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Money Fund Wisdom News

Dec 12

Crane Data released its December Money Fund Portfolio Holdings late yesterday, and our most recent collection of taxable money market securities, with data as of Nov. 30, 2017, shows a drop in Repo and Treasuries, but increases in CP, Agencies and CDs. Money market securities held by Taxable U.S. money funds overall (tracked by Crane Data) increased by $18.4 billion to $2.856 trillion last month, after increasing $77.7 billion in October, $8.5 billion in September, and $58.6 billion in August. Repo remained the largest portfolio segment, followed by Treasuries and Agencies. CP moved into fourth place 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 if you'd like to see our latest Money Fund Portfolio Holdings reports.)

Among all taxable money funds, Repurchase Agreements (repo) decreased $16.4 billion (-1.7%) to $939.2 billion, or 32.9% of holdings, after decreasing $3.9 billion in October and $4.4 billion in September but increasing $65.1 billion in August. Treasury securities fell $3.0 billion (-0.4%) to $736.3 billion, or 25.8% of holdings, after rising $66.0 billion in October and $27.8 billion in September but falling $32.7 billion in August. Government Agency Debt increased $10.5 billion (1.6%) to $675.3 billion, or 23.6% of all holdings, after falling $2.2 billion in October, rising $1.2 billion in September, and falling $11.2 billion in August. Repo, Treasuries and Agencies total $2.351 trillion, representing a massive 82.3% of all taxable holdings.

CP, CDs and Other (mainly Time Deposits) securities jumped in the latest month. Commercial Paper (CP) was up $14.9 billion (8.2%) to $196.7 billion, or 6.9% of holdings (after increasing $3.3 billion in October, decreasing $4.4 in September, and increasing $16.2 billion in August). Certificates of Deposits (CDs) increased $8.9 billion (4.8%) to $193.5 billion, or 6.8% of taxable assets (after increasing $14.1 billion in October, decreasing $7.3 billion in September, and increasing $3.4 billion in August). Other holdings, primarily Time Deposits, rose by $3.7 billion (3.6%) to $106.4 billion, or 3.7% of holdings. VRDNs held by taxable funds decreased by $0.2 billion (-2.2%) to $8.2 billion (0.3% of assets).

Prime money fund assets tracked by Crane Data increased to $655 billion (up from $632 billion last month), or 22.9% (up from 22.3%) of taxable money fund holdings' total of $2.856 trillion. Among Prime money funds, CDs represent just under a third of holdings at 29.5% (up from 29.2% a month ago), followed by Commercial Paper at 29.9% (up from 28.7%). The CP totals are comprised of: Financial Company CP, which makes up 18.9% of total holdings, Asset-Backed CP, which accounts for 6.1%, and Non-Financial Company CP, which makes up 4.9%. Prime funds also hold 1.9% in US Govt Agency Debt, 8.7% in US Treasury Debt, 5.9% in US Treasury Repo, 2.2% in Other Instruments, 13.2% in Non-Negotiable Time Deposits, 4.6% in Other Repo, 1.9% in US Government Agency Repo, and 1.0% in VRDNs.

Government money fund portfolios totaled $1.549 trillion (54.2% of all MMF assets), up from $1.541 trillion in October, while Treasury money fund assets totaled another $651 billion (22.8%), up from $664 billion the prior month. Government money fund portfolios were made up of 42.5% US Govt Agency Debt, 19.4% US Government Agency Repo, 15.6% US Treasury debt, and 22.3% in US Treasury Repo. Treasury money funds were comprised of 67.2% US Treasury debt, 32.5% in US Treasury Repo, and 0.3% in Government agency repo, Other Instrument, and Investment Company shares. Government and Treasury funds combined now total $2.200 trillion, or 77.0% of all taxable money fund assets, down from 77.7% last month.

European-affiliated holdings increased $20.8 billion in November to $654.1 billion among all taxable funds (and including repos); their share of holdings increased to 22.9% from 22.3% the previous month. Eurozone-affiliated holdings increased $14.5 billion to $447.7 billion in November; they account for 15.7% of overall taxable money fund holdings. Asia & Pacific related holdings increased by $13.1 billion to $227.9 billion (8.0% of the total). Americas related holdings decreased $25.6 billion to $1.972 trillion and now represent 69.1% of holdings.

The overall taxable fund Repo totals were made up of: US Treasury Repurchase Agreements, which decreased $16.8 billion, or -2.7%, to $595.3 billion, or 20.8% of assets; US Government Agency Repurchase Agreements (down $0.7 billion to $313.7 billion, or 11.1% of total holdings), and Other Repurchase Agreements ($30.2 billion, or 1.1% of holdings, up $1.1 billion from last month). The Commercial Paper totals were comprised of Financial Company Commercial Paper (up $11.1 billion to $123.9 billion, or 4.3% of assets), Asset Backed Commercial Paper (up $2.2 billion to $40.3 billion, or 1.4%), and Non-Financial Company Commercial Paper (up $1.5 billion to $32.5 billion, or 1.1%).

The 20 largest Issuers to taxable money market funds as of Nov. 30, 2017, include: the US Treasury ($736.3 billion, or 25.8%), Federal Home Loan Bank ($524.2B, 18.4%), BNP Paribas ($150.8B, 5.3%), Federal Reserve Bank of New York ($96.2B, 3.4%), RBC ($75.7B, 2.7%), Credit Agricole ($69.5B, 2.4%), Federal Farm Credit Bank ($68.3B, 2.4%), Wells Fargo ($64.7B, 2.3%), Federal Home Loan Mortgage Co ($55.6B, 1.9%), Barclays PLC ($54.3B, 1.9%), Societe Generale ($44.6B, 1.6%), Nomura ($43.5B, 1.5%), Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc ($38.8B, 1.4%), Bank of Nova Scotia ($36.8B, 1.3%), Toronto-Dominion Bank ($35.2B, 1.2%), Natixis ($34.7B, 1.2%), Bank of America ($34.7B, 1.2%), HSBC ($34.2B, 1.2%), JP Morgan ($33.5B, 1.2%), and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce ( $30.8B, 1.1%).

In the repo space, the 10 largest Repo counterparties (dealers) with the amount of repo outstanding and market share (among the money funds we track) include: BNP Paribas ($133.8B, 14.2%), Federal Reserve Bank of New York ($96.2B, 10.2%), RBC ($53.5B, 5.7%), Credit Agricole ($52.8B, 5.6%), Wells Fargo ($51.2B, 5.5%), Nomura ($43.5B, 4.6%), Barclays PLC ($43.4B, 4.6%), Societe Generale ($40.4B, 4.3%), Bank of America ($29.1B, 3.1%) and HSBC ($27.8B, 3.0%). NY Fed RRP Repo reached its lowest point since July 2016 (the last time it wasn't the largest repo program). (Fixed Income Clearing Corp repo ranked No. 12 with $13.2 billion from 13 funds.)

The 10 largest Fed Repo positions among MMFs on 11/30 include:Northern Trust Trs MMkt ($16.6B in Fed Repo), Fidelity Cash Central Fund ($11.0B), JP Morgan US Govt ($11.0B ), Morgan Stanley Inst Liq Govt Sec ($8.0B), Fidelity Sec Lending Cash Central ($7.1B), Northern Inst Govt Select ($5.7B), BlackRock Lq FedFund ($4.5B), Goldman Sachs FS Treas Sol ($3.9B), Vanguard Market Liquidity Fund ($3.9B), and Wells Fargo Govt MMkt ($3.8B).

The 10 largest issuers of "credit" -- CDs, CP and Other securities (including Time Deposits and Notes) combined -- include: RBC ($22.2B, 5.1%), BNP Paribas ($17.1B, 3.9%), Credit Agricole ($16.8, 3.9%), Toronto-Dominion Bank ($16.2B, 3.7%), Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. ($15.6B, 3.6%), Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce ($14.6B, 3.4%), Bank of Nova Scotia ($14.0B, 3.2%), Bank of Montreal ($13.8, 3.2%), Wells Fargo ($13.5B, 3.1%), and Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd ($13.3, 3.1%).

The 10 largest CD issuers include: Bank of Montreal ($13.5B, 7.0%), Wells Fargo ($13.4, 7.0%B), RBC ($11.7, 6.1%), Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Co ($11.2B, 5.8%), Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc ($10.2B, 5.3%), Mizuho Corporate Bank Ltd ($9.4B, 4.9%), Toronto-Dominion Bank ($9.3B, 4.8%), Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank ($8.6B, 4.5%), KBC Group NV ($7.7B, 4.0%), and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce ($7.4B, 3.9%).

The 10 largest CP issuers (we include affiliated ABCP programs) include: Commonwealth Bank of Australia ($9.0B, 5.3%), JP Morgan ($7.9B, 4.7%), Westpac Banking Co ($7.5B, 4.4%), BNP Paribas ($7.2B, 4.3%), Bank Nederlandse Gemeenten ($6.6B, 3.9%), Bank of Nova Scotia ($6.3B, 3.7%), Credit Agricole ($6.2B, 3.6%), UBS AG ($5.9B, 3.5%), National Australia Bank Ltd ($5.8B, 3.4%), and Toronto-Dominion Bank ($5.7B, 3.3%).

The largest increases among Issuers include: BNP Paribas (up $12.5B to $150.8B), Federal Home Loan Mortgage Co (up $9.3B to $55.6B), JP Morgan (up $8.5B to $33.5B), RBC (up $7.7B to $75.7B), Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (up $7.0B to $30.8B), Bank of Montreal (up $6.8B to $29.2B), Mizuho Corporate Bank Ltd (up $5.4B to $24.4B), Deutsche Bank AG (up $4.5B to $25.8B), Credit Suisse (up $4.0B to $25.6), and Wells Fargo (up $3.1B to $64.7B).

The largest decreases among Issuers of money market securities (including Repo) in November were shown by: Federal Reserve Bank of New York (down $66.0B to $96.2B), ING Bank (down $8.5B to $27.8B), Societe Generale (down $3.5B to $44.6B), US Treasury (down $3.0B to $736.3B), Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB (down $2.2B to 10.6B), Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (down $2.5B to $23.8B), Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB (down $2.5B to $12.8B), Goldman Sachs (down $1.5B to $17.9B), KBC Group NV (down $1.3B to $10.0B), and Federal National Mortgage Association (down $1.1B to $21.7B).

The United States remained the largest segment of country-affiliations; it represents 61.4% of holdings, or $1.754 trillion. France (11.0%, $313.7B) remained in second place ahead of Canada (7.6%, $218.0B) in third. Japan (5.9%, $169.0B) stayed in fourth, while the United Kingdom (4.0%, $113.9B) remained in fifth place. Germany (2.2%, $62.0B) moved into sixth place ahead of The Netherlands (2.1%, $58.4B), while Australia (1.6%, $46.0B) moved ahead of Sweden (1.5%, $42.2B). Switzerland (1.3%, $36.9B) remained in tenth place. (Note: Crane Data attributes Treasury and Government repo to the dealer's parent country of origin, though money funds themselves "look-through" and consider these U.S. government securities. All money market securities must be U.S. dollar-denominated.)

As of Nov. 30, 2017, Taxable money funds held 31.2% (down from 32.2%) of their assets in securities maturing Overnight, and another 17.3% maturing in 2-7 days (up from 16.1%). Thus, 48.5% in total matures in 1-7 days. Another 24.8% matures in 8-30 days, while 9.2% matures in 31-60 days. Note that over three-quarters, or 82.5% of securities, mature in 60 days or less (up slightly from last month), the dividing line for use of amortized cost accounting under SEC regulations. The next bucket, 61-90 days, holds 7.6% of taxable securities, while 7.7% matures in 91-180 days, and just 2.0% matures beyond 181 days.

Dec 11

Crane Data's latest Money Fund Market Share rankings show assets were up across almost all U.S. money fund complexes in November. Overall assets increased by $55.6 billion, or 1.9%. Total assets have increased by $90.1 billion, or 3.1%, over the past 3 months. They've increased by $342.0 billion, or 12.9%, over the past 12 months through November 30, 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 2016, and in February and April 2017. 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 November were Fidelity, whose MMFs rose by $9.7 billion, or 1.7%, BlackRock, whose MMFs rose by $9.4 billion, or 3.5%, and Morgan Stanley, whose MMFs rose by $8.9 billion, or 8.2%.

JPMorgan, Western, Deutsche, Wells Fargo, and Vanguard, also saw assets increase in November, rising by $5.2B, $3.9B, $3.7B, and $3.7B, $2.3B, respectively. Declines among the 25 largest managers were seen by Federated, HSBC and PNC. (Our domestic U.S. "Family" rankings are available in our MFI XLS product, our global rankings are available in our MFI International product, and the combined "Family & Global Rankings" are available to Money Fund Wisdom subscribers.) We review these market share totals below, and we also look at money fund yields the past month, which increased in November.

Over the past year through Nov. 30, 2017, Fidelity (up $104.7B, or 22.6%), Vanguard (up $83.4B, or 40.8%), Dreyfus (up $34.0B, or 23.6%), and T Rowe Price (up $22.8B, or 143.0%) were the largest gainers. (All of these families' totals but Dreyfus' were inflated by the addition of new funds earlier this year.) These 1-year gainers were followed by Prudential (up $14.0B, or 2220.7%), Columbia (up $13.2B, or 913.5%), Northern (up $11.4B, or 12.1%) and Invesco (up $9.0B, or 16.1%).

Fidelity, Vanguard, Wells Fargo, and BlackRock had the largest money fund asset increases over the past 3 months, rising by $14.1B, $13.1B, $11.8B, and $10.6B, respectively. The biggest decliners over 12 months include: Goldman Sachs (down $23.6B, or -12.2%), Morgan Stanley (down $16.1B, or -12.1%), Federated (down $4.7B, or -2.4%), and Western (down $4.5B, or -13.1%).

Our latest domestic U.S. Money Fund Family Rankings show that Fidelity Investments remains the largest money fund manager with $567.7 billion, or 19.0% of all assets. It was up $9.7 billion in Nov., up $14.1 billion over 3 mos., and up $104.7B over 12 months. Vanguard is second with $287.9 billion, or 9.6% market share (up $2.3B, up $13.1B, and up $83.4B for the past 1-month, 3-mos. and 12-mos., respectively), while BlackRock is third with $280.7 billion, or 9.4% market share (up $9.4B, up $10.6B, and up $32.3B). JP Morgan ranked fourth with $257.1 billion, or 8.6% of assets (up $5.2B, up $8.9B, and up $6.2B for the past 1-month, 3-mos. and 12-mos., respectively), while Federated was ranked fifth with $189.4 billion, or 6.3% of assets (down $1.3B, down $913M, and down $4.7B).

Dreyfus was in sixth place with $178.1 billion, or 6.0% of assets (up $963M, up $2.8B, and up $34.0B), while Goldman Sachs was in seventh place with $169.7 billion, or 5.7% (up $206M, down $126M, and down $23.6B). Schwab ($158.4B, or 5.3%) was in eighth place, followed by Morgan Stanley in ninth place ($117.1B, or 3.9%) and Wells Fargo in tenth place ($111.1B, or 3.7%).

The eleventh through twentieth largest U.S. money fund managers (in order) include: Northern ($105.0B, or 3.5%), SSGA ($84.4B, or 2.8%), Invesco ($65.0B, or 2.2%), First American ($49.2B, or 1.6%), UBS ($44.1B, or 1.5%), T Rowe Price ($38.7B, or 1.3%), Western ($30.0B, or 1.0%), Deutsche ($26.5B, or 0.9%), DFA ($25.3B, or 0.8%), and Franklin ($22.7B, or 0.8%). The 11th through 20th ranked managers are the same as last month, except Western and Deutsche moved ahead of DFA. Crane Data currently tracks 66 U.S. MMF managers, the same number as last month.

When European and "offshore" money fund assets -- those domiciled in places like Ireland, Luxembourg, and the Cayman Islands -- are included, the top 10 managers match the U.S. list, except JPMorgan moves ahead of Vanguard and BlackRock, BlackRock moves ahead of Vanguard, Goldman Sachs moves ahead of Federated and Dreyfus, Dreyfus moves ahead of Federated, and Northern moves ahead Wells Fargo.

Looking at our Global Money Fund Manager Rankings, the combined market share assets of our MFI XLS (domestic U.S.) and our MFI International ("offshore") products, the largest money market fund families include: Fidelity ($576.5 billion), JP Morgan ($433.8B), BlackRock ($415.4B), Vanguard ($287.9B), and Goldman Sachs ($272.3B). Dreyfus/BNY Mellon ($202.7B) was sixth and Federated ($198.6B) was in seventh, followed by Schwab ($158.4B), Morgan Stanley ($151.9B), and Northern ($133.3B), which round out the top 10. These totals include "offshore" US Dollar money funds, as well as Euro and Pound Sterling (GBP) funds converted into US dollar totals.

The December issue of our Money Fund Intelligence and MFI XLS, with data as of 11/30/17, shows that yields were up in November across our Taxable Crane Money Fund Indexes. The Crane Money Fund Average, which includes all taxable funds covered by Crane Data (currently 755), was up 3 bps to 0.75% for the 7-Day Yield (annualized, net) Average, and the 30-Day Yield was up 2 bps to 0.73%. The MFA's Gross 7-Day Yield increased 3 bps to 1.19%, while the Gross 30-Day Yield was up 2 bps to 1.17%.

Our Crane 100 Money Fund Index shows an average 7-Day (Net) Yield of 0.93% (up 3 bps) and an average 30-Day Yield of 0.92% (up 3 bps). The Crane 100 shows a Gross 7-Day Yield of 1.19% (up 3 bps), and a Gross 30-Day Yield of 1.19% (up 3 bps). For the 12 month return through 11/30/17, our Crane MF Average returned 0.50% and our Crane 100 returned 0.68%. The total number of funds, including taxable and tax-exempt, decreased to 956, down 2 from last month. There are currently 755 taxable and 201 tax-exempt money funds.

Our Prime Institutional MF Index (7-day) yielded 1.00% (up 2 bps) as of November 30, while the Crane Govt Inst Index was 0.81% (up 5 bps) and the Treasury Inst Index was 0.85% (up 6 bps). Thus, the spread between Prime funds and Treasury funds is 15 basis points, down 4 bps from last month, while the spread between Prime funds and Govt funds is 19 basis points, down 3 bps from last month. The Crane Prime Retail Index yielded 0.79% (up one bp), while the Govt Retail Index yielded 0.49% (up 3 bps) and the Treasury Retail Index was 0.57% (up 5 bps). The Crane Tax Exempt MF Index yield increased to 0.50% (up 3 bps).

Gross 7-Day Yields for these indexes in November were: Prime Inst 1.36% (up 2 bps), Govt Inst 1.12% (up 4 bps), Treasury Inst 1.14% (up 6 bps), Prime Retail 1.35% (up 3 bps), Govt Retail 1.10% (up 2 bps), and Treasury Retail 1.14% (up 5 bps). The Crane Tax Exempt Index increased 2 basis points to 0.99%. The Crane 100 MF Index returned on average 0.08% for 1-month, 0.22% for 3-month, 0.65% for YTD, 0.68% for 1-year, 0.30% for 3-years (annualized), 0.19% for 5-years, and 0.40% for 10-years. (Contact us if you'd like to see our latest MFI XLS, Crane Indexes or Market Share report.)

Dec 07

The December issue of our flagship Money Fund Intelligence newsletter, which was sent out to subscribers Thursday morning, features the articles: "A Decade Later: Subprime Crisis & StratCash, SIVs, LGIPs," which reviews the 10-year anniversary of the financial crisis and troubles with enhanced cash; "Vanguard's Justin Schwartz Talks Muni Money Markets," which interviews Vanguard's Head of Municipal Money Markets; and, "Signs of Life in Tax Exempt Money Fund Sector Too," which reviews the slow rebound and launches in the Muni MMF space. We've also updated our Money Fund Wisdom database with Nov. 30, 2017, statistics, and sent out our MFI XLS spreadsheet Thursday a.m. (MFI, MFI XLS and our Crane Index products are all available to subscribers via our Content center.) Our December Money Fund Portfolio Holdings are scheduled to ship Monday, December 11, and our December Bond Fund Intelligence is scheduled to go out Thursday, December 14.

MFI's "Decade After Subprime" article says, "In recent months, we've been marking the 10-year anniversary of the start of the Subprime Liquidity Crisis, which dramatically impacted the money markets and money fund business. While it started in August 2007, the crisis didn't really get serious for money funds until November/December 2007, when SIV bailouts, meltdowns of LGIPs and exploding enhanced cash funds appeared in quick succession. We look back at these tumultuous days of a decade ago, and review some of our coverage at the time. (‚ÄčSee our Nov. 29 News, "Another Look Back at Early Subprime Crisis 10 Years Ago: LGIPs, SIVs," and our Aug. 11 News, "10 Years Ago: Subprime Crisis Starts.")

It continues, "Ten years ago this weekend (on 12/8/07), we wrote the story, "More Enhanced Cash Troubles: Columbia StratCash Halts Redemptions," which told readers, "Market rumors swirled Friday that the largest entrant in the 'enhanced cash' space, Columbia's Strategic Cash had halted redemptions. Enhanced cash pools, or '3c-7' funds, are private placements available to only the largest qualified institutional investors.... Over half of the pool, $21 billion, has been separated into a 'StratCash 2' portfolio, perhaps signaling a very large 'in kind' separation.... StratCash has been gradually declined from $40 billion to $33 billion over the past several weeks. Columbia parent Bank of America reportedly set aside $300 million to support the pool previously.... StratCash becomes the latest enhanced cash product to retreat from the besieged sector."

MFI's latest Profile reads, "This month, MFI interviews Justin Schwartz, Head of Municipal Money Markets at the Vanguard Group. Vanguard is the 2nd largest manager of tax-exempt MMFs (and MMFs overall) with over $29.4 billion ($285.2B overall). Schwartz manages the $17.4 billion Vanguard Municipal Money Market Fund, the largest fund in the tax-exempt space. We discuss supply, credit, liquidity, and several other topics below."

We asked Schwartz to "Give us a little background." He responds, "Vanguard began running tax exempt money market funds in 1980 with the launch of the Vanguard Tax Exempt MMF. At the time we launched, interest rates were in the double digits so it was a much different environment than today. We followed up with the launch of our state funds; most of which [were added] in the late '80s, with our final product being launched in 1997. So we've been managing tax exempt money funds for coming up on four decades."

He continues, "In terms of my background, I joined the fixed income group of Vanguard in 2005 as a trader with our long-term bond funds. Subsequently, I joined the short-term municipal team in 2008, [which was] a challenging time to start a career in the money market space. But the lessons learned during the financial crisis are invaluable with regards to shaping my perspective on the proper ways to manage risk and liquidity in money market portfolios."

Schwartz adds, "I was promoted to fund manager in 2010 and most recently became head of the municipal short desk in 2016 following Pam Tynan's retirement. Along the way I've managed several of our state specific money funds. I currently manage our Vanguard Municipal Money Market and also Vanguard Short Term Tax Exempt Fund. My team consists of three portfolio managers and six traders. In addition to the money funds, we manage all the cash investments for our muni bond funds." (Watch for more excerpts from this "profile" later this month, or ask us to see the latest MFI.)

Our "Signs of Life in Tax Exempt" article says, "While they haven't seen the rebound that Prime money market funds have over the past year, Tax Exempt money market funds too are showing some signs of life after being left for dead following last year's money fund reforms. Year-to-date, Tax Exempt MMF assets have increased by $2.0 billion, or 1.5%, to $134.5 billion, and the number of funds appears to be stabilizing. Even the Tax Exempt Institutional sector, which was abandoned by all but 9 of the remaining 17 managers in the space, has seen some interest, as JPMorgan and Fidelity file to launch new funds here."

MFI quotes a recent, Ignites article entitled, "Green Shoots? Fidelity, JPMorgan Register Muni Money Funds," who writes, "Fidelity and JPMorgan each registered an institutional municipal money market fund in November, bucking the trend in recent years of liquidating such products or converting them to government or retail strategies. The plans to launch the products may indicate rekindled interest among institutional investors for municipal money funds, says Peter Crane, CEO of money fund tracking firm Crane Data. Clients of both firms presumably pressed the shops for the new products, says Crane."

They comment, "Fidelity, the largest manager of money funds, filed for the Fidelity SAI Municipal Money Market Fund, which will be offered 'exclusively to certain clients of the advisor or its affiliates,' according to the preliminary prospectus. Fidelity'Strategic Advisers Inc. unit oversees managed accounts.... Meanwhile, JPMorgan filed for an Institutional Tax-Free Money Market Fund. The preliminary prospectus is dated 2018, but does not include a specific launch date. The total expense ratio, after fee waivers and reimbursements, is 26 basis points. The investment minimum to establish an account is $5 million, the filing states."

Ignites adds, "The 2014 reforms, which required firms to classify funds as retail or institutional depending on their investor base, mandated that institutional prime and municipal funds adopt fluctuating net asset values and have the ability to impose liquidity fees and redemption gates. Many investors responded by yanking their money from institutional prime and municipal products and moving it to government ones, which were allowed to maintain a stable net asset value and don't operate under the specter of liquidity fees and redemption gates.... Firms that opted to offer institutional municipal money funds include BlackRock, Federated, Wells Fargo and Invesco."

Our December MFI XLS, with Nov. 30, 2017, data, shows total assets increased $46.4 billion in November to $2.988 trillion after decreasing $2.2 billion in October, increasing $32.0 billion in September and $68 billion in August, and decreasing $32.6 billion in July. Our broad Crane Money Fund Average 7-Day Yield was up 4 basis points to 0.75% during the month, while our Crane 100 Money Fund Index (the 100 largest taxable funds) was up 3 bps to 0.93%.

On a Gross Yield Basis (7-Day) (before expenses were taken out), the Crane MFA rose 3 bps to 1.19% and the Crane 100 rose 3 bps to 1.21%. Charged Expenses averaged 0.45% and 0.28% (unchanged) for the Crane MFA and Crane 100, respectively. The average WAM (weighted average maturity) for the Crane MFA was 29 days (down one day from last month) and for the Crane 100 was 29 days (down one from last month). (See our Crane Index or craneindexes.xlsx history file for more on our averages.)

Dec 04

Crane Data, which publishes the Money Fund Intelligence newsletter and produces Money Fund Symposium, the largest annual gathering of money fund and money market professionals, invites you to join us for our second annual Bond Fund Symposium conference. Crane's Bond Fund Symposium will be held March 22-23, 2018 at the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown. Our first event last year in Boston attracted 150 bond fund managers, marketers, fixed-income issuers, investors and service providers, and we expect our LA show to be even bigger. We review the preliminary agenda and details below, and we also give an update on our 2018 conference calendar, including next month's Money Fund University in Boston (1/18-19/18). (As a reminder, please make hotel reservations soon if you plan on attending MFU.)

Crane Data, which is celebrating the third anniversary of its Bond Fund Intelligence publication and BFI XLS bond fund information service and benchmarks, continues to expand its fixed income fund product offerings. We recently launched Bond Fund Wisdom, a product suite which includes our new Bond Fund Portfolio Holdings data. Our Bond Fund Symposium offers a concentrated and affordable educational experience, as well as an excellent and informal networking venue. Registration for Bond Fund Symposium is $750; exhibit space is $2,000 (includes 2 tickets); and sponsorship opportunities are $3K, $4K, $5K and $6K. Our mission is to deliver the best possible conference content at an affordable price to bond fund professionals and investors.

The morning of BFS's Day One agenda includes: State of the Bond Fund Marketplace, with Peter Crane, of Crane Data and Sean Collins of the Investment Company Institute; Keynote Discussion: Ultra-Shorts vs. SMAs with Dave Martucci of J.P. Morgan Asset Management and Jerome Schneider of PIMCO; Bond Strategists: Outlook for Rates & Spreads, with Mark Cabana of Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Michael Cloherty of RBC Capital Markets; and, Bond Fund Ratings & USBF Market Overview, with Greg Fayvilevich of Fitch Ratings and Peter Rizzo of Standard & Poor's Ratings.

Day One's afternoon agenda includes Senior Portfolio Manager Perspectives, with James McNerny of J.P. Morgan A.M., Morten Olsen of Northern Trust Asset Mgmt, and Mary Beth Syal of Payden & Rygel. Also on the agenda: Major Issues in Fixed-Income Investing with Alex Roever from J.P. Morgan Securities as moderator, Jeff Weaver of Wells Fargo Funds and Tony Wong of Invesco; and, EFT Trends & Bond Fund Investors featuring James Meyers of Invesco PowerShares. The day concludes with Corporate Credit & Index Fund Issues, with George Bory of Wells Fargo Securities.

Day Two's agenda includes: Money Fund Update & Conservative USBFs with Crane and Michael Morin of Fidelity Investments; Regulatory Update: Form N-PORT, Liquidity with Stephen Cohen of Dechert LLP and John Hunt of Sullivan & Worcester LLP. The second day also features: Government Bond Fund Discussion with Sue Hill of Federated Investors; Municipal Bond Fund Issues with Kristian Lind of Neuberger Berman. (Note: The agenda is still in flux and some speakers have yet to confirm their participation.)

Portfolio managers, analysts, investors, issuers, service providers, and anyone interested in expanding their knowledge of bond funds and fixed-income investing will benefit from our comprehensive program. A block of rooms has been reserved at the Intercontinental Los Angeles. We'd like to thank our 2017 sponsors -- Fitch Ratings, Federated Investors, Fidelity Investments, J.P. Morgan Asset Management, Wells Fargo, Invesco, S&P Global Ratings, INTL FCStone, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, PIMCO, Payden & Rygel, Investortools, Barclays, State Street Global Advisors, and S&P Dow Jones Indices -- for their support, and we're still accepting sponsors for our 2018 show. E-mail Pete Crane for more details.

Crane Data is also making final preparations and still accepting registrations for our "basic training" Money Fund University. Our eighth annual MFU will be held at the Boston Hyatt Regency in Boston, Massachusetts, January 18-19, 2018. Crane's Money Fund University is designed for those new to the money market fund industry or those in need of a concentrated refresher on the basics. The event also focuses on hot topics like money market regulations, money fund alternatives, offshore markets, and other recent industry trends. For those attending, please make hotel reservations soon; our discounted room rates expire December 20th or until our room block is filled.

Note: We're introducing "free Fridays" for our Money Fund University (and other conferences) and would like to invite anyone in the Boston area to attend the final day sessions without a ticket. So feel free to visit the Boston Hyatt Regency on Friday, January 19, and to "crash" any or all of our sessions, which include Money Fund Regulations, European MMF Reforms, Ultra-Short Bond Funds & SMAs, and Money Fund Data & Wisdom Training.

Finally, mark your calendars for our "big show," Money Fund Symposium, which will be held June 25-27, 2018, at the Westin Convention Center in Pittsburgh, Pa. Watch for the preliminary agenda in coming weeks at and let us know if you'd like more details on sponsoring this event. We have also set the dates and location for our next European Money Fund Symposium, which is scheduled for Sept. 20-21, 2018, in London, England. Watch for more details in early 2018.... We wish all of our readers a Happy Holiday season, and we hope to see you at one of our events in 2018!