April saw strong inflows to the two smallest Nordic fund markets

April is the best month so far this year for the Finnish fund market, driven by net flows from especially three fund managers.
Every year in April, cherry trees blooming attract thousands of visitors to Bispebjerg Cemetary on the outskirts of Copenhagen. | Photo: Jens Dresling/Ritzau Scanpix
Every year in April, cherry trees blooming attract thousands of visitors to Bispebjerg Cemetary on the outskirts of Copenhagen. | Photo: Jens Dresling/Ritzau Scanpix

In April, all Nordic fund markets but the Danish saw strong net inflows. 

Swedish investors keep pouring money into its fund market, despite the country suffering from one of the deepest housing slumps wordwide, and the worst economic contraction in the EU this year, according to OECD forecasts.

In April, the net flow in the Swedish mutual fund market was SEK 13.1bn (EUR 1.1bn) according to figures from the Swedish Investment Fund Association, Fondbolagens Förening. 

SEK 12.1 bn (EUR 1bn) went into Global and Swedish equity funds, while SEK 2.8bn (EUR 243m) went into long-term fixed-income funds, most of which were corporate bond funds. Swedish savers pulled SEK 1.7bn (EUR 147m) out of short-term fixed-income funds and SEK 400m (EUR 34m) from mixed funds. 

”While equity funds and long-term fixed-income funds are seeing new money for the sixth month in a row, there is once again outflow from the less risky short-term fixed-income funds during the month. I think the rapidly rising interest rates on regular savings accounts have become a convenient option for many savers, says Philip Scholtzé, savings economist at the Swedish Investment Fund Association.

The Swedish Fund Association does not disclose data at company level. 

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In April, assets in the Swedish fund market increased by SEK 74.8bn (EUR 6.6bn) to a total of SEK 6416.3 bn (EUR 567.1bn) at the end of the month. Since the beginning of the year, the Swedish fund market has increased by EUR 30.8bn

Investors in the Finnish fund market were also looking optimistic in April, as the market pulled in EUR 708m, the highest net inflow in a month since July 2021, according to the Mutual Fund Report conducted by Investment Research Finland. 

”In April, the Finnish fund market had its most significant inflows when reviewing the beginning of the year 2023. Especially short-term funds more than doubled the year-to-date net subscriptions during the month,” Sebastian Satola, head of funds at Investment Research Finland, writes in a comment. 

The Finns were net-buying both equity and fixed-income funds with the latter category being favored. EUR 578m went into short-term bond funds while EUR 103m was invested in Finnish and global equity funds.

”Equity funds gained the interest of investors again after a couple of months of outflows, with EUR 103m worth of net subscriptions in April. Global equity funds had the lion’s share of the inflows becoming the most subscribed equity class year-to-date,” Satola writes. 

Since the start of the year, the Finnish fund market has attracted a net flow of EUR 1.3bn. In April, AUM in the Finnish market was up EUR 4.8bn to EUR 138.4bn in total.

During the month Nordea, the largest fund manager in Finland, attracted approximately one-third of the net inflow worth EUR 233m to its funds. Danske Invest and OP accounted for most of the remainder of the total April net flow of EUR 708.7m.

So far this year, Nordea has attracted about half of the net flows in the Finnish market. According to the Mutual Fund Report, Nordea sits at 41.1% of the Finnish market. 

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The fund market in Denmark was the only Nordic market that saw outflows. Retail savers withdrew a net DKK 22m (EUR 2.9m) while foreign and institutional investors took out DKK 4.9bn (EUR 657m) in total. 

Assets under management in the Danish mutual fund market increased slightly by only DKK 1.8m (EUR 241,698) to a total of DKK 1.699bn (EUR 227.9bn). 

During the month, the Danish investors became cautious and thus turned towards safety in Danish bonds, the Danish Fund Association reports. 

”It’s only natural that investors are increasingly aware of the attractive return options, that safe Danish bonds are offering at the moment. That investors continue to play safe in light of the geopolitical uncertainties is expressed by their more cautious approach to riskier foreign fixed-income funds,” says the head of investments and savings at financial association Finans Danmark, Birgitte Søgaard Holm. 

The Danish retail savers have invested DKK 8.4bn (EUR 1.12bn) in the mutual fund market since the beginning of the year. 

Record high Norwegian retail AUM

In the Norwegian fund market, retail savers returned to the mutual fund market, after sitting on the money in March. Net flows from retail clients were NOK 3.1bn (EUR 261m) of which NOK 1.7bn (EUR 143m) were invested in a mix of fixed-income funds and NOK 1.2bn (EUR 101m) went into equity funds. 

AUM from retail clients increased by 4% in April to reach an all-time high of NOK 400bn (EUR 33.7bn) corresponding to an increase of 16% since the start of the year.

The total net flows in the Norwegian fund market amounted to NOK 9.3bn (EUR 785m). NOK 5.7bn (EUR 481m) was invested in equity funds while NOK 2.9bn (EUR 244m) was invested in fixed-income funds. 

So far this year, Norwegian investors have invested NOK 22bn (EUR 1.85bn) in the mutual fund market. Assets under management in the Norwegian mutual fund market have increased by NOK 189bn (EUR 15.9bn) since the beginning of the year, but due to the devaluation of the Norwegian krone, the increase has almost vanished when exchanged for euro. 

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