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Wednesday, May 01, 2002

TRENDS
The World is Looking Up for Funds

by: Sean Hanna, Editor in Chief

The pickup in fund flows appears to reach beyond the shores of the Americas. Worldwide flows into mutual funds hit $105 billion in the first quarter, estimates Strategic Insight, a New York City-based consulting firm. Nearly 80 percent of those flows went into high-margin equity funds.

"Investors around the world maintained their commitment to mutual funds in the first quarter of this year, suggesting rising confidence and optimism despite financial and economic uncertainties," said Jag Alexeyev, managing director of StrategicInsightGlobal.com.

Worldwide, equity and balanced fund flows during the first quarter amounted to roughly $95 billion. The best market was the US, said the firm, where flows reached $63 billion into open-end funds and variable annuities and another $5 billion into ETFs. Europe saw at least $20 billion of net flows.

The US market turned in March, when flows to equity funds reached $38 billion. Net equity fund flows in Europe reached $8 billion in March from $3 billion in February, the consultant estimates.

Bond and money market fund flows in Europe exceeded $22 billion during March, said the firm.  

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