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The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission released its latest "Money Market Fund Statistics" summary Wednesday. It shows that total money fund assets were up $71.2 billion in August to $2.988 trillion, with Prime funds increasing for the 8th month in a row. Prime MMFs gained $16.8 billion (after gaining $9.5 billion in July, $4.0 billion in June and $2.5 billion in May) to $641.7 billion. Government money funds increased by $56.8 billion, while Tax Exempt MMFs fell by $2.4 billion. Gross yields inched higher for Prime and Govt MMFs, but decreased again for Tax Exempt MMFs. The SEC's Division of Investment Management summarizes monthly Form N-MFP data and includes asset totals and averages for yields, liquidity levels, WAMs, WALs, holdings, and other money market fund trends. We review their latest numbers below.

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Back in June, we reviewed the "2017 J.P. Morgan Global Liquidity Investment PeerView" survey, which interviewed almost 400 global CIO and treasurers about their cash investment preferences. (See our June 6 News, "JPMAM Investment PeerView Survey Says Money Funds Gain on Deposits.") After another read, however, we realized that we'd missed a number of important points. Also, given that the survey addresses a number of topics involving European money market funds and corporate investors (and we'll be in Paris early next week hosting our European Money Fund Symposium), we thought it would be timely to quote some more of the work.

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The Investment Company Institute released its latest monthly "Money Market Fund Holdings" summary (with data as of August 31, 2017) yesterday. This release reviews the aggregate daily and weekly liquid assets, regional exposure, and maturities (WAM and WAL) for Prime and Government money market funds. The MMF Holdings release says, "The Investment Company Institute (ICI) reports that, as of the final Friday in August, prime money market funds held 27.3 percent of their portfolios in daily liquid assets and 43.1 percent in weekly liquid assets, while government money market funds held 57.1 percent of their portfolios in daily liquid assets and 75.7 percent in weekly liquid assets." Prime DLA decreased from 29.2% last month and Prime WLA increased from 42.7% last month. We review the ICI's latest Holdings update, as well as recent Portfolio Holdings commentary from J.P. Morgan Securities, below.

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There haven't been a lot of fund mergers and liquidations over the past few months, but minor changes continue to trickle in. (See our August 25 and August 1 Links of the Day, "Western Latest to Merge Primes" and "Dreyfus Liquidating AMT-‚ÄčFree MMF.") The most recent tweaks come from Fidelity and Dreyfus, who are both making slight changes this month to trim their fund lineups. Fidelity is merging its $2.6 billion Retirement Government Money Market Portfolio (FGMXX) and its $8.8 billion Retirement Government Money Market II Portfolio (FRTXX) into the $67.2 billion Fidelity Government Money Market Fund (SPAXX), and Dreyfus is converting a number of its Agency, Administrative, Classic and Participant share classes into existing Institutional, Hamilton, and Investor shares. We review these changes, and we also summarize our most recent "offshore" money fund statistics and MFI International Portfolio Holdings (which were released on Friday), below.

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The September issue of Crane Data's Bond Fund Intelligence, which was sent out to subscribers Friday, features the lead story, "ICI vs. Bank of England: Debate Over Bond Fund Runs," which reviews a study and rebuttal on the susceptibility of bond funds to runs. BFI also includes the "profile" article, "Payden Global Low Duration: Talk w/Syal, Manis, Marshall," with Payden & Rygel Managing Principal Mary Beth Syal. In addition, we recap the latest Bond Fund News, which includes briefs on mixed yields and higher returns in August, continued inflows and more. BFI also includes our Crane BFI Indexes, averages and summaries of major bond fund categories. We excerpt from the September issue below. (Contact us if you'd like to see a copy of our latest Bond Fund Intelligence and BFI XLS data spreadsheet, and watch for our latest Bond Fund Portfolio Holdings data next week.)

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The Wall Street Journal featured an article entitled, "Meet Earth's Largest Money-Market Fund." Subtitled, "Alibaba Spinoff Yu'e Bao has accrued 370 million account holders and $211 billion in assets in just four years. As its model is replicated, the government is enforcing new regulations," It says, "In just four years, a money-market fund created by an affiliate of China's Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. has become the world's largest, providing millions of the country's savers a high-returning place to park their money. Now, it is facing pressure from regulators to slow down." We excerpt from the Journal's piece below. (See also our Sept. 6 News, "FT Says Chinese Issue New Rules on Money Funds, and note that our upcoming European Money Fund Symposium (Sept. 25-26 in Paris) will feature a segment on "MMFs in Asia: China and Japan.")

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Crane Data released its September Money Fund Portfolio Holdings Tuesday, and our latest collection of taxable money market securities, with data as of August 31, 2017, shows a strong rebound in Repo (after a big drop last month), but a drop in Treasuries and Agencies. Money market securities held by Taxable U.S. money funds overall (tracked by Crane Data) increased by $58.6 billion to $2.751 trillion last month, after increasing $61.5 billion in July and decreasing $60.8 billion in June. Repo remained the largest portfolio segment, while Agencies narrowly beat out Treasuries for the number two spot. CDs remained in fourth place, followed by Commercial Paper, Other/Time Deposits and VRDNs. Below, we review our latest Money Fund Portfolio Holdings statistics. (Visit our Content center to download the latest files, or contact us if you'd like to see a sample of our latest Portfolio Holdings Reports.)

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The Central Bank of Ireland released its latest "Money Market Fund Statistics" for Q2 2017. Its summary says, "The net asset value of Irish money market funds (MMFs) fell to E472.4 billion at end-June 2017, from E482.6 billion at end-March 2017.... Across sectors, central government and bank debt saw the largest quarter-on-quarter reductions in their holdings: E11.1 billion and E13.9 billion respectively. Central government debt security holdings have decreased by 35 per cent since end-December 2016." We review their latest statistics, and also quote from a Dow Jones article on European Treasurers, below. (Note: Just two weeks to go until Crane's European Money Fund Symposium, which will take place Sept. 25-26 in Paris and which will discuss issues involving Irish, French and European money market funds in depth. We're still accepting registrations!)

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Crane Data's latest Money Fund Market Share rankings show assets in U.S. money fund complexes were up sharply in August, as overall assets increased by $68.7 billion, or 2.4%. Total assets have increased by $81.0 billion, or 2.9%, over the past 3 months. They've increased by $247.4 billion, or 9.3%, over the past 12 months through August 31, but note that our asset totals have been inflated by the addition of a number of funds. (Crane Data added batches of previously untracked funds in December, February and April. These funds, which total over $200 billion, include a number of internal funds that we hadn't been aware of prior to disclosures of the SEC's Form N-MFP.) The biggest gainers in August were Fidelity, whose MMFs rose by $16.0 billion, or 3.0%, BlackRock, whose MMFs rose by $9.8 billion, or 3.8%, and Federated, whose MMFs rose by $6.8 billion, or 3.8%.

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The September issue of our flagship Money Fund Intelligence newsletter, which was sent to subscribers Friday morning, features the articles: "Treasury Funds Dodge Debt Ceiling Again; Reviewing Risks," which discusses the narrow avoidance of a technical Treasury default, "European MMF Reforms & Comment Letters to ESMA," which reviews pending regulatory changes for offshore funds, and, "10 Year Anniversary of Start of Subprime Liquidity Crisis," which looks back at the start of the financial crisis and its impact on money funds a decade ago. We have also updated our Money Fund Wisdom database with August 31, 2017, statistics, and sent out our MFI XLS spreadsheet Monday a.m. (MFI, MFI XLS and our Crane Index products are all available to subscribers via our Content center.) Our Sept. Money Fund Portfolio Holdings are scheduled to ship Tuesday, Sept. 12, and our Sept. Bond Fund Intelligence is scheduled to go out Friday, Sept. 15.

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Though it may have to wait another quarter to be relevant given the news of a possible 3-month extension of the debt ceiling, we continue to quote from commentary on the topic. (Nothing is official yet, but but see Reuters' "Traders see U.S. debt ceiling risks shift to December".) Wells Fargo Money Market Funds' latest Portfolio Manager Commentary, entitled, "Frequently asked questions: The debt ceiling discusses the issue in depth. Its "Debt-ceiling FAQ," explains, "While we have faced a debt-ceiling crisis many times since the onslaught of the financial crisis -- six to be exact -- this time around seems especially urgent for two specific and intertwined reasons: the coincidence of the U.S. budget's fiscal year-end and the Treasury hitting the debt ceiling after exhausting extraordinary measures and legislative and executive branches of government that can't seem to play nicely with each other, let alone amongst themselves!"

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Yesterday, the Financial Times posted the article, "China regulators target 'systemic risk' from money-market funds," which discusses new regulations on the rapidly-growing Chinese money market fund industry. The article explains, "China will impose tighter regulation on "systemically important" money-market mutual funds, potentially forcing Ant Financial's popular fund to de-risk its portfolio and reduce yields for investors." We quote from this article below, and we also review some filings on fee "recapture," which was featured in a recent ignites.com article. (Note: Our upcoming European Money Fund Symposium, which will be held Sept. 25-26 in Paris, will feature a segment on "MMFs in Asia: China and Japan," and will discuss money funds outside the U.S. in-depth.)

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