According to the latest Merrill Lynch survey, 66% of the 290 fund managers polled in September are now predicting a Bush victory in November's US presidential election. Only 20% thought that John Kerry would end up in the White House. Only one month ago, 41% of the same group of fund managers thought Kerry would be victorious, with only 37% going with Bush.
Three US mutual funds businesses owned by German insurer Allianz have agreed to cough up and pay $50m to settle charges that they engaged in market-timing practices. PA Fund Management, PA Distributors and PEA Capital all settled without admitting or denying liability.
And it looks like the long-running split capital investment trust scandal could soon be settled. The smart money is now on the 21 firms involved in the affair agreeing to pay around £275m in compensation to investors.
Looks like there's going to be a price war, certainly in the US, as E-Trade has now joined Fidelity and cut the expenses it charges on two of its index funds. Expect others to follow suit as the competition for funds hots up.
And finally, here's an interesting snippet or two. According to Bloomberg, the average return for the last year on the 5,400 or so bond funds tracked by the company is 1.1%. That's said to be twice the return made on a typical cash fund in the same period, and much better than the average loss of 4.1% seen at the 10,500 equity funds Bloomberg tracks.