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Investment business hits two-year high

Net retail investment sales in July reached their highest level in two years giving renewed hope that investor confidence is returning, according to the Investment management Association.

Total net sales were 852m, the highest since July 2003 when they reached 863m. Equities were almost twice as popular as bonds, selling 367m, with 192m for bonds.

The most popular retail sector remains UK all companies, representing 17 per cent of gross retail sales, with inter- mediaries accounting for 68 per cent of business.

Net Isa sales of 69m in July were up by 12 per cent on June. The UK all companies sector was even more popular among Isa buyers than the wider retail market, accounting for 28 per cent of gross Isa sales. Intermediaries continued to be the most popular distribution channel, with 79 per cent of gross Isa retail business.

IMA deputy chief executive Sheila Nicoll says: “Strong sales and market performance in July saw funds under management of UK authorised investment funds pass the 300bn mark for the first time while net sales reached their highest level since July 2003.”

New Star marketing director Rob Page says: “These figures may be a watershed in investor opinion. It is not surprising that it has taken so long for investors to return to equities. New Star research has shown that only 2.2 per cent of investors realised equities were the best performing asset class over the last two years.”

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