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High repurchases hit fund sales

Net Isa sales rose in April from the previous month but overall retail fund business slumped by a third from April last year as repurchases continued at high levels, says the IMA.

The IMA&#39s monthly statistics reveal that retail fund sales fell to £702m from £1bn in April 2003 and from £853m in March this year.

Net Isa sales reached £587m in April, up by 19 per cent from £495m in March but down from £681m in April last year.

However, Isa sales for March and April combined were £1.08bn, down only slightly on the same two months last year, when they stood at £1.09bn.

Repurchases continued at very high levels, with Isa repurchases at £255.6m almost double the total of £131.8m in April 2003.

Intermediaries took 31 per cent of Isa sales with salesforces/tied agents on 38 per cent and direct sales 30 per cent.

The most popular sector – for the seventh month running – was UK All Companies, which accounted for 25 per cent of gross retail sales. UK corporate bonds and UK equity income accounted for 13 per cent and 11 per cent.

Funds under management increased by 1 per cent in April to £248bn, up by 24 per cent from April last year.

Chief executive Richard Saunders says: “The combined numbers for March and April indicate the 2004 Isa season was broadly in line with last year. This suggests that fears for the future of Isas were broadly offset by the more buoyant demand from investors that we have been seeing over the last few quarters.”

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