The Investment Company Institute (ICI) released its latest weekly "Money Market Fund Assets" report, as well as its monthly "Trends in Mutual Fund Investing" and "Month-End Portfolio Holdings of Taxable Money Funds" for November 2020 yesterday. The first release shows money fund assets falling in the latest week, their 18th decrease in the past 22 weeks. Assets have fallen $492 billion since May 20, when they were at a record $4.789 trillion (after rising $1.1 trillion in March and April 2020). ICI shows money fund assets up a still massive $665 billion, or 18.3%, year-to-date in 2020 (and over the past 52 weeks), with Inst MMFs up $510 billion (22.5%) and Retail MMFs up $156 billion (11.4%). Though 2020 saw a massive cash buildup due to the coronavirus shutdown, the percentage gain on the year likely will lag that of 2019's slightly -- up 18.3% this year vs. an increase of 19.2% last year. The dollar gain is bigger though -- up $665 billion vs. $584 billion increase in 2019 -- and the biggest since 2008's $685 billion. (Note: Happy New Year!)

ICI says, "Total money market fund assets decreased by $23.09 billion to $4.30 trillion for the week ended Tuesday, December 29.... Among taxable money market funds, government funds decreased by $16.99 billion and prime funds decreased by $5.56 billion. Tax-exempt money market funds decreased by $542 million." ICI's stats show Institutional MMFs decreasing $24.3 billion and Retail MMFs increasing $1.2 billion. Total Government MMF assets, including Treasury funds, were $3.651 trillion (85.0% of all money funds), while Total Prime MMFs were $539.8 billion (12.6%). Tax Exempt MMFs totaled $105.9 billion (2.5%). (Note that ICI's asset totals don't include a number of funds tracked by the SEC and Crane Data, so they're almost $400 billion lower than our asset series.)

They explain, "Assets of retail money market funds increased by $1.23 billion to $1.53 trillion. Among retail funds, government money market fund assets increased by $3.04 billion to $1.15 trillion, prime money market fund assets decreased by $1.32 billion to $278.88 billion, and tax-exempt fund assets decreased by $491 million to $94.94 billion. Retail assets account for just over a third of total assets, or 35.5%, and Government Retail assets make up 75.5% of all Retail MMFs.

ICI adds, "Assets of institutional money market funds decreased by $24.32 billion to $2.77 trillion. Among institutional funds, government money market fund assets decreased by $20.03 billion to $2.50 trillion, prime money market fund assets decreased by $4.24 billion to $260.94 billion, and tax-exempt fund assets decreased by $51 million to $10.98 billion. Institutional assets, which broke below the $3.0 trillion level for the first time since April 22 at the end of August, accounted for 64.5% of all MMF assets, with Government Institutional assets making up 90.2% of all Institutional MMF totals.

Their monthly Trends report shows that money fund assets decreased from $4.357 trillion in October to $4.345 trillion in November, after decreasing $47.6 billion in October, $118.4 billion in September and $56.7 billion in August, $55.4 billion in July and $133.5 billion in June. Prior to this, assets increased $31.8 billion in May, $399.4 billion in April and $690.6 in March. For the 12 months through Nov. 30, 2020, money fund assets have increased by a massive $779.6 billion, or 21.9%. (Month-to-date in December, MMF assets have decreased by $18.6 billion through 12/30, according to our MFI Daily.)

ICI's monthly "Trends" release states, "The combined assets of the nation's mutual funds increased by $1.46 trillion, or 6.7 percent, to $23.28 trillion in November, 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.... Bond funds had an inflow of $42.86 billion in November, compared with an inflow of $44.96 billion in October ... Money market funds had an outflow of $11.65 billion in November, compared with an outflow of $47.68 billion in October. In November funds offered primarily to institutions had an outflow of $7.95 billion and funds offered primarily to individuals had an outflow of $3.70 billion."

ICI's latest statistics show that both Taxable MMFs and Tax Exempt MMFs lost assets last month. Taxable MMFs decreased by $8.0 billion in November to $4.237 trillion. Tax-Exempt MMFs decreased $3.7 billion to $108.2 billion. Taxable MMF assets increased year-over-year by $809.7 trillion (23.6%), while Tax-Exempt funds fell by $30.1 billion over the past year (-21.8%). Bond fund assets increased by $119.8 billion in November (2.4%) to $5.122 trillion (they broke above the $5.0 trillion level the prior month); they've risen by $467.9 billion (10.1%) over the past year.

Money funds represent 18.7% of all mutual fund assets (down 1.3% from the previous month), while bond funds account for 22.0%, according to ICI. The total number of money market funds was 345, down two from the month prior and down from 363 a year ago. Taxable money funds numbered 270 funds, and tax-exempt money funds numbered 75 funds.

ICI's "Month-End Portfolio Holdings" confirms a jump in Repo holdings, but decreases in most other sectors last month. Treasury holdings in Taxable money funds remain the largest composition segment (since surpassing Repo in April). Treasury holdings increased by $10.7 billion, or 0.5%, to $2.239 trillion, or 52.9% of holdings. Treasury securities have increased by $1.198 trillion, or 115.2%, over the past 12 months. (See our December 10 News, "December MF Portfolio Holdings: Repo Retakes $1 Trillion, Agencies Drop.")

Repurchase Agreements were in second place among composition segments; they increased by $68.6 billion, or 7.1%, to $1.028 trillion, or 24.3% of holdings. Repo holdings have dropped $88.9 billion, or -8.0%, over the past year. U.S. Government Agency securities were the third largest segment; they decreased $22.1 billion, or -3.3%, to $646.6 billion, or 15.3% of holdings. Agency holdings have fallen by $69.6 billion, or -9.7%, over the past 12 months.

Certificates of Deposit (CDs) stood in fourth place; they decreased by $4.5 billion, or -2.4%, to $184.2 billion (4.3% of assets). CDs held by money funds shrunk by $105.7 billion, or -36.5%, over 12 months. Commercial Paper remained in fifth place, down $4.8 million, or -2.8%, to $165.3 billion (3.9% of assets). CP has decreased by $80.3 billion, or -32.7%, over one year. Other holdings decreased to $30.6 billion (0.7% of assets), while Notes (including Corporate and Bank) were up to $6.7 billion (0.2% of assets).

The Number of Accounts Outstanding in ICI's series for taxable money funds increased to 40.319 million, while the Number of Funds was unchanged at 270. Over the past 12 months, the number of accounts rose by 3.363 million and the number of funds decreased by 13. The Average Maturity of Portfolios was 45 days, unchanged from October. Over the past 12 months, WAMs of Taxable money have increased by seven.

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