By Anita Hawser
BEST PROVIDER OF MONEY MARKET FUNDS
J.P. Morgan Asset Management
In the current economic climate where investors are more cognizant of counterparty risk, highly rated money market funds with sizable assets under management and clear investment strategies are proving popular. As one of the largest asset management firms in the world with $1.25 trillion in assets under management, J.P. Morgan Asset Management is a consistent choice for most investors. In the US it manages a range of dollar-denominated funds with assets totaling $244 billion.
Deutsche’s Managed Euro Fund, which is a prime money market fund with a stable net asset value, is triple-A rated by all three of the major ratings agencies. Its Managed Sterling Fund is also highly rated. DB Advisors, the asset management arm of Deutsche Bank, has responded to client demands for clearer reporting of their liquidity assets. At the annual AFP conference in Boston last year it unveiled enhancements to its reporting capabilities, including country and industry concentration information, as well as breakdowns of liquidity investors’ exposure to eurozone sovereigns and banks.
J.P. Morgan Asset Management
The leading global asset management company says it has the broadest platform of money market funds in Asia. It provides an impressive array of funds denominated in renminbi, Singapore dollar, Japanese yen and Australian dollars. Its RMB money market fund boasts assets of $2 billion, while its yen fund’s assets under management is approximately $5 billion. Its Singapore dollar Liquidity Fund, which is domiciled offshore in Luxembourg, has approximately $1 billion in assets under management.
Bradesco is among Brazil’s largest fund managers. It continues to report strong growth in volume of assets managed, which increased from R$202 billion ($115.2 billion) in 2010 to R$229.4 billion ($130.8 billion) in 2011. In April last year, Moody’s assigned its top investment manager quality rating of MQ1 to the firm based on its management and operational practices. It also boasts strong investment results relative to global benchmarks.
When it comes to assets under management, Nordea is among the largest fund providers in the Nordic region. It operates a number of local-currency-denominated funds, which invest in a range of short-term fixed-income and debt securities issued by governments and private borrowers. According to statistics published by Morningstar, its Swedish Kroner Reserve BP Fund had SEK 1651 million ($245 million) in funds as of December 30, 2011.
CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE
With an extensive footprint across the region encompassing 17 countries, Raiffeisen International describes itself as a CEE “pure play,” as it derives a substantial portion of its revenues from the region. In Bulgaria, Raiffeisen Asset Management, which is a subsidiary of Raffeisenbank Bulgaria, strengthened its position among local asset management firms by increasing its market share to approximately 33%. Raiffeisen also manages two of the biggest funds in Bulgaria—Raiffeisen (Bulgaria) Money Market Fund and Raiffeisen Protected Investment EUR Fund.
According to Fitch Rating’s review of South African money market funds, local funds within its ratings environment typically invest in the most-liquid securities in the market, including bank paper. Most funds in the market are actively managed. Standard Bank’s Corporate Money Market Fund is rated AAA by Fitch and is the second-largest money market fund in South Africa. Standard Bank is among the top two local deposit-taking institutions. Managers of funds that receive a Triple-A rating by agency Fitch Ratings typically have strong track records in fixed-income and short-term investment and robust credit selection.
A previous winner in this category, Banque Misr’s Youm B Youm Money Market Fund is the largest of its kind in the Egyptian market, and continues to grow with more than EGP15 billion ($2.5 billion) in assets under management by November 30, 2011. After a fall in assets under management during the 2007–2008 global financial crisis, Banque Misr’s assets under management returned to growth in 2009. Year-on-year percentage growth in 2011 was 14%. The fund has more than 300,000 clients, and corporate clients make up 40% of total holdings within the fund.