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Isa sales for May spring ahead by 76 per cent

Unit trust and Oeic Isa sales got off to a strong start last month, with gross sales for May up by 76 per cent on last year, according to figures from Autif.

Net Isa sales of £854m were 67 per cent higher than last year and higher than every individual month of 1999.

The figures show continuing growth in UK retail investment, allaying fears that the recent technology sector fallout would discourage investors.

But specialist technology funds continue to suffer, with sales of £165m last month reaching their lowest since October, accounting for 6 per cent of all retail sales.

IFAs continue to lead the market, with 41 per cent of Isa sales. Tied agents accounted for 37 per cent of sales, direct investments rose by 5 per cent on last year to 21 per cent in May, aided by fund supermarkets such as Egg.

Autif director of communications Anne McMeehan says: “Isas have come a long way in the last year. The figures for May are surprisingly good. While investors have clearly rejected the old mantra of sell in May and go away, we have yet to establish whether they have got wise to the idea of investing earlier in the tax year rather than leaving things to the last minute.”

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