December 5, 2017

The Month in Closed-End Funds: November 2017

by Tom Roseen.

For November 48% of all CEFs posted NAV-based returns in the black, with 71% of equity CEFs and only 30% of fixed income CEFs chalking up returns in the plus column. Perhaps as a result of a more subdued view for 2018 interest rate hikes after the release of the FOMC’s October/November meeting minutes, interest rate-sensitive securities got a little bump in November, with the Utility CEFs classification (+2.50%) jumping to the top of the equity charts for the first month in nine. For the twelfth month in a row domestic taxable bond CEFs (+0.06%) posted a plus-side return on average, outpacing municipal bond CEFs (-0.45%) but underperforming world income CEFs (+0.17%). The Emerging Markets Debt CEFs (+0.24%) and Global Income CEFs (+0.14%) classifications helped propel the world income macro-group to the top of the podium. In this report we highlight November 2017 CEF performance trends, premiums and discounts, and corporate actions and events.


  • For the third month in a row equity closed-end funds (CEFs) witnessed a plus-side return on average, rising 0.78% on a net-asset-value (NAV) basis for November, while for the second month in three their fixed income CEF counterparts posted a return in the red, losing 0.18%.
  • For November only 16% of all CEFs traded at a premium to their NAV, with 13% of equity CEFs and 18% of fixed income CEFs trading in premium territory. Thomson Reuters Lipper’s single-state municipal debt CEFs macro-group witnessed the largest narrowing of discounts for the month—54 basis points (bps) to 6.16%.
  • Utility CEFs (+2.50%) and Core CEFs (+2.42%) posted the strongest returns in the equity universe, propping up the domestic equity CEFs (+0.94%) macro-group.
  • A relatively strong return from Emerging Markets Debt CEFs (+0.24%) and Global Income CEFs (+0.14%) pushed the world income CEFs macro-group (+0.17%) to the head of the fixed income class.
  • None of Lipper’s municipal debt CEF classifications posted returns in the black for November, with High Yield Municipal Debt CEFs (-0.09%) mitigating losses better than the other classifications in the group.

Download our Closed-End Funds FundMarket Insight Report: The Month in Closed-End Funds: November 2017 here.

Thomson Reuters Lipper delivers data on more than 265,000 collective investments in 61 countries. Find out more.

Get In Touch


Related Reports

The thirteenth annual Lipper Alpha Expert Forum was held in London on November 8, 2018 ...

  The promoters of ETFs in Europe enjoyed net inflows for October. Since the ...

Healthcare/biotechnology sector funds (including both mutual funds and ETFs) took in $1.8 ...

Lipper’s fund asset groups (including both mutual funds and ETFs) took in $13.7 billion ...