NET inflows of retail investor money into Hong Kong retail unit trusts and mutual funds reached a record US$447.54 million in the year to September 30. The total comes on the back of buoyant stock market conditions around the region and a series of high-profile fund launches in the territory. Hong Kong Investment Fund Association chairman Richard Haw said: ''The major increase in net sales is particularly encouraging as it indicates an overall increase in investment in unit trusts. ''The huge net inflow has also helped to boost the fund size to a new high of $24 billion of funds under management in September.'' Total sales for the year to September 30 were $2.1 billion. Total redemptions were $1.66 billion. ''Compared with the corresponding period in 1992, total sales have increased by 72 per cent while net sales have [multiplied] by over three times,'' an association spokesman said. Mr Haw said: ''While Asia-Pacific markets continue to attract a lot of investors due to their high growth potential, European markets have also come in favour with falling interest rates and recovering economies.'' Activity by sector appears to have become more spread and might indicate a maturing in the retail investor sector's behaviour patterns. In the past, Asia-Pacific funds and Japanese equity funds had completely dominated the figures. In September, total sales stood at $290 million, redemptions at $218.66 million and net sales at $71.34 million. The largest component of activity was the Asia-Pacific fund sector with 30.7 per cent of total sales and redemptions and $30.77 million in net sales. Next came cash funds, making up 26.4 per cent of sales and redemptions with a total of $3.43 million in net sales. Taken together with bond funds, total retail investor activity in yield-curve, currency or fixed-interest investments was 29.67 per cent of redemptions and sales. Bond funds saw $9.28 million in net sales. Japanese equities made up 20.5 per cent of sales and redemptions and $16.01 million in net sales. Hong Kong equity funds saw lacklustre activity amounting to 2.4 per cent of sales and redemptions with $3.19 million in net sales. European funds made up four per cent of sales and redemptions with net sales of $16.01 million. The association has 39 fund-management members with 526 contributing data to the sales and redemption survey, which is compiled by Wyatt. The net sales figure for the first three quarters of 1993 is more than the total for the past four years. In 1989, net sales totalled $22.9 million. This was followed by a year of losses as $255 million fled from funds during the Gulf War. In 1991, sales got the upper hand and reached a net total of $226 million, followed by $144.2 million in 1992.