The Investment Company Institute released its latest data on "Worldwide Mutual Fund Assets and Flows (First Quarter 2014)," which shows that global money market mutual fund assets grew slightly overall in Q1 '14. The latest data show worldwide money market mutual fund assets rising by $35 billion to $4.795 trillion, led by a large increase in Chinese MMFs (which overcame a large drop in U.S. MMFs). Globally, MMF assets increased by $135.8 billion over the past year (through 03/31/14). Crane Data excerpts from ICI's latest release and analyzes the money fund portion of the ICI's latest global statistics, below.

ICI's latest Worldwide Mutual Funds release says, "Mutual fund assets worldwide increased 2.7 percent to $30.84 trillion, an all-time high, at the end of the first quarter of 2014. Worldwide net cash flow to all funds was $350 billion in the first quarter, compared to $252 billion of net inflows in the fourth quarter of 2013.... Inflows into bond funds totaled $95 billion in the first quarter, reversing the net outflows of $8 billion in the fourth quarter. Inflows into money market funds were $28 billion in the first quarter of 2014, somewhat lower than the $49 billion inflow recorded in the fourth quarter of 2013."

The quarterly statement explains, "The Investment Company Institute compiles worldwide statistics on behalf of the International Investment Funds Association, an organization of national mutual fund associations. The collection for the first quarter of 2014 contains statistics from 45 countries.... The growth rate of total mutual fund assets reported in U.S. dollars was made slightly larger by U.S. dollar depreciation."

ICI continues, "Money market funds worldwide experienced a net inflow of $28 billion in the first quarter of 2014 after registering a net inflow of $49 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013. The global inflow from money market funds in the first quarter was driven by inflows of $19 billion in Europe and $91 billion in the Asia and Pacific region. Money market funds in the Americas posted outflows of $81 billion in the first quarter."

According to Crane Data's analysis of ICI's worldwide funds data, the U.S. maintained its position as the largest money fund market in Q1'14 with $2.631 trillion (down to 54.9% of all worldwide MMF assets); assets decreased by $86.9 billion in Q1'14 (they were up by $35.5B in the past year). France remained a distant No. 2 to the U.S. with $448.8 billion (9.3% of worldwide assets, up $8.2 billion in Q1 but down $30.6B over 1 year (and down a shocking $248.4 billion since the end of 2009). This was followed by Ireland ($384.9 billion, or 8.0% of total assets), where money fund assets were up $17.5B in Q1 and up $21.9B over 12 months. Australia remained in 4th place in the latest quarter, though it saw a drop of $16.5 billion in the quarter and $32.4B over the past year to $332.1B (6.7%), and Luxembourg remained in 5th place with $321.4B, or 6.7% of the total (up $690 million in Q1 and down $4.4B for 1 year).

China continued its dramatic money fund growth in Q1 of 2014. The 6th largest money fund country saw assets jump again; China now reports $234.5B in total, up a massive $111.0 (89.8%) in Q1 (after rising $43.6B in Q4) and up $150.9 billion (180.7%) over the last 12 months. See our July 9 "Link of the Day", "Chinese Money Fund Growth." (The Asia Asset Management article said, "Money market funds (MMFs) continued to play a key role in the growth of mainland China's asset management industry.... Beijing-based Tianhong Asset Management, which paired up with e-commerce giant Alibaba Group to launch the online fund platform Yu'e Bao, trumped conventional asset managers with total AUM of 586.1 billion RMB (US$93.88 billion) as of the end of June. Tianhong's ballooning AUM has mainly been driven by its partnership with Alibaba, through which it launched its first online MMF, the Tianhong Zenglibao Monetary Fund, in June 2013."

Alibaba launched an online money-market fund called Yu'e Bao last June, and the fund had 554 billion RMB in assets as of March 31, 2014, which equates to around $90 billion US, explained Jonathan Curry, chairman, `Institutional Money Market Fund Association, speaking last month at the 6th annual Crane Money Fund Symposium in Boston. (Watch for excepts from Curry's Symposium comments in coming days.)

The latest ICI Worldwide statistics also show Korea ($70.4B, up $6.5B and up $2.1B on the quarter and year, respectively), Brazil ($55.0B, up $8.4B and down $837M), and Mexico ($54.4B, up $1.4B and down $3.4B) remaining in the 7th through 9th largest money fund market spots. Taiwan moved into 10th place with a jump of $90M (to $27.7B), moving ahead of India ($22.2B), which saw assets drop $7.1B. Canada, South Africa, Japan, Switzerland, Sweden, Finland, Chile, Norway, and Italy also ranked among the 20 largest countries that have money market mutual funds.

Note that Ireland and Luxembourg's totals are primarily "offshore" money funds marketed to global multinationals, while most of the other countries in the survey have primarily domestic money fund offerings. (Crane Data believes that some of these countries, like France and Italy, do not have true "money market funds" due to their lack of strict guidelines and "accumulating" NAVs instead of stable NAVs.)

Contact us if you'd like our latest "Largest Money Market Funds Markets Worldwide" spreadsheet, based on ICI's data. Finally, for those interested in global money funds, consider attending the 2nd annual Crane's European Money Fund Symposium, which will take place Sept. 22-23, 2014, at the London Tower Bridge Hilton in London, England.

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