Europe mutual funds increase, though closures dominate

European flagsEurope's mutual fund universe increased in number in the first quarter of this year, though there is still a trend towards consolidation, figures indicate.

There were 31,777 funds registered for sale across Europe at March 31, 2014, an increase of about 500 over end-December, according to figures from Lipper. Compared to Q1 2013, the Q1 2014 increase is 25%.

For Q1 2014, 541 funds were created in Europe. During the same period 700 were withdrawn, either through liquidation or merger.

Equities still dominate in terms of number of funds, and multi-asset funds show their continued popularity by ranking second, above fixed income.

There were also more multi-asset launches in Q1 than bond funds – 168 versus 162.

Funds labelled “Other” – a category that includes hedge funds, property and funds of funds – are the only funds that have shown significant, if still slight, fluctuation in the past three quarters in terms of funds registered for sale. While equities and bonds have remained static in percentage terms, “Other” funds have moved from 11% (Q3 2013), 10% (Q4 2013), and 12% (Q1 2014).

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