Lyxor, Europe’s third largest ETF issuer, has suffered significant outflows this year amid speculation its parent Societe Generale is looking to sell the Parisian asset manager.
Year-to-date Lyxor has bled around €6bn in assets, as at the end of July, taking its total assets under management (AUM) down to €66bn, according to data from Morningstar.
This has opened the gap between Lyxor and Xtrackers, Europe’s second largest ETF provider, which has had a successful 2019 pulling in €4.1bn in new assets so far this year. UBS has also had a promising year with YTD flows of €8.6bn, making it €13.4bn behind Lyxor.
“Lyxor is clearly having a bad year,” said Hortense Bioy, director, passive strategies and sustainability research, manager research, Europe at Morningstar.
In July last year, Lyxor merged with the ETF arm of Commerzbank. The acquisition by SG enabled Lyxor to compete with the likes of Xtrackers however have since started to pull away.
The sale of Lyxor is not the first M&A rumour to happen in recent months. In March, there was rumour Deutsche Bank was going to sell off its controlling stake in DWS following discussions of a merger with its German competitor Commerzbank.
Lyxor’s two flagship funds, the Lyxor S&P 500 ETF and the Lyxor Euro Stoxx 50 ETF, have lost a combined €2.3bn in 2019.
Bioy said: “Outflows from the Lyxor Euro Stoxx 50 ETF can be explained by investor concerns about the negative Eurozone economic outlook. The vast majority of Euro Stoxx 50 ETFs have seen redemptions so far this year. But the same can’t be said about S&P 500 ETFs.”
“There is now speculation that Societe Generale may be selling Lyxor, which really doesn’t help matters,” said Bioy.
Lyxor declined to comment on the sale rumours.