Institutional sales of ‘Aifs’, or funds denoted as alternative investment funds under Europe’s regulatory regime, increased in the first quarter (Q1) of the year.
Institutions invested €54 billion in Aifs, up from €44 billion in the previous quarter.
The figures are from the European Fund and Asset Management Association (Efama) and distinguish between Aifs and the more traditional Ucits funds for the first time in Efama’s regularly published sales data.
Aifs are funds regulated by Europe’s Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD). Fund centres such as Ireland and Luxembourg hope alternative funds will benefit from increased regulation.
Efama figures may also capture funds with non-traditional strategies that are captured by AIFMD because of their structure.
Smaller investors in Aifs – those that fall outside of Efama’s “institutional” category – invested much less money in Aifs in Q1 compared to the final quarter last year (€17 billion compared to €62 billion). This was partly down to lower multi-asset fund sales and a reversal in equity flows.
Long-term Ucits, those that exclude money market funds, posted a steep increase in Q1 with sales of €240 billion compared to €53 billion in the previous quarter. Sales of multi-asset Ucits funds also posted a strong rise in the first quarter, and equity fund sales showed a marked turnaround in Q1, moving from outflows in Q4 2014, to inflows of €39 billion.
European investment fund assets posted growth of 12.6% during the first quarter of 2015 to stand at €12,663 billion at end March 2015. Assets of Ucits increased by 15.4% to stand at €8,277 billion, while total assets of AIFs increased by 7.8% to stand at €4,387 billion.
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