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Money Fund Intelligence

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Money Fund Intelligence is a must-read for money market mutual fund and cash investment professionals. The monthly PDF contains:

  • Money Market News - Coverage of cash happenings, new products, companies in the news, people, and more.
  • Feature Articles - Stories like "Trading Portals", "Enhanced Cash", and "Brokerages Push Banks".
  • Money Fund Profiles - In-depth interviews with portfolio managers and management teams.
  • Fund Performance/Rankings - Full listings of fund 7-day yields, monthly and longer-term returns (1-, 3-, 5-, and 10-year), assets, expense ratios, and more.
  • Crane Money Fund Indexes - Our benchmark money market averages by fund type, plus Brokerage Sweep and Bank Indexes.

Whether you're comparing a fund to the competition, benchmarking your cash portfolio to the market, looking for an investment, or looking for new product ideas, Money Fund Intelligence is the answer. E-mail us for the latest issue!

Latest Contents (April 1, 2014)

More Talk, No Action Yet on Reforms 1
Plaze Says Doing Nothing Better 1
Global MF Growth Led by China, US 1
Money Mkt News, Benchmarks 1
Brokerage Sweep & Bank Saving 8
People, Calendar, Subscription 8
Top Performing Tables, Indexes 9-12
Fund Performance Listings 13-30
Crane Money Fund Indexes 24

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Money Fund Intelligence News

Apr 10
 

That giant sucking sound you heard at month-end in March was money market investments leaving everywhere else and moving to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York's reverse repo program. Crane Data released its April Money Fund Portfolio Holdings yesterday afternoon, and our latest collection of taxable money market securities, with data as of March 31, 2014, shows a huge jump in Repo with the New York Fed and big declines in overall holdings, Time Deposits (the SEC's "Other" category), CDs and CP. Money market securities held by Taxable U.S. money funds overall (those tracked by Crane Data) decreased by $43.0 billion in March to $2.431 trillion. Portfolio assets decreased by $32.7 billion in February and by $258 million in January, after an increase of $55 billion in December. CDs remained the largest holding among taxable money funds, followed closely by Repo, then by Treasuries, CP, Agencies, Other, and VRDNs. Money funds' European-affiliated holdings plummeted again at quarter-end on the shift from dealer repo and time deposits into Fed repo; European holdings are now below 25% of holdings (down from 29.8% last month). Below, we review our latest portfolio holdings statistics.

Among all taxable money funds, Certificates of Deposit (CD) fell again in March, decreasing $22.9 billion to $543.1 billion, or 22.3% of holdings. Repurchase agreement (repo) holdings jumped by $55.1 billion to $534.0 billion, or 22.0% of fund assets. (Money funds' repo at the NY Fed more than doubled, surging from $91.8 billion to $203.1 billion, though non-Fed repo plunged by $56.1 billion to $330.9 billion, or 62.0% of total repo. Money funds accounted for 84% of the Fed's $242 billion in total repo assets; see our April 2 Link of the Day, "Fed Repo Sets Record at Quarter End") Treasury holdings, the third largest segment, increased by $7.5 billion to $474.1 billion (19.5% of holdings). Government Agency Debt continued its slide, falling by $10.1 billion. Agencies now total $330.5 billion (13.6% of assets). Commercial Paper (CP), the fifth largest segment, decreased by $21.4 billion to $380.8 billion (15.7% of holdings). Other holdings, which include Time Deposits, dropped sharply (down $49.0 billion) to $136.6 billion (5.6% of assets). VRDNs held by taxable funds dropped by $2.3 billion to $32.0 billion (1.3% of assets). (Crane Data's Tax Exempt fund data will be released in a separate series late Thursday and our "offshore" holdings will be released Friday.)

Among Prime money funds, CDs still represent over one-third of holdings with 35.2% (down from 36.0% of a month ago), followed by Commercial Paper (24.7%, down from 25.6%). The CP totals are primarily Financial Company CP (14.8% of holdings) with Asset-Backed CP making up 5.7% and Other CP (non-financial) making up 4.2%. Prime funds also hold 5.2% in Agencies (down from 5.7%), 6.6% in Treasury Debt (up from 6.5%), 5.2% in Other Instruments, and 5.1% in Other Notes. Prime money fund holdings tracked by Crane Data total $1.542 trillion (down from $1.573T), or 63.4% (down from 63.6%) of taxable money fund holdings' total of $2.431 trillion.

Government fund portfolio assets totaled $434.3 billion, down from $443.8 billion last month, while Treasury money fund assets totaled $454.7 billion, down slightly from $457.8 billion at the end of January. Government money fund portfolios were made up of 56.8% Agency securities, 19.5% Government Agency Repo, 8.0% Treasury debt, and 15.2% Treasury Repo. Treasury money funds were comprised of 74.2% Treasury debt and 24.5% Treasury Repo.

European-affiliated holdings declined sharply, down $137.4 billion in March to $599.9 billion (among all taxable funds and including repos); their share of holdings is now 24.7%. Eurozone-affiliated holdings also plunged (down $79.8 billion) to $347.9 billion in March; they now account for 14.3% of overall taxable money fund holdings. Asia & Pacific related holdings fell by $10.7 billion to $284.0 billion (11.7% of the total), while Americas related holdings jumped $104.4 billion to $1.545 trillion (63.6% of holdings).

The overall taxable fund Repo totals were made up of: Treasury Repurchase Agreements (up $76.1 billion to $300.8 billion, or 12.4% of assets, Government Agency Repurchase Agreements (down $21.8 billion to $148.8 billion, or 6.1% of total holdings), and Other Repurchase Agreements (up $894 million to $84.4 billion, or 3.5% of holdings). The Commercial Paper totals were comprised of Financial Company Commercial Paper (down $14.6 billion to $227.5 billion, or 9.4% of assets), Asset Backed Commercial Paper (down $3.1 billion to $88.4 billion, or 3.6%), and Other Commercial Paper (down $3.6 billion to $64.9 billion, or 2.7%).

The 20 largest Issuers to taxable money market funds as of March 31, 2014, include: the US Treasury ($474.1 billion, or 19.5%), Federal Reserve Bank of New York ($203.1B, 8.4%), Federal Home Loan Bank ($197.2B, 8.1%), BNP Paribas ($65.0B, 2.7%), Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd ($62.8B, 2.6%), Bank of Nova Scotia ($61.0B, 2.5%), JP Morgan ($54.6B, 2.1%), RBC ($50.8B, 2.1%), Credit Agricole ($50.6B, 2.1%), Federal Home Loan Mortgage Co ($49.8B, 2.1%), Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Co ($48.1B, 2.0%), Credit Suisse ($47.6B, 2.0%), Citi ($46.8B, 1.9%), Wells Fargo ($46.0, 1.9%), Bank of America ($43.5B, 1.8%), Federal National Mortgage Association ($43.5B, 1.8%), Barclays Bank ($39.8B, 1.6%), Deutsche Bank AG ($39.2B, 1.6%), Toronto-Dominion Bank ($37.3B, 1.5%), and Federal Farm Credit Bank ($37.0B, 1.5%).

In the repo space, Federal Reserve Bank of New York's RPP program issuance (held by MMFs) remained the largest program by far with 38.0% of the repo market. The 10 largest Repo issuers (dealers) (with the amount of repo outstanding and market share among the money funds we track) include: Federal Reserve Bank of New York ($203.1B, 38.0%), BNP Paribas ($36.3B, 6.8%), Bank of America ($33.6B, 6.3%), Barclays ($25.9B, 4.8%), Goldman Sachs ($22.4B, 4.2%), Citi ($20.6B, 3.9%), Credit Suisse ($19.8B, 3.7%), Wells Fargo ($19.4B, 3.6%), JP Morgan ($18.2B, 3.4%), and RBC ($17.4B, 3.3%). Crane Data shows 79 money funds buying the Fed's repos, with just 4 funds -- Federated Govt Obligations, JP Morgan Prime MM, Morgan Stanley Inst Liq Govt, and Western Asset Inst Liq Reserves -- maxing out the previous $7 billion limit.

The 10 largest CD issuers include: Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd ($43.8B, 8.1%), Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Co ($42.0B, 7.8%), Bank of Nova Scotia ($35.6B, 6.6%), Toronto-Dominion Bank ($31.1B, 5.8%), Bank of Montreal ($30.1B, 5.6%), Rabobank ($24.5B, 4.5%), Mizuho Corporate Bank Ltd ($23.3B, 4.3%), Credit Suisse ($20.0B, 3.7%), BNP Paribas ($18.5B, 3.4%), and Wells Fargo ($18.3B, 3.4%).

The 10 largest CP issuers (we include affiliated ABCP programs) include: JP Morgan ($23.4B, 7.1%), Westpac Banking Co ($15.8B, 4.8%), Commonwealth Bank of Australia ($13.6B, 4.1%), RBC ($11.7B, 3.5%), FMS Wertmanagement ($11.4B, 3.4%), HSBC ($10.9B, 3.3%), Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB ($10.1B, 3.0%), Barclays PLC ($9.5B, 2.9%), National Australia Bank Ltd ($9.2B, 2.8%), and BNP Paribas ($9.1B, 2.8%).

The largest increases among Issuers include: the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (up $111.2B to $203.1B), the US Treasury (up $7.5B to $474.1B), Bank of Nova Scotia (up $3.8B to $61.0B), Toronto-Dominion Bank (up $2.8B to $37.3B), and Federal Home Loan Mortgage (up $2.5B to $49.8B). The largest decreases among Issuers of money market securities (including Repo) in March were shown by: Lloyd's TSB Bank PLC (down $15.9B to $10.6B), Societe Generale (down $15.6B to $29.2B), BNP Paribas (down $15.5B to $65.0B), Federal Home Loan Bank (down $14.0B to $197.2B), DnB NOR Bank ASA (down $13.0B to $15.8B), and Deutsche Bank (down $13.0B to $39.2B).

The United States remained the largest segment of country-affiliations; it now represents 54.5% of holdings, or $1.326 trillion. Canada (9.0%, $217.9B) moved into second place ahead of France (7.9%, $191.6B), and Japan (7.3%, $178.3B) remained the fourth largest country affiliated with money fund securities. The UK (3.7%, $90.3B) remained in fifth place, and Sweden (3.5%, $84.6B) remained in sixth. Australia (3.2%, $78.9B) moved up to seventh while Germany (3.1%, $74.8B) dropped to 8th. The Netherlands (3.0%, $73.4B) was ninth and Switzerland (2.5%, $61.1B) was tenth among country affiliations. (Note: Crane Data attributes Treasury and Government repo to the dealer's parent country of origin, though money funds themselves "look-through" and consider these U.S. government securities. All money market securities must be U.S. dollar-denominated.)

As of March 31, 2014, Taxable money funds held 22.8% of their assets in securities maturing Overnight, and another 12.1% maturing in 2-7 days (34.8% total in 1-7 days). Another 21.6% matures in 8-30 days, while 25.8% matures in the 31-90 day period. The next bucket, 91-180 days, holds 14.0% of taxable securities, and just 3.7% matures beyond 180 days.

Crane Data's Taxable MF Portfolio Holdings (and Money Fund Portfolio Laboratory) were updated yesterday, and our MFI International "offshore" Portfolio Holdings will be updated Friday (the Tax Exempt MF Holdings will be released late today). Visit our Content center to download files or visit our Portfolio Laboratory to access our "transparency" module. Contact us if you'd like to see a sample of our latest Portfolio Holdings Reports or our new Reports Issuer Module.

Apr 07
 

The April issue of Crane Data's Money Fund Intelligence was sent out to subscribers on Monday morning. The latest edition of our flagship monthly newsletter features the articles: "More Talk, No Action Yet on Pending MMF Reforms," which reviews recent SEC speeches and comments on pending regulations; "Plaze Says Doing Nothing Better Than SEC Proposals," which interviews Stroock Partner and former SEC Deputy Director Bob Plaze; and, "Global MF Growth Led by China, US; EU Buffer Dies," which reviews the growth of global money fund markets. We also updated our Money Fund Wisdom database query system with March 31, 2014, performance statistics and rankings this morning, and we sent out our MFI XLS spreadsheet earlier. (MFI, MFI XLS and our Crane Index products are available to subscribers at our Content center.) Our March 31 Money Fund Portfolio Holdings data are scheduled to go out on Wednesday, April 9.

The latest MFI newsletter's lead article comments, "The debate over pending money market fund regulatory reforms escalated over the past month, as the SEC, media outlets and mutual fund companies all weighed in again on the matter. SEC Chair Mary Jo White made some comments and the SEC staff released a set of studies on technical issues, while fund companies and consultants added more comment letters to the SEC's website. Plus, The Wall Street Journal appeared to tweak banking regulators by claiming that the SEC would widely broaden exemptions from the floating NAV. While nobody knows when we'll get the final rules and what form they'll take yet, recent comments indicate that they aren't yet imminent."

The article explains, "SEC Chair White's most recent comments on the topic gave little indication of when we might see pending money market fund reforms and what form they might take. White was asked about money fund reform at a Chamber of Commerce event two weeks ago. She commented, "[W]e are ... actively involved and proceeding to the adopting phase. We have taken a very in-depth look at all the impacts of the two alternative proposals that we can proceed with, or in combination. We have gotten extensive, invaluable comments on this. We are very sensitive to preserving the product as part of this process. But what we are obviously focused on is what happened during the financial crisis and the heightened redemptions in prime institutional funds."

The "profile" with Stroock's Plaze says, "This month MFI interviews Robert Plaze, a Partner at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP, and the former Deputy Director of the Division of Investment Management at the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission. Plaze, who left the SEC in early 2013, has been involved in regulatory issues involving money market mutual funds for three decades. He is partially responsible for writing much of the existing Rule 2a-7 regulations. Our Q&A follows."

We ask Plaze, "MFI: How long have you been involved in money fund issues? Plaze: I first got involved in the late 1980's. I was there when the first bailout requests came in to the Division. I was in the room when more senior Division Staff were trying to figure out how to deal with them, and I saw the look of concern on everyone's faces. No one knew what might happen if a fund broke the buck, and no one wanted to find out. It was the closest thing I had ever seen at the time to a crisis, because everyone was extraordinarily worried about the prospect of a fund breaking the dollar. Shortly after, I became an Assistant Director in the Division and went on to draft the 1991, 1996, and the 2010 Amendments to 2(a)-7. During that period my staff and I handled all requests for no-action by fund sponsors to bailout their money market funds. (Watch for excerpts of this interview later this month, or write us to request the full article.)

The February MFI article on Global MF Growth Led by China, US; EU Buffer Dies explains, "Last Wednesday, the ICI released its latest data on "Worldwide Mutual Fund Assets," which shows that global money market mutual fund assets grew by $67.4 billion in Q4'13 to $4.760 trillion. This follows a sharp rebound in Q3'13, when "cash" funds grew by $197.9B. (MMF assets have declined by $33.4 billion over the past year, though.) The latest quarterly growth was led by large increases in Chinese and U.S. MMFs.."

Crane Data's April MFI with March 31, 2014 data shows total assets falling by $25.9 billion (falling by $44.9 billion last month) to $2.574 trillion (1,238 funds, the same number as last month. Our broad Crane Money Fund Average 7-Day Yield and 30-Day Yield remained at a record low 0.01% while our Crane 100 Money Fund Index (the 100 largest taxable funds) yielded 0.02% (7-day and 30-day). On a Gross Yield Basis (before expenses were taken out), funds averaged 0.13% (Crane MFA, unchanged) and 0.16% (Crane 100) on an annualized basis for both the 7-day and 30-day yield averages. (Charged Expenses averaged 0.12% and 0.14% for the two main taxable averages.) The average WAM for the Crane MFA and the Crane 100 were 43 and 46 days, respectively, down 2 days and one day, respectively. (See our Crane Index or craneindexes.xlsx history file for more on our averages.)

Feb 10
 

The February issue of Crane Data's Money Fund Intelligence was sent out to subscribers Friday. The latest edition of our flagship monthly newsletter features the articles: "Final SEC Regs Coming Soon, But Still Unclear If Combo," which predicts that Money Market Fund Reforms may arrive as early as late March; "Capital Advisors Group's Campbell & Pan Talk SMAs," which interviews the founder of and the director of research for a boutique cash and separate account manager; and, "Focus on Treasury: New FRNs & Debt Ceiling Redux," which reviews the Treasuries new floating rate securities and the latest debt ceiling debate. We also updated our Money Fund Wisdom database query system with Jan. 31, 2014, performance statistics and rankings, and sent out our MFI XLS spreadsheet Friday. (MFI, MFI XLS and our Crane Index products are available to subscribers at our Content center.) Our January 31 Money Fund Portfolio Holdings data are scheduled to go out on Tuesday, Feb. 11.

The latest MFI newsletter's lead article comments, "While most money fund professionals expect the SEC's pending final Money Market Fund Reforms to arrive late in the second quarter or even Q3 of this year (most also expect the "combination" of floating NAV and emergency fees with gates), we think recent comments from SEC Chair Mary Jo White may mean it could get here as soon as the end of March. But recent comments from another Commissioner indicate that the choice of possible alternatives has likely not been finalized yet."

As we wrote in our Jan. 28 CraneData.com News and quoted in MFI, SEC Chair White said recently on the pending reforms, "We have received hundreds of letters on the proposals with a wide range of differing views that we are reviewing closely. Completing these reforms with a final rule is a critical priority for the Commission in the relatively near term of 2014."

The "profile" with Capital Advisors says, "This month, MFI interviews Capital Advisors Group's Ben Campbell, President & CEO, and Lance Pan, Director of Investment Research & Strategy. We discuss their business, and issues in the money markets, the separately managed account space, and the area just beyond money market funds. Our Q&A follows."

Our interview asks, "MFI: How long has Capital Advisors been running cash?" Campbell answers, "We started in 1991 as an "outsourced" investment management solution for treasurers. Our focus was then and is now managing separate accounts for institutional cash investors. As we've gone through different credit and investment cycles, we've seen the need for and developed credit and risk management products in response to inquiries from treasurers. We began by providing credit analysis of securities and portfolios, which although separate from our invest management business, drew upon our strong research and portfolio management capabilities." (Watch for excerpts of this interview later this month, or write us to request the full article.)

The February MFI article on Treasury FRNs explains, "The U.S. Treasury was a bigger focus than usual for the money markets this month as the agency launched its new floating rate securities and as another game of chicken over the debt ceiling looms. We don't know yet how much of the new FRN note was purchased by money funds, but we'll have our first glimpse from our Jan. 31 Money Fund Portfolio Holdings [tomorrow and Wednesday]."

Crane Data's February MFI with Jan. 31, 2014 data shows total assets rising by $561 million to $2.619 trillion (1,238 funds, five more than last month). Our broad Crane Money Fund Average 7-Day Yield and 30-Day Yield remained at a record low 0.01% while our Crane 100 Money Fund Index (the 100 largest taxable funds) yielded 0.02% (7-day and 30-day). On a Gross Yield Basis (before expenses were taken out), funds averaged 0.14% (Crane MFA) and 0.16% (Crane 100) on an annualized basis for both the 7-day and 30-day yield averages. (So Charged Expenses averaged 0.13% and 0.14% for the two main taxable averages.) The average WAM and WAL for the Crane MFA and the Crane 100 were 45 and 47 days, respectively, up from 43 and 46 days last month. (See our Crane Index or craneindexes.xlsx history file for more on our averages.)

Finally, on Friday we also released the Agenda and brochure for our main conference event, Crane's Money Fund Symposium, which will take place June 23-25, 2014 <b:>`_ at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel. Our 6th annual Symposium should again attract the largest audience of money market professionals in the world. (We're estimating almost 500 for our Boston show.) Registrations and sponsorships are now being accepted for our 2014 Symposium. Our second annual "offshore" event, European Money Fund Symposium, is scheduled for Sept. 22-23 in London (watch for this agenda later this month), and our next "basic training" Crane's Money Fund University, will take place Jan. 22-23, 2015, in Stamford, Conn.

Jan 16
 

The Preliminary (draft) Agenda for the 2014 Crane's Money Fund Symposium has now been posted on the www.moneyfundsymposium.com website. Crane's Money Fund Symposium 2014, which will take place June 23-25, 2014, at the Boston Renaissance Waterfront, should once again be the largest gathering of money market professionals anywhere. (We attracted over 450 last summer at our event in Baltimore.) Some speakers and invitations are still being confirmed, but we also expect once again to have the most knowledgeable and highest level speakers in the money fund and cash investment business. E-mail Pete to request a copy of the conference brochure, which will be released to subscribers of our Money Fund Intelligence with the February issue. Join us too next week at our latest Crane's Money Fund University, which will take place January 23-24 (Thurs. and Friday) at the Providence Renaissance Hotel. MFU is our smaller "basic training" event held each January for investment professionals new to the money fund space or for those seeking certification in the money market field. Finally, mark your calendars our second European Money Fund Symposium, which is scheduled for Sept. 23-24, 2014, in London. Contact us about speaking and sponsorship opportunities for this or any of our future events.