Fund sales in Hong Kong rose 31 per cent in the first 10 months of the year, as the uncertain global economic outlook led investors to seek safety in guaranteed funds and bond funds. Investors poured US$10.90 billion into funds through the end of October, according to figures released yesterday by the Hong Kong Investment Funds Association. Over the period, investors redeemed US$6.69 billion in funds, for a net inflow of US$4.21 billion - up 11 per cent from last year. The association said strong sales were due largely to guaranteed funds and bond funds. The association's executive director Sally Wong said: 'It is likely that guaranteed funds and certain types of bond products will continue to assume a sizeable share of the net inflows, especially if interest rates remain at a low level and uncertainties about the economic outlook prevail. 'Interest in equity funds may start to pick up as there are more signs of an economic recovery, though in the short run it is likely that investors will continue to shy away from growth products.' The best-selling guaranteed funds attracted US$3.2 billion in cash. That was 29.3 per cent of total sales and 61.7 per cent of net inflows. The association estimated that more than 60 per cent of investors who bought guaranteed funds in the first 10 months were first-time fund-investors. Bond funds were the No 2 seller, with US$2 billion sales in the first 10 months - up 260 per cent from a year earlier and accounting for 18.4 per cent of total sales. Stock funds recorded sales of US$3.12 billion, up 38 per cent year on year. But volatile global stock markets deterred investors from putting too much money into equities and the asset class accounted for just 9.5 per cent of total sales. Among all equity sectors, Asia-Pacific Regional funds (excluding Japan and Hong Kong) were the top sellers, with total sales of US$186.92 million. Emerging market funds had the heaviest net outflows, with investors redeeming US$43.6 million in funds.