EUROPE - Global investment fund assets declined 1.6% at the end of the second quarter - though the fall was "moderated" by the weakness of the US dollar, according to data compiled by the European investment fund industry's umbrella organisation Fefsi.

The report by the Brussels-based European Federation of Funds and Investment Companies found that investment funds worldwide stood at 11.65 trillion dollars (11.52 trillion euros) at the end of the second quarter of 2002 - down from 11.84 trillion dollars at the end of the first quarter. At the end of the second-quarter 2001, the comparable figure was 11.62 trillion dollars.

"The second-quarter decline in assets was moderated by weakness in the US dollar," the organisation said. In local currency terms, 25 out of the 36 countries which reported data had lower assets in the quarter, yet only eight countries posted lower dollar-valued assets, it said. The dollar's fall in the period "converted non-dollar-denominated assets in many countries into higher dollar values".

Total European assets known as undertakings for collective investment in transferable securities - or UCITS - measured in euros dropped by 6.6% in the period, though they rose in dollar terms by 220 billion dollars to 3,463 billion dollars.

Meanwhile, mutual fund assets in the US fell by 6.1% to 6,631 billion dollars, from 7,062 billion dollars at the end of the first quarter.

Assets of equity funds fell 8.0% in the period to 4,864 billion dollars, from 5,285 billion dollars in the prior quarter. Bond funds posted a 6.2% gain to 2,358 billion dollars. Money market and balanced/mixed funds rose 1.8% and 0.7% respectively.

The report also found that assets of equity funds represented 42% of all worldwide investment fund assets. Money market funds had a 26% share, bond funds 20%, mixed/balanced 8% and other/uncassified 4%. Forty-four per cent of the total 52,428 funds worldwide were equity funds, while bond funds accounted for 21%.