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Funds keep their focus on US, UK and Europe

Equity funds continued to dominate the UK fund market in 2003, according to Lipper&#39s study of global themes in the mutual fund industry.

The study, which examines fundamental investment trends, issues and economic conditions affecting the mutual fund industry, shows that of the 352 funds launched in 2003, 179 were equity funds and 48 were UK equity funds.

Of the funds launched into the UK market, 153 were UK-domiciled, 88 were domiciled in Dublin, 51 on the Isle of Man and 46 in Luxemburg. Eleven multi-manager funds were launched in 2003.

All sectors except index bear funds registered positive returns in 2003. Telecom and technology funds performed well, rising 36 per cent for the year, but the IMA Latin America sector was the best-performing sector, up by 56 per cent for the year, with global emerging markets up by 41 per cent.

With regard to the impact that asset allocation has on global equity portfolios, Lipper reveals that funds continue to show a bias towards the US with 37 per cent, the UK with 23 per cent and European markets on 22 per cent, despite the strong performance from the Latin American and other emerging markets.

Lipper predicts that the UK economy will grow by 3 per cent in 2003 and says interest rates are likely to rise to 4.5 per cent from their current 4 per cent by the end of the year.

Head of UK research Brian Harvey says: “This provides mutual fund professionals and interested parties with extensive background of the issues affecting today&#39s mutual fund industry.

“Whether readers are looking to measure themselves against their peers, for insights into business opportunities, or simply understand more about mutual funds across key global markets, this original study provides a valuable source of information and data.”

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