Total sales for the quarter reached €60.7bn with sales in March alone totalling €17bn, buoyed by long only sales of €36bn. The biggest drag on flows was the money market sector which witnessed redemptions of €19bn.
UK investors proved the most enthusiastic fund buyers in March with ex-liquidity sales of €2.4bn, followed closely by the Italians with sales of €2.3bn.
Bond funds were the top selling asset class in March and for the quarter as a whole, with sales of €18bn and €41bn respectively. The March sales were the highest the asset class has enjoyed for nearly five years.
Cross-border sales of bond funds were also strong, with ex-liquidity flows rising by over a third to €25bn. Lipper also notes that managers have been able to capitalise on investors seeking a more specialist fixed income exposure, with investors opting for global and emerging bond funds in almost equal quantities during March.
However, over the whole quarter emerging market bond funds led the field as investors increasingly use these bonds to gain a lower risk exposure to the developing markets.
Equity fund sales in March were also strong, up 16% against sales in February, bringing total equity fund inflows to €26.4bn for the quarter. Within the equity asset class the top selling sector for both March and the quarter was global equities.