Mutual fund assets topped US$150 billion for the first time during the first three months of the year as domestic investors rushed to invest in the stocks, the South China Morning Post reported. At the end of March, the country's 55 fund management companies were running 319 funds worth a total of US$153.3 billion. This is 38% more than the US$110.9 billion under management in 307 funds at the end of 2006, according to fund research firm Morningstar. Chinese fund data compiler Z-Ben Advisers estimates that US$21 billion was removed from bank deposits in the first quarter with the stated use of going into funds. Z-Ben puts the total assets under management at the end of March at US$147 billion. The number of newly opened A-share trading accounts hit a record 311,110 on Tuesday, according to the China Securities Depository & Clearing Corp. Z-Ben also noted a growing tendency among investors to hold funds for short periods before cashing in and investing in other products. Turnover was more than 200% in the first quarter.
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