion in 1992 to EUR 4.3 trillion in 2002. At the end of last year, this amount reached EUR 15.6 trillion." According to the Director General of EFAMA this growth has been facilitated by many factors including the modernization of the UCITS Directive in several phases, the introduction of the AIF Directive, the sustained attention given to disclosure to investors, the efforts made by fund managers to improve the attractiveness of their products, the economic policy response to the global economic and financial situation.

2017 was also a record year in terms of net sales of investment funds. Net sales of UCITS and AIFs reached their highest-ever level (EUR 973 billion). During the period 2008-2017, UCITS and AIFs attracted EUR 3,727 billion in new net inflows; this represented 54% of the total growth in net assets, with market appreciation accounting for the remainder.

Steady rise in cross-border funds
The Fact Book outlines that the success of UCITS has been reflected in a steady rise in cross-border funds. By the end of 2017, the share of cross-border fund net assets accounted for 42% of total UCITS and AIFs net assets, compared to 36% ten years ago.

The European investment fund industry remains according to the Fact Book dominated by five countries. At the end of 2017, 78% of the net assets of UCITS and AIFs were domiciled in five countries, each of which accounted for over EUR 1 trillion in total net assets: Luxembourg, Ireland, Germany, France and the United Kingdom.

Euro-area households held 11.4% of their financial assets directly in investment funds at the end of 2017. This percentage compares with a share of 9.3% in 2008.

Worldwide investment fund net assets increased to EUR 44.3 trillion in 2017. Worldwide investment net assets grew by 7% in 2017, reaching a new all-time high. Net sales reached EUR 2,552 billion in 2017, up from EUR 1,175 billion the previous year.

Europe ranked as the second-largest domicile for investment funds at the end of 2017, with a market share of 35%, compared to a 46% market share for the United States. European investment funds gathered 38% of worldwide net sales in 2017, compared to 33% for U.S. mutual funds.

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