British-Based Equity Funds See Record $19 Billion Inflows in 2021: Calastone

British-Based Equity Funds See Record $19 Billion Inflows in 2021: Calastone
Wads of British Pound Sterling banknotes are stacked in piles, at the Money Service Austria company's headquarters in Vienna, Austria, on Nov. 16, 2017. (Leonhard Foeger/Reuters)

LONDON—British-based equity funds attracted a record 14.2 billion pounds ($19.3 billion) in inflows in 2021, funds network Calastone said on Thursday, as investors piled in after government and central bank stimulus during the pandemic.

Most investors put their cash in global funds, which attracted a record 13.4 billion pounds in inflows, while emerging market funds added a record 2.2 billion pounds.

The latest Omicron coronavirus variant of COVID-19 only caused a temporary drop in inflows, Calastone said.

"Having paused in late November to consider the possible impact of the Omicron wave of COVID-19, investors have so far cautiously judged that its impact will be significantly less severe," Edward Glyn, head of global markets at Calastone, said.

British-focused funds saw 1.1 billion pounds in outflows last year, Calastone's data showed.

"Economic wobbles in the fourth quarter, political instability, rising interest rates, Brexit chaos and renewed Covid restrictions in parts of the country mean investors prefer to look elsewhere," Glyn said.

Calastone's data starts from Jan 2015 and it says that more than two-thirds of British fund flows by value pass across its network each month.

($1 = 0.7366 pounds)

By Carolyn Cohn