Late last week, the Investment Company Institute released its latest monthly "Trends in Mutual Fund Investing: February 2012," which showed money market mutual fund assets inched lower by $2.8 billion to $2.6531 trillion last month. Money fund assets accounted for 21.4% of overall mutual fund assets, which moved $328 billion higher to $12.4 trillion. Bond funds broke $3.0 trillion for the first time ever, accounting for 24.6% of assets ($3.047 trillion). Separately, ICI's "`Month-End Portfolio Holdings of Taxable Money Market Funds showed Taxable MMFs continued increasing Repos and added Treasuries. They also continued extending maturities.

ICI's "Trends" says, "The combined assets of the nation’s mutual funds increased by $328.1 billion, or 2.7 percent, to $12.393 trillion in February, according to the Investment Company Institute's official survey of the mutual fund industry. In the survey, mutual fund companies report actual assets, sales, and redemptions to ICI.... Money market funds had an outflow of $3.01 billion in February, compared with an outflow of $36.30 billion in January. Funds offered primarily to institutions had an inflow of $5.93 billion. Funds offered primarily to individuals had an outflow of $8.94 billion."

In March, Crane Data's Money Fund Intelligence Daily shows money fund assets declined by $44.1 billion (through 3/29/12). YTD, we show an overall assets decline of $89.57 billion, or 3.5%. Our daily series shows the outflows coming primarily from Institutional and Prime Institutional funds in March; they lost $37.5 billion and $24.4 billion, respectively. (Note: Our MFI Daily made some changes last week, including removing, renaming and adding funds.)

ICI's Portfolio Holdings series shows Repurchase Agreements jumped again in February, rising by $37.3 billion in to $566.9 billion. Repos remain the largest portfolio holding among taxable money funds with 24.0% of assets, followed by Treasury Bills & Securities at 19.8% ($469.0 billion). Holdings of Certificates of Deposits, which rank third among portfolio holdings, continued to fall, dropping by $10.3 billion to $401.8 billion (17.0%).

CP moved ahead of Government Agencies as the fourth largest composition sector. U.S. Government Agency Securities saw holdings continue to drop in February, falling by $27.1 billion to $350.9 billion, or 14.8% of assets, while Commercial Paper dipped by $2.9 billion, or 0.8%, to $370.7 billion (15.7% of assets). Notes (including Corporate and Bank) accounted for $5.6% of assets ($132.8 billion), while Other holdings accounted for 3.3% ($77.7 billion).

The Number of Accounts Outstanding in ICI's Holdings series for taxable money funds dropped to 25.71 million from 25.81 million the month before, while the Number of Funds declined by 1 to 430. The Average Maturity of Portfolios lengthened to 45 days in February from 44 days in January and 42 days in December. (Our Crane Money Fund Average currently shows a WAM of 43 days vs. one of 40 days at the start of the year, while our Crane 100 Money Fund Index shows a WAM of 45 days vs. a WAM of 41 days as of Dec. 31, 2011.)

Finally, note that the archived version of our Money Fund Intelligence XLS monthly spreadsheet (see our Content Page to download) now has its Portfolio Composition and Maturity Distribution totals updated as of Feb. 29, 2012. We've begun updated these towards month-end based on our monthly Money Fund Portfolio Holdings information, so will revise these fields late in the month.

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