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Isa sales fall in November but big surge is forecast

Net Isa sales were negative in November despite continued strong performance from the stockmarkets and Treasury Economic Secretary Ed Balls’ commitment to maintain the tax wrapper.

Although net Isa outflows were small at 3.1m, sales were down by 83m on October and 82m down on November 2005. The most popular Isa sector was UK all companies which accounted for 26 per cent of gross sales. Property remained the best-selling net retail sector overall for the 11th month running. The specialist sector, which includes prop-erty funds, saw inflows of 408m, of which 393m went into property portfolios.

IMA deputy chief executive Sheila Nicoll says: “Despite sales of investment funds dipping to their lowest levels for four months in November, net retail sales for 2006 are still on track to be one of the best years on record.”

F&C believes that raising the Isa limit from 7,000 to 10,000 or more in the next Budget would bolster sales. Research by the firm found that 56 per cent of the public favour this increase, with only 7 per cent wanting the cap to remain unchanged.

Director of communications Jason Hollands says: “Ironic-ally, November was the very month when Ed Balls revealed that the Government would make Isas a permanent part of the investment landscape. Now the Government has signalled that Isas have a long-term future, we believe the level of the allowance is long overdue a review.”

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