As a $1.3-billion influx of assets into Canadian ETFs helped the space reach nearly $170 billion in AUM last month, the larger mutual-fund industry saw its own net flows reverse course into positive territory.
According to the latest monthly fund statistics from the Investment Funds Institute of Canada (IFIC), mutual funds saw net sales of $4.126 billion in February. The vast majority of dollars flowed into long-term funds ($4.06 billion), with the balance going to money market funds.
Balanced funds experienced $1.645 billion in inflows from investors; though much less compared to the $4.538 billion in net sales logged a year earlier, it marks a remarkable turnaround from the $1.692 billion in redemptions in January. Meanwhile, equity fund net sales slowed down month-on-month from $584 million to $54 million, while bond funds saw net sales pick up from $1.18 billion to $1.919 billion. Specialty funds saw a more modest increase from $356 million to $442 million in net sales.
“Mutual fund assets totalled $1.51 trillion at the end of February 2019,” the IFIC reported. The lion’s share was in long-term funds, which had $1.479 trillion, while money-market funds held a comparatively modest $27 billion. Balanced fund assets increased from $759 billion in January to $773.3 billion in February; over the same period, equity assets rose from $485 billion to $500.3 billion, while bond fund assets ticked upward from $183.6 billion to $186.6 billion. Specialty fund assets also rose slightly from $18.6 billion to $19.3 billion.
Turning to ETFs, the report indicated an increase in net sales for balanced funds, from $136 million in January to $174 million last month. Equity fund sales saw a more marked rise from $301 million to $555 million; bond fund sales went from $386 million to $480 million, while net sales for specialty funds rose sharply from $34 million to $118 million.
ETF assets amounted to a total of $169 billion at the end of February. In terms of net assets, equity ETFs dominated with $107.7 billion in aggregate. Bond ETFs followed with $53.7 billion, while balanced funds and specialty funds had a meager $3.1 billion and $2.6 billion, respectively. Money-market ETF assets amounted to $1.9 billion.
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