Weak market cuts unit trust value

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The Independent Online
UNIT TRUSTS suffered a small net outflow of pounds 23.5m last month on the back of a weak stock market which cut the value of the industry's funds under management from pounds 60.3bn to pounds 57bn.

The Unit Trust Association said the poor June sales provided a warning for the summer. Philip Warland, the UTA's director-general, cautioned savers: 'If they wait for the bottom before buying they will miss out once again.'

The second quarter showed net investment of pounds 463.8m, nearly three-quarters of which was made through the tax shelter of personal equity plans.

With institutional investors making net purchases of unit trusts amounting to pounds 326m, the UTA's figures suggest many private investors are selling their unit trusts to reinvest the money through a PEP, following the Government's decision to increase the maximum PEP investment in unit trusts from pounds 3,000 to pounds 6,000.

A UTA survey of the leading companies offering unit trust PEPs showed the average lump sum investment almost doubled to pounds 4,066 from pounds 2,333 in the second quarter of last year. PEP funds under management rose to pounds 2.4bn from pounds 1.9bn in the quarter.

The UTA figures show institutions and independent financial advisers adopting different stances on European and Japanese markets. Advisers withdrew clients' money from both markets, while institutions invested additional funds. However, both took a negative view on North America, withdrawing a net pounds 110m during the quarter.