EUROPE - BNP Paribas, the French-headquartered asset manager, managed saw higher inflows at the beginning of this year than the losses it suffered during market turmoil, according to first quarter financial results released today.

Having just secured the takeover the Fortis Belgium and Luxembourg, BNP Paribas now states it will have assets under management of €660bn once completed, unless EC officials reject the merger, while BNP Paribas' AuM to the end of March was €510bn.

More importantly, investor confidence in the firm appeared stronger as it gained net inflows of €13.4bn in the first three months of this year, compared with net outflows of €1.1bn in the same period in 2008.

A further breakdown of its results showed BNP's asset management division had €8.8bn in inflows, primarily as a result of risk-averse investors' shift into short-term money market funds.

Other divisions saw inflows of €4.6bn, which collectively made up for negative performance of €11bn, or 6.9% loss, on investments through recent market turbulence.

More specifically, the firm's assets under management are broken down as €235bn managed by the asset management division - down on the €256bn on 31 March 2009 - along with €165bn on behalf of private banking and personal investors, €8bn through real estate services and €102bn under insurance.

The firm now has assets under custody of €3.37trn compared with €3.6trn at the same time last year, as well we assets under custody of €570bn compared with €744bn in March 2008.

The exact breakdown of assets managed shows approximately 37% is held in money market funds, compared with 34% last year, while just 13% is in equities compared with 15% 12 months ago, 16% is in diversified assets, 18% is in fixed income and 16% is allocated to alternative, structured and index-based investments.

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