The Investment Company Institute released its "Worldwide Regulated Open-Fund Assets and Flows, Fourth Quarter 2017" yesterday. The latest data collection on mutual funds in other countries (as well as the U.S.) shows that money fund assets globally rose by $180.8 billion, or 3.2%, in Q4'17, led by big jumps in U.S. and Chinese money funds. Money funds in Ireland, Luxembourg and Japan also rose. MMF assets worldwide have increased by $869.9 billion, or 17.3%, the past 12 months. France, India, Mexico and Brazil were the only countries showing noticeable decreases in Q4'17. We review the latest Worldwide MMF totals below.

ICI's release says, "Worldwide regulated open-end fund assets increased 4.0 percent to $49.29 trillion at the end of the fourth quarter of 2017, excluding funds of funds. Worldwide net cash inflow to all funds was $687 billion in the fourth quarter, compared with $802 billion of net inflows in the third quarter of 2017."

It explains, "The Investment Company Institute compiles worldwide open-end fund statistics on behalf of the International Investment Funds Association, the organization of national fund associations. The collection for the fourth quarter of 2017 contains statistics from 47 jurisdictions."

ICI tells us, "The growth rate of total regulated open-end fund assets reported in US dollars was increased by US dollar depreciation over the fourth quarter of 2017. For example, on a US dollar–denominated basis, fund assets in Europe increased by 3.9 percent in the fourth quarter, compared with an increase of 2.3 percent on a euro-denominated basis."

It continues, "On a US dollar-denominated basis, equity fund assets increased by 5.8 percent to $21.83 trillion at the end of the fourth quarter of 2017. Bond fund assets increased by 1.9 percent to $10.37 trillion in the fourth quarter. Balanced/mixed fund assets increased by 3.0 percent to $6.42 trillion in the fourth quarter, while money market fund assets increased by 3.1 percent globally to $5.90 trillion."

ICI writes, "At the end of the fourth quarter of 2017, 44 percent of worldwide regulated open-end fund assets were held in equity funds. The asset share of bond funds was 21 percent and the asset share of balanced/mixed funds was 13 percent. Money market fund assets represented 12 percent of the worldwide total. By region, 50 percent of worldwide assets were in the Americas in the fourth quarter of 2017, 36 percent were in Europe, and 14 percent were in Africa and the Asia-Pacific regions."

The release adds, "Net sales of regulated open-end funds worldwide were $687 billion in the fourth quarter of 2017. Flows into equity funds worldwide were $283 billion in the fourth quarter, after experiencing $142 billion of net inflows in the third quarter of 2017. Globally, bond funds posted an inflow of $162 billion in the fourth quarter of 2017, after recording an inflow of $228 billion in the third quarter…. `Money market funds worldwide experienced an inflow of $132 billion in the fourth quarter of 2017 after registering an inflow of $310 billion in the third quarter of 2017."

According to Crane Data's analysis of ICI's "Worldwide" fund data, the U.S. maintained its position as the largest money fund market in Q4'17 with $2.847 trillion, or 48.3% of all global MMF assets. U.S. MMF assets increased by $99.6 billion in Q4'17 and increased by $119.2B in the 12 months through Dec. 31, 2017. China remained in second place among countries overall, breaking over $1 trillion, as assets continued surging in the latest quarter and year. China saw assets increase $86.5 billion (up 9.1%) in Q4 to $1,035.2 billion (17.5% of worldwide assets). Over the last 12 months through Dec. 31, 2017, Chinese MMF assets have risen by $418.3 billion, or 67.8%.

Ireland remained third among these country rankings, ending Q4 with $584.0 billion (9.9% of worldwide assets). Dublin-based MMFs were up $23.6B for the quarter, or 4.2%, and up $80.0B, or 15.9%, over the last 12 months. France remained in fourth place with $412.8 billion (7.0% of worldwide assets). Assets here decreased $21.3 billion, or -4.9%, in Q4, and were up $48.8 billion, or 13.4%, over one year. Luxembourg was in fifth place with $393.8B, or 6.7% of the total, up $9.1 billion in Q4 (2.4%) and up $41.2B (11.7%) over 12 months.

Japan remained in sixth place, rising by $5.6 billion to $115.3 billion, after dipping last quarter. Japanese MMFs are up a shocking $114.8 billion, or 20,491%, over the past 12 months. (We assume this was a reclassification of some sort.) Korea, the 7th ranked country, saw MMF assets fall $2.3 billion, or -2.3%, to $91.8 billion (1.6% of total) in Q4 and rose $4.8 billion (5.5%) for the year. Brazil remained in 8th place; assets decreased $4.2 billion, or -5.1%, to $79.2 billion (1.3% of total assets) in Q4. They've increased $7.1 billion (9.8%) over the previous 12 months.

ICI's statistics show Mexico in 9th place with $53.3B, or 0.9% of total, down $6.5B (-10.9%) in Q4 and up $5.9B (12.5%) for the year. India was in 10th place, decreasing $9.6 billion, or -17.7%, to $44.8 billion (0.8% of total assets) in Q4 and decreasing $627 million (-1.4%) over the previous 12 months. (Note also that ICI's data no longer includes money fund figures for Australia, but they would rank as the sixth largest market at $322 billion, their level of two years ago, if they were still included. Australia's MMF assets were shifted into the "Other" category two years ago.)

The United Kingdom ($27.4B, up $481M and up $16.9B over the quarter and year, respectively) staying ahead of Chinese Tapei ($26.8B, up $938M and up $82M), South Africa ($25.7B, up $2.5B and up $4.2B) moved back ahead of Switzerland ($22.3B, down $1.7B and up $4.0B), and Chile ($21.7B, down $1.3B and up $2.0B) ranked 11th through 15th, respectively. Sweden, Canada, Poland, Norway and Germany round out the 20 largest countries with 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. Contact us if you'd like our latest "Largest Money Market Funds Markets Worldwide" spreadsheet, based on ICI's data, or if you'd like to see our MFI International product.

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