Equity funds lose attraction in May; outflows to bond, balanced abroad

Greek mutual fund investors pulled cash out of money market and stock funds in May, with small inflows seen in bond and balanced funds investing abroad, the Association of Institutional Investors said yesterday. Overall net outflows reached 257.9 million euros ($317 million), reversing inflows of 330 million in April. The industry’s total assets under management came to 30.8 billion euros, down 1.6 percent versus April but up 10.8 percent year-on-year. Domestic stock funds had net outflows of 44.8 million euros while the average return in the year to the end of May was 2.14 percent. Of the category’s 71 stock funds, only seven outperformed the benchmark general share index with returns of above 7.0 percent in the first five months of the year. Ranked by returns, those were Interamerican Growth, Egnatia Theseus FTSE/ASE-20, HSBC Growth, Alpha Athens index fund, Marfin Premium, Alpha Blue Chips and Alpha Aggressive Strategies fund. The top three performers out of the 37 stock funds investing abroad were Alpha Trust’s Emerging Europe, with a return of 12.9 percent, Interamerican’s F&C International Opportunities, returning 7.36 percent, and Alpha Trust European New Companies with 6.21 percent. The average return in the category was 0.94 percent. In the same period, the average balanced fund return was 3.2 percent. Money market funds were up 0.74 percent and bond funds returned 0.89 percent on average. Greece’s mutual fund industry began recovering in 2003, after three years of contraction. Since May last year, there have been net inflows of 1.13 billion euros. Greece’s 29 fund management companies managed a total of 261 mutual funds, with the top 10 – mostly bank subsidiaries – sharing 91.4 percent of the business last month. Ranked from the top, they were Eurobank’s EFG, National Bank’s Diethniki, Alpha Bank, Hermes, Intertrust, Agricultural Bank, State Pension Funds Management, ING Piraeus, Alico and HSBC Hellas. (Reuters)