The Investment Company Institute released its latest "Money Market Fund Assets" and its monthly "Trends in Mutual Fund Investing" reports yesterday. The former shows that Prime money market funds declined after rising for seven weeks in a row, while the latter confirms the huge jump in overall assets in August. Prime MMFs have risen for 13 weeks out of the past 15, and the 17 weeks out of the past 21. They've increased by almost $36.6 billion, or 9.0%, over the past 20 weeks, and $72.6 billion, or 19.6%, year-to-date. We review these releases, and also look at ICI's latest Portfolio Composition trends, below.

ICI writes, "Total money market fund assets increased by $16.10 billion to $2.74 trillion for the week ended Wednesday, September 27, the Investment Company Institute reported today. Among taxable money market funds, government funds increased by $18.00 billion and prime funds decreased by $1.34 billion. Tax-exempt money market funds decreased by $567 million." Total Government MMF assets, which include Treasury funds too, stand at $2.170 trillion (79.2% of all money funds), while Total Prime MMFs stand at $443.2 billion (16.2%). Tax Exempt MMFs total $127.7 billion, or 4.7%.

They explain, "Assets of retail money market funds increased by $11.28 billion to $984.16 billion. Among retail funds, government money market fund assets increased by $11.13 billion to $600.37 billion, prime money market fund assets increased by $512 million to $261.89 billion, and tax-exempt fund assets decreased by $365 million to $121.90 billion." Retail assets account for over a third of total assets, or 35.9%, and Government Retail assets make up 61.0% of all Retail MMFs.

ICI's release adds, "Assets of institutional money market funds increased by $4.82 billion to $1.76 trillion. Among institutional funds, government money market fund assets increased by $6.87 billion to $1.57 trillion, prime money market fund assets decreased by $1.85 billion to $181.33 billion, and tax-exempt fund assets decreased by $202 million to $5.76 billion." Institutional assets account for 64.1% of all MMF assets, with Government Inst assets making up 89.3% of all Institutional MMFs.

ICI's "Trends in Mutual Fund Investing - August 2017" shows a $71.8 billion increase in money market fund assets in August to $2.719 trillion. The increase follows a $13.6 billion increased in July, a $20.9 billion decrease in June, a $12.6 billion increase in May, a $24.0 billion decrease in April, a $17.7 billion decrease in March, a $0.4 billion dollar increase in February, and a $46.6 billion increase in January. In the 12 months through August 31, money fund assets were down $5.8 billion, or -0.2%.

The monthly report states, "The combined assets of the nation's mutual funds increased by $113.14 billion, or 0.6 percent, to $17.82 trillion in August, 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 $20.34 billion in August, compared with an inflow of $20.43 billion in July.... Money market funds had an inflow of $70.67 billion in August, compared with an inflow of $12.78 billion in July. In August funds offered primarily to institutions had an inflow of $58.64 billion and funds offered primarily to individuals had an inflow of $12.03 billion."

The latest "Trends" shows that Taxable MMFs gained assets last month, while Tax Exempt MMFs declined. Taxable MMFs increased by $73.5 billion in August, after increasing $11.9 billion in July, decreasing $20.3 billion in June, and increasing $11.3 billion in May. Tax-Exempt MMFs decreased $1.7 billion in August, after increasing $1.7 billion in July, decreasing $0.6 billion in June, and increasing $1.5 billion in May. Over the past year through 8/31/17, Taxable MMF assets increased by $17.4 billion while Tax-Exempt funds fell by $23.2 billion.

Money funds now represent 15.3% (up from 14.9% last month) of all mutual fund assets, while bond funds represent 22.3%, according to ICI. The total number of money market funds decreased by 2 to 410 in August, down from 427 a year ago. (Taxable money funds fell by two to 314 and Tax-exempt money funds fell by 15 to 96 over the last month.)

ICI also released its latest "Month-End Portfolio Holdings of Taxable Money Funds," which confirmed last month's drops in Treasuries and Agencies, and a jump in Repo in August. Repo remained the largest portfolio segment, up $73.1 billion, or 8.5%, to $931.0 billion or 35.9% of holdings. Repo has increased by $200.8 billion over the past 12 months, or 27.5%. (See our Sept. 13 News, "Sept. Money Fund Portfolio Holdings: Repo Rebounds, Treasuries Drop.")

Treasury Bills & Securities remained in second place among composition segments; they fell by $37.2 billion, or 5.6%, to $622.2 billion, or 24.0% of holdings. Treasury holdings have risen by $6.4 billion, or 1.0%, over the past year. U.S. Government Agency Securities remained in third place; they fell by $22.6 billion, or 8.3% to $664.1 billion or 25.6% of holdings. Govt Agency holdings have risen by $55.7 billion, or 9.2%, over the past 12 months.

Certificates of Deposit (CDs) stood in fourth place; they increased $13.2 billion, or 7.0%, to $202.2 billion (7.8% of assets). CDs held by money funds have fallen by $174.2 billion, or 46.3%, over 12 months. Commercial Paper remained in fifth place, increasing $15.2B, or 11.9%, to $142.7 billion (5.5% of assets). CP has declined by $41.4 billion, or 22.5%, over one year. Notes (including Corporate and Bank) were down by $349 million, or 4.4%, to $7.6 billion (0.3% of assets), and Other holdings dipped to $10.3 billion.

The Number of Accounts Outstanding in ICI's series for taxable money funds increased by 91.3 thousand to 26.179 million, while the Number of Funds declined by two to 314. Over the past 12 months, the number of accounts rose by 2.265 million and the number of funds declined by 2. The Average Maturity of Portfolios was 32 days in August, the same level as July. Over the past 12 months, WAMs of Taxable money funds have shortened by 3 days.

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