Worldwide Mutual Fund Assets Improve in Q1

August 24, 2004 ( - Mutual fund assets worldwide rose 3.6% in the first quarter of 2004.

Asset growth was boosted by positive stock market returns in almost all reporting countries and the net flow of new investments. Net cash flow to all funds worldwide increased from $74 billion in the fourth quarter of 2003 to $246 billion in the first quarter of 2004. Worldwide, total mutual fund assets equaled $14.46 trillion at the end of the first quarter , according to statistics compiled by the Investment Company Institute (ICI).

Assets of equity funds increased 5.8% during the first three months of the year, reaching $6.2 trillion. The bulk of the inflow occurred in the Americas, where flows amounted to $90 billion in the first quarter of 2004 after gaining $66 billion in the fourth quarter of 2003.

Also increasing were assets of balanced/mixed funds, up 3.2% with net inflows of $36 billion, and money market funds, up 4.2% helped by the fund reclassification in Luxembourg of many bond funds into money market funds.   However, the reclassification hurt bond fund assets, which fell 1.8% in the first.

At the end of the first quarter, assets of equity funds represented 43% of all worldwide mutual fund assets. The asset share of money market funds was 23%, while that of bond funds was 20%. Balanced/mixed funds represented 9% of the total.

ICI compiles worldwide statistics on behalf of the International Investment Funds Association, an organization of national mutual fund associations. The collection for the first quarter of 2004 contains statistics from 39 countries.   The complete statistics are available at .