EUROPE - The total assets of the European investment fund market rise by 6.9% in the second quarter, and the trend is positive for the future, says investment fund body Fefsi.

The Fédération Européenne des Fonds et Sociétés d'Investissement said the increase added 290 billion euros to the assets of UCITS I and other nationally regulated types of investment funds.

“The increase was driven by the upturn of worldwide stock markets and the rebound in equity fund demand,” Fefsi said. The strong second quarter helped to take the first-half result to a 5.8% increase - after a 3.8% fall in the first quarter.

“We knew the first quarter was slow in terms of net inflows and equity funds - at the end of the day there was not much growth in the first quarter,” said Bernard Delbecque, senior economic advisor at Fefsi. “But now we’ve got really good growth.”

He said investors were more confident and that the outlook for the third quarter is good, judging by July data. “I think the trend is positive.”

Delbecque said the strong performance took place across Europe and was not only positive for investors but for fund management companies as well, who will benefit from the inflows.

Three countries, France, Luxembourg and Germany, still dominate the industry – taking a global market share of 59%. Italy and the UK are next.

Brussels-based Fefsi is the pan-European umbrella organisation of the investment funds industry. It is currently undergoing merger talks with the European Asset Management Association.