The fourth quarter of 2003 saw worldwide mutual fund assets increase $13.96 trillion. Asset growth was boosted by positive stock market returns in almost all reporting countries and the ongoing net flow of new investments. Additionally, net cash flow to all funds worldwide was $74 billion in the last three months with equity funds experiencing strong net cash inflows, according to data complied by the Investment Company Institute (ICI).
As 2003 drew to a close, assets of equity funds represented 42% of all worldwide mutual fund assets. The asset share of money market funds was 23%, while that of bond funds was 22%. Balanced/mixed funds represented 9% of the total. By region, 57% of worldwide assets were in the Americas, 33% were in Europe, and 10% in Africa and Asia/Pacific.
Worldwide assets of equity funds increased 15.5% during the fourth quarter. Overall, equity funds had a worldwide net cash flow of $116 billion. Reflecting net new cash flow into equity funds in the United States, the Americas’ flows amounted to $66 billion in the fourth quarter, followed by European equity fund net inflows rising to $44 billion.
Bond fund assets worldwide increased 3.3% in the fourth quarter of 2003 despite small net outflows. The cash outflow was $4 billion in the fourth quarter, down from a $6 billion inflow in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter of 2003, bond funds in the Americas experienced small net inflows, while the European and Asian/Pacific regions reported outflows from bond funds.