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March 18, 2016

Dark Cloud of Outflows Lifts for Loan Funds

by Jeff Tjornehoj.

Have mutual fund investors finally forgiven loan funds? Judging by recent weekly flow data, it seems they have: flows to mutual funds in Lipper’s Loan Participation category turned positive this week (albeit just $34 million) for the first time since July 2015. All told, some $19.8 billion was withdrawn since outflows began in earnest.

What changed? Good performance for one: this week’s inflow is the culmination of four consecutive weeks of positive returns, a streak the group hadn’t seen since May 2015. The declining volume of leveraged finance this year has helped prop up prices as have rebounding oil prices, which have eased cash flow pressures on oil and gas companies and reduced their default risk. Year-to-date, the average mutual fund in the category can boast of a 0.65% return.

loan-flows

Source: Lipper. Mutual Funds Only.

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