Assets in mutual funds worldwide declined 5.1% to $24.81 trillion by the end of the first quarter, the Investment Company Institute announced Tuesday. It is the first decline in nearly four years, which the ICI attributed to the market’s decline, depreciation of the dollar and one country, Hong Kong, failing to report its figures.

 

Whereas long-term funds took in $131 billion in the fourth quarter of 2007, they lost a net of $93 billion in the first quarter of 2008. The reverse was true of bond funds; they lost $29 billion in the fourth quarter but took in $13 billion in the first.

 

Equity and balanced funds lost $147 billion in the first quarter, after having taken in $136 billion in the fourth quarter. Money market funds continued to remain popular after netting $250 billion in the fourth quarter of 2007; they reaped $487 billion in the first quarter.

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