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European fund industry sees return of inflows

The European fund industry saw a return to positive flows throughout the first half of this year against a backdrop of a volatile but positive market environment.

Following a first quarter marred by outflows, the industry saw mutual fund inflows of €41.3 billion amidst US/China trade war talks, discussions of a possible return of the euro crisis, and a general economic slowdown with decreasing earnings at company level.

Bond funds saw positive flows of €130.7 billion, making it the best-selling individual asset type for the first half of the year, according to the latest data from Refinitiv.

Not all asset types enjoyed inflows over the period, however. Equity funds saw investors pulling out €53.7 billion during the half, followed by alternative Ucits funds with €41.7 billion of outflows.

“These flows may indicate that European investors decreased the risk in their portfolios even as they bought corporate and emerging markets bonds, which are not considered safe-haven products,” said Detlef Glow, head of Europe, Middle East and Africa research at Lipper, and author of the report.

With over €4 trillion, equity funds were the asset type with the highest assets under management (AuM), followed by bond funds with €3 trillion, mixed assets products with €1.0 trillion, according to Refinitiv.

The best-selling fund promoter was Axa with net sales of €28.6 billion during the first half – ahead of BlackRock with €28.6 billion and Pimco with €23 billion of sales.

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