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Summer fund sales stay hot with buoyant July

Investment fund sales rose by more than 50 per cent in July compared with the same month last year.

Investment Management Association figures show that net retail sales hit £863m last month, slightly down from £870m in June which had seen a big rise but significantly up on the £567m reached in July 2002. Net sales of Isas fell to £279m from £294m in June.

The UK corporate bond and all companies sectors remained the most popular with investors last month, respectively accounting for 24 per cent and 18 per cent of total gross retail sales. The least popular were the Japanese smaller companies and index bear fund sectors.

The intermediary sector was again the biggest distributor of funds, accounting for 66 per cent of retail gross sales. Tied agents/salesforces took 20 per cent of sales, with the direct channel accounting for 8 per cent. Private client sales were 5 per cent.

Deputy chief executive Sheila Nicoll says: “The past months show indications of an upturn with sales of unit trusts and Oeics up on last year and funds under management at their highest level since June 2002. For the moment, investor confidence appears to be rising as more retail money enters the market.”

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