The Investment Company Institute released its "Worldwide Regulated Open-Fund Assets and Flows, Fourth Quarter 2018" yesterday. 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 $97.1 billion, or 1.6%, in Q4'18, to retake the $6.0 trillion level ($6.076T). The increase was led by big gains in U.S. and Luxembourg-based money funds. Money fund assets in China and France fell sharply. MMF assets worldwide have increased by $176.4 billion, or 3.0%, the past 12 months, and money funds in the U.S. moved up to represent 50.0% of worldwide assets. We review the latest Worldwide Money Market Fund totals, below.

ICI's release says, "Worldwide regulated open-end fund assets decreased 6.9 percent to $46.70 trillion at the end of the fourth quarter of 2018, excluding funds of funds. Worldwide net cash inflow to all funds was $88 billion in the fourth quarter, compared with $179 billion of net inflows in the third quarter of 2018. 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 2018 contains statistics from 47 jurisdictions."

It explains, "The drop in open-end fund assets reported in US dollars, in part, reflected US dollar appreciation in the fourth quarter of 2018. For example, on a US dollar–denominated basis, fund assets in Europe decreased by 6.3 percent in the fourth quarter, compared with a decrease of 5.2 percent on a euro-denominated basis."

ICI's quarterly continues, "On a US dollar–denominated basis, equity fund assets decreased by 12.4 percent to $19.92 trillion at the end of the fourth quarter of 2018. Bond fund assets decreased by 1.2 percent to $10.14 trillion in the fourth quarter. Balanced/mixed fund assets decreased by 7.1 percent to $5.84 trillion in the fourth quarter, while money market fund assets increased by 1.6 percent globally to $6.08 trillion."

The release also says, "At the end of the fourth quarter of 2018, 43 percent of worldwide regulated open-end fund assets were held in equity funds. The asset share of bond funds was 22 percent and the asset share of balanced/mixed funds was 13 percent. Money market fund assets represented 13 percent of the worldwide total."

It adds, "Net sales of regulated open-end funds worldwide were $88 billion in the fourth quarter of 2018. Flows into equity funds worldwide were $101 billion in the fourth quarter.... Globally, bond funds posted an outflow of $66 billion in the fourth quarter of 2018, after recording an inflow of $91 billion in the third quarter.... Money market funds worldwide experienced an inflow of $82 billion in the fourth quarter of 2018 after registering an outflow of $54 billion in the third quarter of 2018."

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 Q4'18 with $3.037 trillion, or 50.0% of all global MMF assets. U.S. MMF assets increased by $173.5 billion (6.1%) in Q4'18 and increased by $189.7B (6.7%) in the 12 months through Dec. 31, 2018. China remained in second place among countries overall, though assets declined substantially in the latest quarter. China saw assets decrease $92.1 billion (-7.7%) in Q4 to $1.110 trillion (18.3% of worldwide assets). But over the 12 months through Dec. 31, 2018, Chinese MMF assets have risen by $75.0 billion, or 7.2%.

Ireland remained third among country rankings, ending Q4 with $558.7 billion (9.2% of worldwide assets). Dublin-based MMFs were up $3.3B for the quarter, or 0.6%, but down $25.3B, or -4.3%, over the last 12 months. Luxembourg remained in fourth place with $383.5 billion (6.3% of worldwide assets). Assets here increased $23.5 billion, or 6.5%, in Q4, but were down $10.4 billion, or -2.6%, over one year. France was in fifth place with $373.7B, or 6.2% of the total, down $19.7 billion in Q4 (-5.0%) and down $39.1B (-9.5%) over 12 months.

Japan remained in sixth place with $100.2 billion (1.6%); assets there dropped $3.2 billion (-3.0%) in Q4 and $15.1 billion (-13.1%) over 12 months. Korea, the 7th ranked country, saw MMF assets fall $2.4 billion, or -2.9%, in Q4 to $80.6 billion (1.3% of the world's total MMF assets); they've fallen $11.2 billion (-12.2%) for the year. Brazil remained in 8th place, as assets increased $5.4 billion, or 7.5%, to $76.6 billion (1.3% of total assets) in Q4. They've decreased $2.5 billion (-3.2%) over the previous 12 months.

ICI's statistics show India moving up to 9th place with $63.6B, or 1.0% of total, up $9.1B (16.8%) in Q4 and up $18.8B (41.9%) for the year. Mexico fell to 10th place, decreasing $2.7 billion, or -4.4%, to $58.6 billion (1.0% of total assets) in Q4 but increasing $5.3 billion (9.9%) over the previous 12 months. (Note that ICI's data no longer includes money fund figures for Australia. Australia's MMF assets, which had been one of the largest markets in the world, were mysteriously shifted into the "Other" category several years ago.)

The United Kingdom ($25.2B, down $1.7B and up $2.1B over the quarter and year, respectively) ranked 11th ahead of Sweden ($23.4B, up $3.2B and up $3.5B), which moved up to 12th place. South Africa ($22.8B, down $650M and down $2.9B), Chinese Tapei ($22.5B, down $1.2B and down $4.1B), and Canada ($21.6B, up $1.0B and up $1.8B) rank 13th through 15th, respectively. Chile, Switzerland, Poland, Norway and Germany round out the 20 largest countries with money market mutual funds.

ICI's quarterly series shows money fund assets in the Americas total $3.221 trillion, up $180.6 billion in Q4, while Asia and Pacific money funds, which surpassed European money funds in Q3'18, decreased $25.1 billion to $1.449 trillion. Europe saw its money funds decline by $57.8 billion in Q4'18 to $1.384 trillion, and Africa saw its money funds decrease $650 million to $22.8 billion.

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 mainly 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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