UK misses out on April’s equity inflows

Investors have continued to be on a risk-on mode in April as they favour equity investing with global equity funds attracting the most net inflows at £1.2bn, the latest Investment Association data shows.

Equity was the best-selling asset class in April 2017, with net retail sales of £2bn, making it the the second largest monthly inflow into the asset class on record as well as the highest net retail sales since June 2013.

In March the asset class reached £ 1.5bn net sales, a big boost since April last year, where equities saw net sales losses of £697m.

While global equity attracted the most money, North America and Europe followed as preferred asset classes with £300m and £255m net sales respectively.

However, the UK, while gaining £924m in March following continued losses nearly every month since April 2016, only saw a shy £104m net sales figure for April.

Among sectors, Specialist was the best-selling one with net retail sales of £678, the IA says, while the Corporate Bond sector bottomed the rank with outflows of £277m for the period.

Fund market specialist Alastair Wainwright says: “Equity funds proved most popular with retail investors for the second month in a row, attracting over £2bn in net retail sales. April’s figures were the second highest monthly inflow on record; with the highest being recorded in June 2013, when £2.5bn poured into equity funds. Global equities drew the largest net monthly inflow with £1.2bn and passive equity funds accounted for £493m of net retail equity sales.

“The Volatility Managed sector, which was launched in April with 87 funds, received £163m in net retail sales, with funds under management reaching £20bn.”

Overall, net retail sales were up more than £800m from March to April at nearly £5bn. In the same period last year, these were at £1.1bn.

Tracker funds saw a net retail inflow of £933m, which was a drop from £1.7bn in March. Funds under management stood at £150bn.

However, tracker funds now represent a higher share in the industry in terms of FuM at 13.8 per cent, compared with 11.3 per cent a year ago.