Thursday, March 14, 2013
Stock Funds Log 1st Net Inflow In 4 Months
TOKYO (Nikkei)--In a sign that individuals are more willing to take risks, inflows exceeded outflows for stock funds for the first time in four months this February, according to industry figures released Wednesday.
The net inflow into stock investment trusts totaled 659.6 billion yen, reported the Investment Trusts Association, Japan, the most since the 709.3 billion yen of August 2011.
In January, buying of mutual funds was at its highest level in more than five years. But selling marked an all-time high as investors moved to obtain cash amid a stock market rally. Such selling abated in February, while buying grew 10% on the month to 3.57 trillion yen -- the third-highest figure on record.
Individuals favored mutual funds that invest in real estate investment trusts and foreign equities, among others. Vehicles that invest in overseas stocks, including those in the U.S. and Southeast Asia, had a net inflow of 229.1 billion yen, while buying exceeded selling of REIT funds -- consisting of select domestic and foreign REITs -- by 168.2 billion yen.
Funds that invest in domestic equities had a net inflow of 144.4 billion yen. Strongly performing established funds were especially popular, with some suspending sales after assets grew sharply.
JPMorgan Asset Management (Japan) Ltd.'s JF The Japan fund, which invests in domestic stocks, had an inflow of 32 billion yen. It halted sales earlier this month because total assets reached the maximum of 100 billion yen. DIAM Co. stopped selling a fund that covers domestic start-ups this month because its assets have ballooned, hampering stable investment activity.
The overall asset balance of stock investment trusts grew 2% to 57.2 trillion yen as of the end of February.
Kokusai Asset Management Co.'s Global Sovereign Open fund, the nation's top investment trust in terms of overall assets, logged an outflow of 24 billion yen. This shunning of foreign bonds could be a sign that individuals have grown more risk-tolerant on the back of a weakening yen and a rising stock market.
(The Nikkei, March 14 morning edition)