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European investors flock to EM debt funds - Lipper FMI
* February net inflows at 28 bln euros
* Franklin Templeton tops sales league table
LONDON, April 15 (Reuters) - Emerging market bond funds attracted the largest inflows from European investors in February as a tentative return of risk appetite continued, data from Lipper FMI, a Thomson Reuters research company, showed on Thursday.
Total net inflows of client money into the fund industry were 19 percent down on January at 28 billion euros ($38.19 billion). Emerging market bond funds and global bond funds accounted for 50 percent of total bond sales, with a combined net inflow of 5.9 billion euros. <^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
For a graphic showing a full breakdown of net sales of funds by investment type, click on: here ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^>
Money market funds recorded the biggest outflows. This is a continuation of a trend highlighted by the European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA) in its February fact sheet, published separately on Thursday.
This showed that over the last six months, long-term Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities (UCITS) funds -- those which exclude money market funds -- attracted 148 billion euros, whereas net outflows from money market funds totalled 103 billion euros.
"Investors are clearly still keen to stash their cash where it can earn a better return than on deposit," said Bella Caridade-Ferreira, author of the Lipper European fund sales report.
"However, investor attitude to risk is somewhat difficult to read. On the one hand, fixed income funds continue to lead the field, indicating a relatively cautious approach, but investor choice is veering towards higher-risk bond sectors."
Emerging market equity was the third best-selling sector, with 2 billion euros in estimated net sales, indicating a continued enthusiasm for the emerging market growth story over the slow-growing Western economies.
Overall, the net inflows of 28 billion euros brought cumulative sales for the first two months of the year to 64 billion euros, their strongest since 2007, Lipper said.
Franklin Templeton was the biggest selling fund group with inflows of 1.8 billion euros, just ahead of Axa (AXAF.PA) with 1.79 billion euros. Fast-growing French fund manager Carmignac came in third with 1.6 billion euros. ($1=.7331 Euro) (Reporting by Claire Milhench; Editing by Sharon Lindores)
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