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The ICI's latest weekly "Money Market Fund Assets" shows that assets rose for the fifth week in a row, rising by $87.5 billion after falling $55.3 billion the week including April 15. They've moved into the black year-to-date, up $83 billion, or 2.7%, and to MMFs' highest level since February 2010. Over the past 52 weeks, ICI's money fund asset series has increased by $305 billion, or 10.8%, with Retail MMFs rising by $190 billion (18.5%) and Inst MMFs rising by $116 billion (6.4%). (For the SEC's latest monthly money fund asset series, see our May 22 News, "SEC Stats: MMF Assets Flat at Just Under $3.5 Tril, Prime Hits $1 Trillion," and see our May MFI XLS for Crane Data's latest monthly MMF asset totals or our MFI Daily for our latest daily series.)

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While the Federal Reserve appears committed to keeping rates flat for the foreseeable future, brokerages continue to tweak their sweep rates, with some cutting, and one hiking, yields over the past several weeks. Rates tracked by our Brokerage Sweep Intelligence report were unchanged in the latest week, but UBS cut rates on select tiers for the second time this month. UBS reduced the rate on assets under $250K from 0.30% to 0.25%, reduced the rate on assets under $500K (but over $250K) from 0.35% to 0.30%, and cut rates on assets under $2 million (but over $1 million) from 0.70% to 0.65% during the week ended May 17.

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The Securities and Exchange Commission released its latest "Money Market Fund Statistics" summary yesterday, which shows that total money fund assets were flat last month, rising by just $690 million in April to $3.495 trillion. Prime MMFs increased $27.8 billion in April to close at $1.000 trillion, Govt & Treasury funds declined by $20.7 billion to $2.356 trillion. Tax Exempt funds fell by $6.4 billion to $138.6 billion. Yields jumped for Tax Exempt MMFs, but were flat or slightly lower for Govt and Prime MMFs in April. 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. (The SEC revised this report earlier this year to include more history and to split Prime into Prime Inst and Prime Retail and Muni into Muni Inst and Muni Retail.) We review the latest numbers below.

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Crane's Money Fund Symposium, the largest gathering of money market fund managers and cash investors in the world, will take place June 24-26, 2019 at The Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel, in Boston, Mass. Final preparations are being made, the latest agenda is available and registrations are still being taken. (Alas, our hotel has sold out already though.) Our last MFS in Pittsburgh attracted 575 attendees, and we expect a record turnout for our 11th annual event in Boston. Money Fund Symposium attracts money fund managers, marketers and servicers, cash investors, money market securities dealers, issuers, and regulators. We review the latest agenda, as well as Crane Data's 2019 conference calendar, below.

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Federated Investors, which announced the acquisition of PNC's money market fund assets earlier this month, recently hosted a webinar entitled, "2019: Liquidity Gets Back to Work," which featured Money Market CIO Deborah Cunningham. She discussed recent asset flows and the return to Prime MMFs, ESG issues and acquisitions in the money fund space. Cunningham tells us, "We're still excited [by] the fact that news articles are being generated around the liquidity space, keeping it front and center with investors.... Certainly from a 'cash is king' perspective, there's nothing that's really changed there in our opinion. The yields continue to be very, very attractive on our money market products, especially compared to deposit rates in the marketplace. Money funds are quite a compelling story, we think [this] will likely continue."

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Fitch Ratings published an updated version of its "Money Market Fund Rating Criteria," revised to reflect recent changes in their short-term securities ratings metrics. They explain, "This report presents Fitch Ratings' criteria for assigning Money Market Fund (MMF) ratings to regulated money market funds and other liquidity/cash management products. These ratings are denoted with an 'mmf' subscript to provide clear differentiation from credit ratings assigned to debt instruments. The criteria apply to new and existing ratings, and focus on the key rating considerations in assessing an MMF's capacity to meet its investment objective of preserving principal and providing liquidity."

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We've recently seen a handful of "green" or "ESG" money market funds enter the market. But we're now seeing another kind of "green" fund, Army green, in the form of the first veteran-affiliated money market fund. A press release entitled, "Academy Securities and JP Morgan Announce New Money Market Funds," tells us that, "Academy Securities, a registered broker-dealer, certified Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise (DVBE), and Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), today announced the launch of the Academy Share Class of the JP Morgan Prime Money Market Fund (JPAXX) and JP Morgan U.S. Government Money Market Fund (JGAXX)."

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Crane Data's latest MFI International shows total assets in "offshore" money market mutual funds, U.S.-style funds domiciled in Ireland or Luxemburg and denominated in USD and Euro down significantly year-to-date, though Sterling MMFs are roughly flat. Through 5/13/19, overall MFII assets are down $45.3 billion to $800.6 billion. (They rose $15.2 billion in 2018.) Offshore USD money funds are down $23.6 billion YTD (they rose $28.8B last year). Euro funds are still feeling the pain of negative rates and recent European MMF reforms; they're down E15.8 billion YTD (following 2 flat years). GBP funds are up slightly, however, by L1.9 billion. U.S. Dollar (USD) money funds (174) account for over half ($430.3 billion, or 53.7%) of this "European" money fund total, while Euro (EUR) money funds (76) total E83.2 billion (10.4%) and Pound Sterling (GBP) funds (103) total L211.3 billion (26.4%). We summarize our latest "offshore" money fund statistics and our Money Fund Intelligence International Portfolio Holdings (which went out to subscribers Tuesday), below.

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The May issue of our Bond Fund Intelligence, which was sent out to subscribers Tuesday morning, features the lead story, "Bond Funds & Bond ETFs Hit $5 Trillion Level; Still Going," which discusses the strong rebound in BF inflows; as well as the article, "ICI 2019 Fact Book Reviews Bond Fund Trends, Flows," which excerpts from the Investment Company Institute's latest annual. BFI also recaps the latest Bond Fund News and includes our Crane BFI Indexes, which show lower bond fund yields and positive returns in April. We excerpt from the new issue below. (Contact us if you'd like to see our Bond Fund Intelligence and BFI XLS spreadsheet, or our Bond Fund Portfolio Holdings data.)

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Last week, Investment News featured the article, "Fintechs find new focus helping clients with cash management." Subtitled, "Robo-advisers, lenders and stock trading apps are all launching high-yield savings accounts," it explains that, "Cash management is suddenly one of the hottest trends in financial technology." (See our May 9 News, "ICM Launches CMAs.") The IN piece says, "Since Wealthfront launched Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.-insured high-yield savings accounts in February, the digital adviser said clients have deposited more than $1 billion, generating $2.5 million in interest. With that success, Wealthfront is increasing interest rates on the cash accounts to 2.29%." We quote from the article below, and we also excerpt from Wells Fargo and Fidelity's latest money fund commentary, below.

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Crane Data released its May Money Fund Portfolio Holdings Thursday, and our most recent collection of taxable money market securities, with data as of April 30, 2019, shows a big jump in Repo, Agencies and CP, and a big drop in Treasuries. Money market securities held by Taxable U.S. money funds (tracked by Crane Data) increased by $88.9 billion to $3.305 trillion last month, after decreasing by $8.2 billion in March, increasing by $89.8 billion in February and increasing by $4.2 billion in January. (Note that the figures were inflated by the addition of massive $108 billion American Funds Central Cash Fund to our collections.) Repo continued to be the largest portfolio segment -- it surged over the $1.1 trillion mark -- followed by Treasury securities, then Agencies. CP remained fourth ahead of CDs, 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 to see our latest Portfolio Holdings reports.)

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Crane Data's latest monthly Money Fund Portfolio Holdings statistics will be published Thursday, May 9, and we'll be writing our normal monthly update on the April 30 data for Friday's News. But we also generate a separate and broader Portfolio Holdings data set based on the SEC's Form N-MFP filings. (We continue to merge the two series, and the N-MFP version is now available via Holdings file listings to Money Fund Wisdom subscribers.) Our summary, with data as of April 30, 2019, includes holdings information from 1,187 money funds (three more than last month), representing assets of $3.502 trillion (down from $3.526 trillion). We review the latest data, which shows that total money fund assets remained over $3.5 trillion in March and that Prime MMF assets broke above the $1 trillion level, and we also excerpt from a press release announcing Cash Management Accounts from a "fin-tech" company named Investor Cash Management.

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