UK corporate bonds one of the most successful sectors, accounting for 19% of all isa sales
Isa repurchases slowed marginally during May compared to the previous month, according to the latest fund sales data provided by the IMA.
Some £175.1m of repurchases took place in May, compared to £181m in April and just over £100m in May 2001.
Coupled with the upward trend in redemptions, which reflects the continued struggles of world stock markets, one the most successful sectors was UK corporate bond funds. This sector accounted for 19% of all Isa sales, showing a 3% increase in share on the previous month.
Despite this, gross retail sales were up on last year, with some £2.789bn of sales recorded, compared to £2.589bn in the same period 12 months previously.
Significantly, the welcome rise in retail sales was still around £800m less than was recorded in April. However, the April figure was boosted by last minute Isa sales as the financial year ended.
Isa sales still lag sales of 12 months ago. In May 2001, gross Isa sales were recorded at £742.3m. In May this year, they stood at £634.5m. Net Isa sales of £459.4m for May 2002 lag 2001 net sales of £633m.
Intermediaries were responsible for 35% of Isa sales, while 26% were the result of direct transactions. Tied agents and sales forces were responsible for 39%.
Clare Arber, spokesperson for the IMA, said: 'Continued investment from private investors helped maintain industry sales in May. But it does look as though it is the more experienced investors that have the positive attitude. They also appear more willing to look further than the popular domestic or bond sectors.
'Novice investors, who are most likely to make their investment decisions within the Isa wrapper, don't seem so confident, investing in smaller numbers in the more defensive sectors.'
Strong equity performance in the Far East excluding Japan market led to an increase in gross retail sales to the sector. It took 3% of gross sales compared to 24% in funds in the UK All Companies sector and 13% in the UK Corporate Bond sector.
North America accounted for 11% of gross retail sales while UK equity income accounted for 12%.
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