TOKYO -- The asset value of Japanese mutual funds inched up in August, its third consecutive monthly gain, as investors bought into less risky bond funds, but overall performance was lower due to dividend payouts by equity funds, an industry body said on Thursday.
The overall value of investment trust funds, a type of mutual fund known as toushin, rose 58.6 trillion yen ($752.54 billion), which was a slim 1.4 billion yen increase from a month earlier, the Investment Trusts Association said.
Naoyuki Ichikura, section head of the association's system business office, said the performance of Japan domicile equity funds was affected by dividend payouts, which totalled 386 billion yen ($4.96 billion) in August.
This reduced the value of equity funds to 48.01 trillion yen, down 0.2 percent or 115.3 billion yen from the previous month.
Despite the decline, the value of bond funds showed the biggest monthly increase in six months, helped by strong inflows into short-term money reserve funds, Ichikura said.
The value of bond funds rose 1.1 percent or 116.6 billion yen to 10.57 trillion yen, the first rise in value since March.
Overall net inflows into mutual funds bought by Japanese retail investors tripled to 143.7 billion yen from the previous month.
Inflows into equities funds slowed to 26.9 billion yen in August from 95.6 billion yen a month earlier.
"Investors could be still cautious about pouring their money in equity funds after seeing global and domestic share markets hit hard in April and May," Ichikura said.
Japan's mutual fund market, which is bigger than the economy of Turkey, is the second-largest in the Asia-Pacific region after Australia and the eighth-largest in the world.