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March 2021

Highlights

  • European-domiciled ETFs recorded their twelfth straight month of net inflows; $19.8 billion in March1.
  • Equity ETFs continued to lead, taking in a total of $23.0 billion of new funds.
  • Fixed income ETFs suffered outflows, of -$3.6 billion, having previously seen five consecutive months of net inflows.

European-domiciled ETFs finished the first quarter of 2021 with a twelfth consecutive month of net inflows. The market attracted $19.8 billion in March as risk assets were buoyed by the prospect of new fiscal stimulus measures in the US. Equity ETF exposures saw inflows of $23.0 billion; however, fixed income ETFs experienced net outflows of -$3.6 billion. For the first quarter overall, equity ETF inflows totaled $52.6 billion, while fixed income ETF inflows amounted to $4.9 billion.

Within equities, smart beta ETF strategies saw the largest inflows in March, with $8.6 billion. Sustainable equity ETF strategies also benefitted from inflows in March ($4.8 billion), led by US ($1.9 billion) exposures, with world ($1.0 billion), Japanese ($0.6 billion) and emerging markets ($0.4 billion) experiencing inflows too. Sector equity ETF strategies saw net inflows of $4.7 billion during the month.

In fixed income, corporate bond ETFs led the outflows (-$3.4 billion), while government bond (-$0.7 billion) and high-yield (-$0.3 billion) exposures also experienced negative net flows. Inflation-linked bonds and global aggregate bond exposures, however, both saw inflows in March, with $0.6 billion and $0.4 billion respectively.

Vanguard UCITS ETFs

The Vanguard UCITS range captured inflows of $1.8 billion, including $1.2 billion in equity ETFs and $0.6 billion in fixed income products. Equity ETF flows were mainly into the Vanguard FTSE 250 UCITS ETF (+$0.6 billion), the Vanguard FTSE All-World UCITS ETF ($0.4 billion) and the Vanguard FTSE Japan UCITS ETF ($0.2 billion). Fixed income flows went largely to the Vanguard Global Aggregate Bond UCITS ETF ($0.4 billion), the Vanguard Emerging Markets Government Bond UCITS ETF ($0.1 billion) and the Vanguard Eurozone Government Bond UCITS ETF ($0.1 billion).

 

1 Source: Vanguard, ETFbook as at 31 March 2021. Data extracted on 8 April 2021.

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