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Mutual fund net sales surged in June, while ETF sales retreated, according to new data from the Investment Funds Institute of Canada (IFIC).

The trade group reported that mutual fund net sales came in at $12.6 billion last month, up from $8.4 billion in May, and $3.9 billion in June last year.

For the first half, mutual fund sales came in just shy of $72 billion, well ahead of the $7.8 billion recorded in the first half of last year.

In June balanced fund sales led the way, with over $8 billion in monthly net sales, almost double the $4.2-billion worth of sales in the previous month.

Equity fund sales edged up to $3.8 billion from $3.3 billion in May. Bond and specialty fund sales ($1.7 billion) came in more or less in line with the previous month’s totals.

Conversely, ETF net sales declined in June, slipping from $7.6 billion in May to just over $5 billion in June.

Despite the softer ETF sales in June, net sales for the first half of this year were well ahead of last year’s total.

Through the first six months of the year, ETF net sales totalled $32.7 billion, up from $22.6 billion for the same period a year ago.

Equity funds remained the top-selling ETF asset class in June, with $2.7 billion in monthly net sales. However, this was down from $3.8 billion in May.

At the same time, specialty fund ETF sales plunged from $1.9 billion in May to just $665 million in June. And bond fund sales slipped to $1.2 billion in June from $1.75 billion the previous month.

While mutual funds led the net sales race in June, ETF asset growth continued to outpace mutual fund asset growth.

IFIC reported that ETF assets rose by 3.2% in June, while mutual fund assets gained 2.8%.

Mutual funds reached the halfway mark of 2021 with $1.95 trillion in total assets under management, an increase of $53.3 billion from May.

ETF assets rose by $9.4 billion in June to finish the month at $306.8 billion.

Over the past 12 months, ETF assets are up by about 40.8%, and mutual fund assets have gained 21.9%.