The Investment Company Institute released its "Worldwide Regulated Open-Fund Assets and Flows, First Quarter 2018" late last month. The most recent data collection on mutual funds in other countries (as well as the U.S.) shows that money fund assets globally rose by $198.0 billion, or 3.4%, in Q1'18, led by big jumps in Chinese and French money funds. Money funds in Korea, India, Ireland, and Mexico also rose. MMF assets worldwide have increased by $940.6 billion, or 18.2%, the past 12 months. The U.S., Luxembourg, and Japan were the only countries showing noticeable decreases in Q1'18. We review the latest Worldwide MMF totals below.

ICI's release says, "Worldwide regulated open-end fund assets increased 1.5 percent to $50.01 trillion at the end of the first quarter of 2018, excluding funds of funds. Worldwide net cash inflow to all funds was $584 billion in the first quarter, compared with $687 billion of net inflows in the fourth 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 first quarter of 2018 contains statistics from 47 jurisdictions."

ICI tells us, "Total regulated open-end fund assets reported in US dollars increased in the first quarter of 2018 in part reflecting depreciation of the US dollar. For example, on a US dollar-denominated basis, fund assets in Europe increased by 2.3 percent in the first quarter, compared with a decrease of 0.5 percent on a euro-denominated basis."

They continue, "On a US dollar-denominated basis, equity fund assets increased by 0.6 percent to $21.96 trillion at the end of the first quarter of 2018. Bond fund assets increased by 1.7 percent to $10.55 trillion in the first quarter. Balanced/mixed fund assets increased by 0.8 percent to $6.47 trillion in the first quarter, while money market fund assets increased by 3.4 percent globally to $6.10 trillion."

ICI writes, "At the end of the first quarter of 2018, 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."

The release adds, "Net sales of regulated open-end funds worldwide were $584 billion in the first quarter of 2018. Flows into equity funds worldwide were $263 billion in the first quarter, after experiencing $283 billion of net inflows in the fourth quarter of 2017. Globally, bond funds posted an inflow of $147 billion in the first quarter of 2018, after recording an inflow of $162 billion in the fourth quarter. Inflows from balanced/mixed funds worldwide totaled $86 billion in the first quarter of 2018, compared with $79 billion of inflows in the fourth quarter of 2017. 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 Q1'18 with $2.793 trillion, or 45.8% of all global MMF assets. U.S. MMF assets decreased by $54.4 billion in Q1'18 and increased by $128.6B in the 12 months through March 31, 2018. China remained in second place among countries overall, as assets continued surging in the latest quarter and year. China saw assets increase $204.0 billion (up 19.7%) in Q1 to $1.239 trillion (20.3% of worldwide assets). Over the last 12 months through March 31, 2018, Chinese MMF assets have risen by $653.8 billion, or 111.7%.

Ireland remained third among these country rankings, ending Q1 with $590.7 billion (9.7% of worldwide assets). Dublin-based MMFs were up $6.7B for the quarter, or 1.1%, and up $74.7B, or 14.5%, over the last 12 months. France remained in fourth place with $445.3 billion (7.3% of worldwide assets). Assets here increased $32.5 billion, or 7.9%, in Q1, and were up $40.5 billion, or 10.0%, over one year. Luxembourg was in fifth place with $377.2B, or 6.2% of the total, down $16.6 billion in Q1 (-4.2%) and up $14.3B (3.9%) over 12 months.

Japan remained in sixth place with $108.1 billion (1.8%); assets there dropped $7.2 billion. Japanese MMFs are up $187 million, or 0.2%, over the past 12 months. Korea, the 7th ranked country, saw MMF assets rise $8.6 billion, or 9.3%, to $100.4 billion (remaining 1.6% of total) in Q1 and fell $6.0 billion (-5.7%) for the year. Brazil continued to remain in 8th place; assets increased $2.3 billion, or 2.9%, to $81.5 billion (1.3% of total assets) in Q1. They have decreased $5.3 billion (-6.1%) over the previous 12 months.

ICI's statistics show Mexico in 9th place with $58.6B, or 1.0% of total, up $5.3B (9.9%) in Q1 and up $6.4B (12.2%) for the year. India was in 10th place, increasing $6.8 billion, or 15.1%, to $51.6 billion (0.8% of total assets) in Q1 and increasing $3.2 billion (6.6%) over the previous 12 months. (Note also that ICI's data no longer includes money fund figures for Australia. Australia's MMF assets were shifted into the "Other" category three years ago.)

The United Kingdom ($29.7B, up $2.3B and up $7.0B over the quarter and year, respectively) ranked ahead of Chinese Tapei ($28.8B, up $2.0B and up $1.5B), South Africa ($26.2B, up $442M and up $3.8B) stayed ahead of Chile ($25.5B, up $3.8B and up $3.4B) and Switzerland ($22.1B, down $239M and up $3.3B). These countries 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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