February 17, 2019

Monday Morning Memo: Review of the European ETF Market, January 2018

by Detlef Glow.

The promoters of ETFs in Europe enjoyed net inflows for January. These inflows led, in combination with a positive performance of the underlying markets, to increased assets under management in the European ETF industry. In more detail, the assets under management in the European ETF industry increased from €633.1 bn as of December 31, 2018, to €675.1 bn at the end of January. The increase of €42.0 bn for January was driven by the performance of the underlying markets (+€34.1 bn), while net sales contributed inflows of €7.9 bn to assets under management in the European ETF segment.

With regard to the overall number of products, it was not surprising that equity funds (€469.9 bn) held the majority of the assets, followed by bond funds (€175.6 bn), commodity products (€18.6 bn), “other” funds (€5.2 bn), money market funds (€4.3 bn), mixed-asset funds (€1.0 bn), and alternative UCITS products (€0.4 bn).

Graph 1: Market Share, Assets Under Management in the European ETF Segment by Asset Type, January 31, 2019

European ETF Market Review, January 2019

Source: Lipper at Refinitiv

Fund Flows by Asset Type

After below average net inflows for December, the net inflows in the European ETF industry for January (+€7.9 bn) were above the monthly rolling 12-month average (+€3.2 bn). The inflows into ETFs signaled investors’ return to the markets, as stock markets globally recovered over the course of January. That said, it was surprising bond ETFs were the asset type with the highest net inflows (+€6.8 bn), followed by equity ETFs (+€1.4 bn), ’other’ ETFs (+€0.04 bn), and alternative UCITS ETFs (+€0.03 bn). Conversely, commodity ETFs (-€0.2 bn) faced the highest outflows, bettered by money market ETFs (-€0.2 bn) and mixed-asset ETFs (-€0.004 bn).

This flow pattern drove the overall net flows to +€7.9 bn for 2019.

Graph 2: Estimated Net Sales, January 2019 (Euro Millions)

European ETF Market Review, January 2019

Source: Lipper at Refinitiv

Assets Under Management by Lipper Global Classifications

With regard to the Lipper global classifications, the European ETF market was split into 159 different peer groups. The highest assets under management at the end of January were held by funds classified as Equity US (€121.4 bn), followed by Equity Global (€62.1 bn), Equity Eurozone (€48.3 bn), Equity Emerging Markets Global (€37.3 bn), and Equity Europe (€37.0 bn). These five peer groups accounted for 45.34% of the overall assets under management in the European ETF segment, while the ten top classifications by assets under management accounted for 58.82%. Overall, 19 of the 159 peer groups each accounted for more than 1% of the assets under management. In total, these 19 peer groups accounted for €484.6 bn, or 71.78%, of the overall assets under management. In addition, it was noteworthy that the rankings of the largest peer groups were quite stable, indicating European investors use the funds from these peer groups as core holdings and not just as so-called satellites that are bought and sold frequently to implement asset allocation views in investors’ portfolios. These numbers showed that assets under management in the European ETF industry continued to be highly concentrated.

Graph 3: Ten Top Lipper Global Classifications by Assets Under Management, January 30, 2019 (Euro Millions)

European ETF Market Review, January 2019

Source: Lipper at Refinitiv

The peer groups on the other side of the table showed some funds in the European ETF market are quite low in assets and risk being closed in the near future. They are obviously lacking investor interest and might, therefore, not be profitable for the respective fund promoters (Please read our report: “Is there a consolidation ahead in the European ETF industry?” for more details on this topic.)

Graph 4: Ten Smallest Lipper Global Classifications by Assets Under Management, January 30, 2019 (Euro Millions)

European ETF Market Review, January 2019

Source: Lipper at Refinitiv

Fund Flows by Lipper Global Classifications

With regard to the overall sales for January, it was not surprising bond funds (+€5.4 bn) dominated the table of the ten best-selling peer groups by net flows and with regard to the peer group count (seven). Despite the leading position of bonds, the best-selling Lipper global classification for January was Equity Emerging Markets Global (+€2.1 bn), followed by Bond Emerging Markets Global Hard Currencies (+€1.7 bn) and Bond USD (+€0.9 bn).

The net inflows of the ten best-selling Lipper classifications equalled to 107.94% of the overall net inflows. These numbers showed the European ETF segment is also highly concentrated with regard to fund flows by sectors. Generally speaking, one would expect the flows into ETFs to be concentrated, since investors often use ETFs to implement their market views and short-term asset allocation decisions. These products are made, and therefore are easy to use, for these purposes.

Graph 5: Ten Best and Worst Selling Lipper Global Classifications by Estimated Net Sales, January 2019 (Euro Millions)

 European ETF Market Review, January 2019

Source: Lipper at Refinitiv

On the other side of the table, the ten peer groups with the highest net outflows for January accounted for €4.4 bn of outflows. Equity US (-€1.6 bn) faced the highest net outflows, bettered by Equity Eurozone (-€0.7 bn) and Equity Sector Financials (-€0.4 bn).

Assets Under Management by Promoters

A closer look at the assets under management in the European ETF industry by promoters also showed high concentration, since only 19 of the 53 ETF promoters in Europe held assets at or above €1.0 bn each. The largest ETF promoter in Europe—iShares (€313.9 bn)—accounted for 46.50% of the overall assets under management, far ahead of the number-two promoter—Xtrackers (€72.8 bn)—and the number-three promoter—Lyxor ETF (€64.2 bn). (To learn more about the concentration of the European ETF market at the promoter level, please read our report: Spotlight on the concentration at the promoter level in the European ETF industry)

Graph 6: Ten Top ETF Promoters by Assets Under Management, January 30, 2019 (Euro Millions)

European ETF Market Review, January 2019

Source: Lipper at Refinitiv

The ten top promoters accounted for 93.14% of the overall assets under management in the European ETF industry. This meant, in turn, the other 43 fund promoters registering at least one ETF for sale in Europe accounted for only 6.86% of the overall assets under management.

Fund Flows by Promoters

Since the European ETF market is highly concentrated, it was not surprising that six of the ten largest promoters by assets under management were among the ten top selling ETF promoters for January. iShares was the best-selling ETF promoter in Europe for January (+€5.1 bn), well ahead of Amundi ETF (+€1.4 bn) and Invesco (+€0.7 bn).

Graph 7: Ten Best Selling ETF Promoters, January 2019 (Euro Millions)

 European ETF Market Review, January 2019

Source: Lipper at Refinitiv

Since the flows of the ten top promoters accounted for 109.70% of the overall estimated net flows into ETFs in Europe for January, it was clear that some of the 53 promoters (20) faced net outflows (-€0.8 bn in total) over the course of January.

Assets Under Management by Funds

There were 2,728 instruments (primary funds and convenience share classes) listed as ETFs in the Lipper database at the end of January. With regard to the overall market pattern, it was not surprising the assets under management at the ETF level were also highly concentrated. Only 151 of the 2,728 instruments held assets above €1.0 bn each. These products accounted for €402.7 bn, or 59.65%, of the overall assets in the European ETF industry. The ten largest ETFs in Europe accounted for €111.2 bn, or 16.48%, of the overall assets under management. (Please read our study: Is the European ETF industry dominated by only a few funds? to learn more about the concentration at the single-fund level in the European ETF industry.)

Graph 8: Ten Largest ETFs by Assets Under Management, January 31, 2019 (Euro Millions)

European ETF Market Review, January 2019

Source: Lipper at Refinitiv

ETF Flows by Funds

A total of 920 of the 2,728 instruments analyzed in this report showed net inflows of more than €10,000 each for January, accounting for €21.3 bn, or 269.52% of the overall net flows. This meant the other 1,808 instruments faced no flows or net outflows for the month. In more detail, only 45 of the 920 ETFs posting net inflows enjoyed inflows of more than €100 m each during January, summing to €10.6 bn. The best-selling ETF for January, PIMCO US Dollar Short Mat Src UCITS ETF USD Inc, accounted for net inflows of €0.6 bn, or 8.12%, of the overall net inflows. It was followed by iShares JP Morgan EM Local Gov Bond UCITS ETF (+€0.6 bn) and iShares J.P. Morgan $ EM Bond UCITS ETF USD (Dist) (+€0.6 bn).

Graph 9: Ten Best Selling ETFs, January 2019 (Euro Millions)

European ETF Market Review, January 2019

Source: Lipper at Refinitiv

The flow pattern at the fund level indicated there was a lot of turnover and rotation during January, but it also showed the concentration of the European ETF industry even better than the statistics at the promoter or classification level. Given its size, it was not surprising that six of the ten best-selling funds for January were promoted by iShares. These accounted for total net inflows of €3.0 bn, or 37.80%, of the net inflows into the European ETF segment.

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