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Fund sales bounce back

Fund sales staged a recovery last month, with net retail business increasing to more than £450m, according to figures from the Investment Management Association.

Retail sales hit £452.7m, up by 312 per cent from September when sales slumped to £109.8m and almost £200m more than last October&#39s sales of £258.5m. Net Isa sales rose to £238.4m in October from £202.8m in September although they were down on the same period in 2001, when they reached £286.3m.

Intermediaries accounted for almost two-thirds of retail sales, with investors making 11 per cent of purchases direct. Nineteen per cent were made through salesforces/tied agents.

However, intermediaries accounted for just 29 per cent of sales of investment fund Isas, with salesforces/tied agents responsible for 51 per cent and 20 per cent made direct.

Best-selling funds were in the UK corporate bond and UK equity income sectors while the worst-selling funds were in the Europe (ex UK) and UK equity & bond income sectors.

There was controversy over September&#39s IMA figures, with many IFAs and fund firms surprised at the extent of the drop in sales claimed by the IMA.

The IMA attributes the upturn in sales to stronger markets – on average, world stockmarkets were up by 7 per cent in October after being down by 12 per cent in September – increased investor confidence and lower levels of repurchasing.

Head of communications Clare Arber says: “Investment fund sales in the UK remained positive in October and at levels which have broadly reversed the downturn seen last month. Sales were higher than September, stockmarkets were stronger and repurchases were lower.”

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