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Worldwide mutual fund assets top $16 trillion

Date: Monday, May 2, 2005
Author: Reuters

Worldwide mutual fund assets grew 14 percent in 2004, topping $16 trillion for the first time, the Investment Company Institute said on Monday.

The ICI, a trade and lobbying group for the U.S. fund industry, compiles the global statistics for the International Investment Funds Association, an organization of national mutual fund associations.

For the fourth quarter of 2004, fund assets grew about 10 percent to $16.1 trillion, reflecting rising stock markets in nearly all of the 40 nations reporting data.

Investors added a net $165 billion in the quarter, up from $22 billion in the third third quarter.

Worldwide assets of stock mutual funds were $7.2 trillion at the end of 2004, up 13.7 percent from the end of the third quarter. Stock funds took in a net $100 billion in new investor money, up from $40 billion during the third quarter.

Bond fund assets increased 8.6 percent to $3.3 trillion. The bond funds took in a net $43 billion in the fourth quarter, with all all regions reporting inflows.

Money market funds assets rose 3.4 percent to $3.3 trillion, despite small net outflows of $10 billion. Most of the the outflows occurred in Europe, with France, Germany and Italy reporting combined outflows of $21 billion.

At the end of 2003, the stock funds accounted for 45 percent of worldwide mutual fund assets. Money market funds were 21 percent of the total. Bond funds were 20 percent, balanced and mixed fund accounted for 9 percent, and other categories and unclassified accounted for 5 percent.

Of the total assets, 55 percent were in the Americas, 34 percent in Europe and 11 percent in Africa and Asia/Pacific.

There were 54,986 mutual funds worldwide at the end of 2004, up from 54,570 at the end of 2003.