Fund sales defy share volatility

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SALES OF unit trusts and PEPs last month were 15 per cent higher than in May 1997, although predictably they were down on the peak month of April, according to Autif, the trade body. Total net sales were up 70 per cent to pounds 1.73bn, while retail sales were up 29 per cent to pounds 857m. Net sales of PEPs were pounds 696m, up 9 per cent on May last year.

The best-selling fund sectors to private investors last month were UK Growth and Bond PEPs, with Japan and the Far East excluding Japan selling worst. Best-selling sectors to institutions were Europe and North America, the worst-selling were International Growth and Commodity & Energy.

The move into European funds shows why the Government is right to allow wide diversification in PEPs and in the future ISAs, said Philip Warland, director-general of Autif, yesterday. "While many stock markets have been volatile recently, this has not deterred investors from continuing to save for the future in equities," he added.