The Investment Company Institute released its latest "Money Market Fund Assets" and its monthly "Trends in Mutual Fund Investing" reports yesterday. Their numbers show money fund assets inching lower in the latest week (after a big drop due to taxes the previous week); they also confirm that assets declined sharply in March. Year-to-date, MMF assets have decreased by $46 billion, or -1.6%, but they've increased by $150 billion, or 5.7%, over 52 weeks. We review the latest assets, and ICI's Trends and latest Portfolio Composition statistics, which show a jump in Treasury holdings in March, below.

ICI writes, "Total money market fund assets decreased by $1.30 billion to $2.79 trillion for the week ended Wednesday, April 25, the Investment Company Institute reported today. Among taxable money market funds, government funds decreased by $1.33 billion and prime funds decreased by $782 million. Tax-exempt money market funds increased by $817 million." Total Government MMF assets, which include Treasury funds too, stand at $2.206 trillion (79.0% of all money funds), while Total Prime MMFs stand at $455.0 billion (16.3%). Tax Exempt MMFs total $130.8 billion, or 4.7%.

They explain, "Assets of retail money market funds decreased by $229 million to $1.01 trillion. Among retail funds, government money market fund assets increased by $29 million to $622.46 billion, prime money market fund assets decreased by $846 million to $260.20 billion, and tax-exempt fund assets increased by $589 million to $123.81 billion." Retail assets account for over a third of total assets, or 36.0%, and Government Retail assets make up 61.8% of all Retail MMFs.

ICI's release adds, "Assets of institutional money market funds decreased by $1.07 billion to $1.79 trillion. Among institutional funds, government money market fund assets decreased by $1.36 billion to $1.58 trillion, prime money market fund assets increased by $64 million to $194.79 billion, and tax-exempt fund assets increased by $228 million to $6.95 billion." Institutional assets account for 64.0% of all MMF assets, with Government Inst assets making up 88.7% of all Institutional MMFs.

The latest monthly "Trends in Mutual Fund Investing" report from ICI confirm a big drop in money fund assets in March, following a jump in February and a big drop in January. ICI's "March 2018 - Trends" shows a $50.1 billion decrease in money market fund assets in March to $2.793 trillion. This follows a $37.5 billion increase in February, and a $51.0 billion decrease in January. In the 12 months through March 31, money fund assets have increased by $128.7 billion, or 4.8%. (Month-to-date through April 26, MMF assets are flat, down a mere $1.4 billion, according to Crane Data's Money Fund Intelligence Daily.)

ICI's monthly report states, "The combined assets of the nation’s mutual funds decreased by $194.70 billion, or 1.0 percent, to $18.67 trillion in March, 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 $11.62 billion in March, compared with an inflow of $126 million in February.... Money market funds had an outflow of $52.15 billion in March, compared with an inflow of $41.87 billion in February. In March funds offered primarily to institutions had an outflow of $49.73 billion and funds offered primarily to individuals had an outflow of $2.42 billion."

The latest "Trends" shows that both Taxable and Tax Exempt MMFs lost assets last month. Taxable MMFs decreased by $47.4 billion in March to $2.660 trillion, after increasing in February and decreasing in January. Tax-Exempt MMFs decreased $2.9 billion in March to $133.1 billion. Over the past year through 3/31/18, Taxable MMF assets increased by $125.4 billion (4.9%) while Tax-Exempt funds rose by $3.3 billion over the past year (2.5%). Bond fund assets increased by $24.9 billion in March to $4.095 trillion; they rose by $318.2 billion (8.4%) over the past year.

Money funds now represent 15.0% (down from 15.2% the previous month) of all mutual fund assets, while bond funds represent 21.9%, according to ICI. The total number of money market funds increased by 1 to 382 in March, down from 420 a year ago. (Taxable money funds remained flat with 298 funds. Tax-exempt money funds increased by one to 84 over the last month.)

ICI also released its latest "Month-End Portfolio Holdings of Taxable Money Funds," which confirmed a surge in Treasuries and drop in CDs in everything else in March. Treasuries became the largest portfolio segment; they were up $79.4 billion, or 9.9%, to $879.2 billion or 33.1% of holdings. Treasury Bills & Securities have increased by $138.2 billion over the past 12 months, or 18.6%. (See our April 11 News, "April Money Fund Portfolio Holdings: Treasury Now Biggest; Repo Down.")

Repurchase Agreements fell to second place among composition segments; they declined by $85.5 billion, or -9.8%, to $783.0 billion, or 29.4% of holdings. Repo holdings have fallen by $25.0 billion, or -3.1%, over the past year. U.S. Government Agency Securities remained in third place; they fell by $56.6 billion, or -8.1%, to $643.7 billion, or 24.2% of holdings. Agency holdings have fallen by $53 million, or 0.0%, over the past 12 months.

Certificates of Deposit (CDs) stood in fourth place; they decreased $22.0 billion, or -11.4%, to $172.1 billion (6.5% of assets). CDs held by money funds have fallen by $10.0 billion, or -5.5%, over 12 months. Commercial Paper remained in fifth place, decreasing $14.1B, or -8.4%, to $154.4 billion (5.8% of assets). CP has increased by $45.3 billion, or 41.5%, over one year. Notes (including Corporate and Bank) were down by $707 million, or -10.2%, to $6.2 billion (0.2% of assets), and Other holdings increased to $10.9 billion.

The Number of Accounts Outstanding in ICI's series for taxable money funds increased by 136.5 thousand to 31.221 million, while the Number of Funds was unchanged at 298. Over the past 12 months, the number of accounts rose by 5.644 million and the number of funds decreased by 22. The Average Maturity of Portfolios was 33 days in March, up 2 days from February. Over the past 12 months, WAMs of Taxable money funds have shortened by 5 days.

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