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Absolute return funds continue to buck outflow trend

Absolute return funds continued to be the most popular UK domiciled retail sector in July 2008, according to figures from the Investment Management Association.

The sector pulled in £232m in July following on from the £214m taken in June.

The sector was one a few of the few successes in July as net retail sales recorded an outflow of £491.5m, compared to the £1bn taken in 12 months ago.

Equity funds took the brunt of the loss with outflows of £669m, with the inflow of £334m in the ‘other’ category coming courtesy of the continued popularity of the absolute return sector. Institutional holdings of unit trusts and Oeics saw outflows of £1.9bn, a huge chunk of which came from a £1.4bn outflow from bond funds.

Property funds saw outflows of £76.5m, however the biggest net retail outflow came from Europe ex-UK with £332.1m.

Meanwhile, total funds under management for UK domiciled funds stood at £414.3bn, down 3 per cent from the previous month and 10 per cent from the £458.2bn FUM 12 months ago.

IMA director of markets Jane Lowe says: “With the FTSE once more under pressure in July, investors again withdrew from equity funds, with many turning to investment in absolute return funds. Total funds under management were also down during the month, by 2.6 per cent, in part owing to poor market performance.”

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