Statistics latest: the European Central Bank has launched new data on eurozone investment funds, separating out for the first time information on the hedge fund sector.
What does it show? Er, the eurozone hedge fund industry is not very big – representing just 2 per cent of the share or units issued by investment funds in the 16 country region. That is perhaps not surprising. Continental Europe has nothing to rival, say, Mayfair in London. The largest part (49 per cent) of the eurozone industry is in Ireland, with Luxembourg (19 per cent), Italy (14 per cent) and Malta (6 per cent) accounting for most of the rest.
Perhaps less intuitively, eurozone hedge funds don’t seem, well, very ambitious. Some 48 per cent of their assets comprise shares in other investment funds or money market funds. Typically, hedge funds would be expected to be heavily invested in derivatives, which fall under “other assets” in the ECB figures. These accounted for just 12 per cent of the total.