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Corporate bonds sales back to 2009 highs, IMA stats

The corporate bond sector was the best seller for the first time in a year, according to the latest figures from the Investment Management Association.

The sector has leapt to the top of the rankings with net retail sales of £573m, its highest selling month since May 2009. Last year the sector was the best seller for 10 months prompting industry experts to label investing in corporate bonds a “once in a lifetime investment opportunity”.

Absolute return funds were the second most popular sector with £282m of net retail sales. As with July, three of the best selling sectors last month were bonds, with the corporate bond sector being joined by the global and strategic bond sectors. The cautious managed sector completed the top five with £164m of net retail sales.

Bonds were also the biggest selling asset class in August with net retail sales of £1.2bn, this was also the highest sales for bonds since May 2009. Equity sales stood at £479m.

The North America sector was the least popular sector in August with outflows of £93m.

Overall net retail sales for August totalled £2.3bn, up slightly on the £2.2bn in July. Year to date net retail sales now stand at £15.5bn, marginally down on the £16.1bn taken from January to August 2009. Last year saw record sales of £25.9bn by the year end.

Funds under management also reached £516.1bn, the highest on record.

IMA chief executive Richard Saunders says: “This year’s high level of inflows continued in August, with £2.3 billion in net retail sales. Although year-to-date sales are slightly behind the record levels of 2009, consumers continue to show a strong appetite for investing in funds. 

“Bond fund sales in August once more reached the peaks experienced in the first half of last year, surpassing the £1 billion mark for the first time since May 2009. Within both equity and bond sectors, we are seeing high levels of sales of sterling denominated securities.

“The August figures show the highest funds under management on record, reflecting a combination of robust inflows and recovering markets.”

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