The Investment Company Institute released statistics for September month-end 2012, showing money fund assets inching lower and repo holdings plunging last month. Money funds will likely show large asset declines in October, according to Crane Data's MFI Daily, the majority of it occurring in the last two days. ICI's "Trends in Mutual Fund Investing: September 2012" shows that money market mutual fund assets fell by $3.8 billion in Sept. to $2.551 trillion. Money fund assets continue to lose share to bond fund assets, which rose by $53.0 billion to $3.341 trillion. ICI's "Month-End Portfolio Holdings of Taxable Money Market Funds shows Repurchase Agreements falling in September while Government Agencies rebounded (a reversal of the past 2 months).

ICI's September "Trends" says, "The combined assets of the nation's mutual funds increased by $202.0 billion, or 1.6 percent, to $12.752 trillion in September, 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."

It explains, "Bond funds had an inflow of $29.29 billion in September, compared with an inflow of $31.70 billion in August.... Money market funds had an outflow of $3.55 billion in September, compared with an inflow of $5.53 billion in August. Funds offered primarily to institutions had an outflow of $6.16 billion. Funds offered primarily to individuals had an inflow of $2.61 billion."

In October, month-to-date through 10/30, assets have decreased by $33.7 billion, according to Crane Data's Money Fund Intelligence Daily. Assets decreased by $39 billion since Friday (almost all funds were closed on Tuesday, and these numbers don't yet reflect Wednesday's trading). YTD, we show asset declines of $133.6 billion, or 5.2%.

ICI's Portfolio Holdings series shows Repurchase Agreements declined sharply at quarter-end in September after rising in August, July, April and May. But Repos remain the largest portfolio holding among taxable money funds with 22.9% of assets and $523.3 billion (down $61.7 billion in Sept.). Treasury Bills & Securities remained the second largest segment at 20.4%; holdings in T-Bills and other Treasuries rose by $7.6 billion to $465.4 billion. Holdings of Certificates of Deposits, which rank third among portfolio holdings, increased by $28.9 billion to $439.6 billion (19.2%).

U.S. Government Agency Securities rose by $21.8 billion to $337.9 billion, or 14.8% of assets. Agencies overtook CP to become the fourth largest composition segment of taxable money funds. Commercial Paper dipped again by $6.1 billion to $325.8 billion, or 14.3% of assets. Notes (including Corporate and Bank) accounted for 4.1% of assets ($93.5 billion), while Other holdings accounted for 3.8% ($87.0 billion).

The Number of Accounts Outstanding in ICI's Holdings series for taxable money funds increased by 34K to 24.48 million, while the Number of Funds fell by 7 to 406. The Average Maturity of Portfolios lengthened again by two days to 49 days in September. Since September 2011, WAMs of Taxable money funds have lengthened by 10 days from 39 days. (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 Sept. 30, 2012. We revise these following the monthly publication of our final Money Fund Portfolio Holdings data.)

In other news, see Reuters' "Big US companies squirreled cash in face of storm". It says, "Corporate treasurers laid in extra cash reserves as the devastating storm Sandy approached the U.S. East Coast, to ensure they could meet payrolls, buy inventory and contend with other short-term needs after the storm hit. Acting on lessons learned in previous disasters, big companies that regularly issue commercial paper to fund themselves replenished their coffers last Friday and early Monday after learning that bank dealers might have problems buying and selling the debt."

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