LONDON, March 16 (Reuters) - Assets invested in European exchange-traded funds hit a record $620 billion at the end of February, research and consultancy firm ETFGI said.
This overtook a previous record of $599 billion for European exchange-traded funds in January, and highlights the continued popularity of passive instruments over actively managed funds.
ETFs, securities which track an index or a basket of assets, saw $12.4 billion of inflows in February in Europe, marking the 30th month of straight inflows, according to ETFGI data.
The overall size of the global ETF market stands at just below $4 trillion, with the United States dominating the lion's share of the market, according to ETFGI.
ETFs have become an attractive option for investors as they provide a cheaper investment option than traditional mutual funds, which often charge a management fee for actively selecting stocks in which to invest and have tended to underperform.
Globally long-only mutual funds have so far seen outflows this year, data from Bank of America Merrill Lynch shows.
Assets under management in the global collective investment funds market grew $727.3 billion, or up 1.9 percent, for February and stood at $38.78 trillion at the end of the month, according to Thomson Reuters Lipper data. (Reporting by Kit Rees and Vikram Subhedar; Editing by Alison Williams)