May 3 2013

IMA stats shows drop in net retail fund sales

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Figures released by the Investment Management Association (IMA) today show net Isa sales into open-ended funds hit £1.1bn for the tax year 2012/2013.

Isa sales – collected from fund companies and five major platforms including Cofunds, Fidelity, Hargreaves Lansdown, Skandia and Transact – were significantly lower compared with £2.2 billion in the tax year 2011/12. During the first five days of April there were net retail sales of £347m, higher than any other monthly sales recorded.

While assets under management have continued to hit record levels, reaching £718bn in March, net retail sales for the month slipped to £787m from £1.4bn in February. Net retail sales were £1.5bn in March 2012.

UK funds – comprising the UK All Companies, UK Equity Income and UK Smaller Companies sectors – saw outflows of £427m in the month. This is a big decrease from February’s figures, showing positive flows of £190m. The region’ average net retail for the previous 12 months stands at £-84m.

The top selling sectors for March 2013 were Absolute Return UK (£334m), Mixed Investment 20-60% Shares (£245m), Global Bonds (£220m), Global Equity Income (£150m) and Asia Pacific excluding Japan (£126m).

In terms of asset classes, mixed asset funds were the best selling, with net retail sales of £291m – the first time this asset class has been the best seller since July 2011. Equities, which had previously been the best-selling for six consecutive months, followed with £105m, its lowest since August 2012. The money market and fixed income were lowest with net retail sales of £59m and £36m respectively.

The IMA’s chief executive, Daniel Godfrey, said the rankings for both Isas and funds generally suggest investors are spreading their money across different asset classes and that both growth and income strategies are in demand.

Elsewhere, tracker funds saw an outflow of £137m from retail investors in the month of March. This follows Money Management’s latest research into cost versus performance of tracker funds.