As of the end of the first quarter of 2020, Austrian investment funds managed assets of around € 174 billion1. In the first three months of the year fund assets fell by -10.6% or € 20.7 billion in absolute terms, due in particular to the particularly strong turbulence in the capital markets as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic at the end of the quarter. Of this amount, € 2.2 billion was due to a net outflow of funds, with the rest attributable to a fall in value. Broken down by investment strategy the losses of the 328 equity funds of -26.0% (to € 24.4 billion), the 1,114 mixed funds of -8.4% (to € 76.5 billion) and the 435 bond funds of -8.1% (to € 57.1 billion) were the highest. In this difficult situation, the 53 short-term bond funds -1.8% (€ 5.9 billion), the 18 real estate funds +0.3% (€ 9.4 billion), as well as the 33 private equity funds (€ 0.6 billion) and the 39 other funds (€ 0.4 billion) which both stayed roughly unchanged, were the most resilient. These are the findings of the FMA’s Report on Asset Management for Q1 2020, which was published today.
“Asset managers were faced with massive challenges, especially in the month of March, due to the fact that a range of EU countries – also including Austria of course – ordered a the shutting down of financial and corporate life, which triggered turbulence on the stock exchanges,” remarked the FMA’s Executive Directors, Helmut Ettl and Eduard Müller: “The temporary ban on the short selling of shares listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange, which was imposed by the FMA towards the end of the quarter, brought an end to the excessively speculative short selling attacks on the Austrian markets and therefore contributed significantly to the markets settling down again. The net outflow of funds from the previous month was by and large already made good again in April.”
Fewer investment fund management companies, more alternative investment fund managers
As of the reporting date, there were 14 authorised investment fund management companies2 (KAGs) and 51 alternative investment fund managers3 (AIFMs), which had managing 917 Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities (UCITS) and 1,103 Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs). The total number of funds increased by one during the first quarter.
While the number of KAGs has decreased by ten since 2014, the number of AIFMs has increased by eleven during the same period. The number of Austrian UCITS has fallen from 1,100 to 917 during the same period, with AIFs increasing from 1,052 to 1,103. 13 KAGs and five real estate investment fund management companies (Immo-KAGs) also additionally hold an AIFMG licence and are therefore also active as AIFMs. Five providers are active solely on the basis of an AIFMG licence, with 28 merely registered as AIFMs. Furthermore, nine are authorised as managers of European venture capital funds (EuVECAs).
As of the end of the first quarter, 7,495 UCITs (+80) and 1,518 AIFs (+75) from the European Economic Area (EEA) had notified about distribution in Austria. The number of funds from Europe that have been authorised for distribution in Austria has increased by 155 during the current year. Broken down by their country of origin, Luxembourg, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Germany and France are particularly strongly represented.
The complete “FMA Report on Asset Management for the 1st Quarter of 2020” can be downloaded from the FMA Website (in German only) under https://www.fma.gv.at/investmentfonds-und-verwaltungsgesellschaften/quartalsberichte/