Investors flock into PEP schemes

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PERSONAL equity plans took pounds 2.4bn in the first half of the current tax year, according to a survey from BESt PEP Adviser, a publication from the BESt Investment Group, writes Paul Durman.

The survey provides further evidence of the renewed enthusiasm among private investors. BESt Investment estimates more than pounds 12bn is invested in Peps.

BESt's John Spiers said the cost to the Government of the Pep tax shelter is becoming increasingly heavy. With the ability to put in up to pounds 9,000 a year, wealthy investors will be able to protect an increasing proportion of their portfolios. 'There's no way this PEP allowance is going to stay here for ever.'

The BESt figures cover all Pep scheme managers, unlike those from the Association of Unit Trusts and Investment Funds. The latest data from Autif showed pounds 2.4bn was invested in unit trusts through Peps in the first nine months of 1993, more than double the pounds 985.2m taken in the same period last year.

The total invested in Peps in the 1992/3 tax year was pounds 3.3bn, according to BESt Investment.

The most successful fund manager in the first half was Foreign & Colonial, which took pounds 315m, largely due to the success of the Hypo F&C High Income Plan. Perpetual attracted pounds 157m on the back of good investment performance. The banks occupy most of the other top 10 places. Invesco, the one-time market leader, took only pounds 4m.