ICI: Worldwide Fund Assets Up 14.3% in 2004

May 2, 2005 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Assets at mutual funds worldwide grew 14.3% at year-end 2004 after a strong fourth quarter that saw a 9.7% advance, according to the Investment Company Institute (ICI).

An ICI news release said the 2004 asset total was $16.06 trillion, up from the $14.05 trillion at the end of 2003. ICI said net cash flow worldwide in the final qauarter was reported at $165 billion compared with $22 billion during the previous quarter. Also stock market price indices rose in almost every reporting nation in the fourth quarter.

According to the ICI data, equity, bond, and balanced funds all saw asset increases in 2004 boosted by strong market performance and positive cash flows. Worldwide equity fund assets were at $7.2 trillion at the end of the fourth quarter of 2004, up 13.7% from the previous three-month period. New net equity cash flow worldwide was $100 billion in the fourth quarter, compared with $40 billion in the third quarter, ICI said. The Americas reported net equity inflows of $59 billion during the 2004 fourth quarter, while Europe reported $27 billion, and Asian/Pacific and African regions $14 billion.

ICI said that assets of balanced funds were up 13.1% in the final 2004 quarter with reported $24 billion in net inflows.

Worldwide, bond fund assets were up 8.6% in the 2004 fourth quarter, boosted in part by a net inflow of $43 billion, ICI said. During the October to December period, all regions reported bond inflows.

Finally, money market fund assets worldwide bumped up by 3.4% in the 2004 fourth quarter, despite small net outflows of $10 billion in the quarter.