Unit trust PEPs in demand

Sales of unit trust personal equity plans soared in the third quarter of this year to pounds 788m - nearly a third up on last year's comparable figure of pounds 612.3m, according to the Association of Unit Trust and Investment Funds.

PEP sales accounted for 70 per cent of the total amount invested in unit trusts in the third quarter of the year. Despite the buoyancy in the PEP market over the three months, unit trust sales in September were substantially down at pounds 287m against last year's pounds 414m.

A spokeswoman for the association said: 'The slowing in sales of unit trusts in September is not unexpected in the face of unexciting markets.' The FT all-share index fell by 6.8 per cent in September.

Institutional sales of unit trusts last month were pounds 184m, against last year's pounds 257m.

The most popular types of fund for investors over the month were those unit trusts invested in British companies. Another popular area for investment was the Far East, excluding Japan. Unit trusts that invested in Europe suffered the most redemptions.