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Assets invested in Swiss funds rise to CHF615bn in September

Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Opalesque Industry Update - As of the end of September 2011, the total volume of assets in the investment funds covered by the statistics compiled by Swiss Fund Data AG and Lipper stood at CHF 614.7 billion, with Swiss funds for institutional investors accounting for some CHF 221.2 billion of this figure. The latter fund category has gained ground of late, and now makes up more than a third of the overall market. Swiss funds for qualified investors accounted for CHF 163 billion, while just under CHF 55 billion was invested in institutional classes of foreign funds authorized for sale in Switzerland. Institutional investors such as pension funds have to continually seek out investments and cannot simply hope for “better times”, and display lower redemptions than retail funds, if at all.

Unit redemptions rose month-on-month in September, driven by fears of a slowdown in the global economy as well as a deterioration in the EUR crisis. At CHF 4.7 billion, outflows hit their highest monthly total since October 2008. Nevertheless, measured in CHF the volume of assets rose by around CHF 3.6 billion, as the Swiss National Bank’s (SNB) intervention to effectively peg the CHF to the EUR led to an appreciation of all funds denominated in foreign currencies, in particular money market and bond funds. After all, of the total volume on the Swiss fund market, only 48% are denominated in CHF with the other 52% being in foreign currencies, the EUR alone accounting for 26% and the USD 22%.

The SNB’s intervention also meant that equity funds were spared more serious losses in CHF terms, this despite asset withdrawals in the region of CHF 2 billion. By way of comparison, the MSCI World TR Index lost 8.6% in USD terms in September but gained 3.0% in CHF.

Only a few fund categories – such as commodities and precious metals funds, Money Market CHF, and Bond Global Corporates – were able to attract modest amounts of new money. As a result of the slump in precious metals prices, the assets of other funds fell by around CHF 1.9 billion, excluding net asset flows. “This trend confirms the extent of the nervousness among retail investors. With the uncertainty on the markets having exacerbated further, their sense of helplessness increases – and they are apparently are seeking only the safest havens possible for their savings,” said Dr. Matthäus Den Otter, CEO of the Swiss Funds Association SFA. Corporate website: Source

- FG

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