ING contrarian fund flows soar

Net flows into ING IM’s contrarian European equity fund have hit €200m since the beginning of 2011, compared to €22m in the equivalent period last year, and €19.2m for the full year in 2010.

Investors flocked toward the portfolio of between 30 and 60 “unloved and undervalued European equities”.

Major institutional clients targeted by ING IM last year are among the fund’s recent coups, while long-term performance drove the increase in the fund’s popularity, ING said.

The ING Europe Opportunities Fund has returned 25.65% over one year and 11.33% annualised before management fees over three years, as at 28 February 2011.

As at mid-March, it held €275m in assets.

Created in August 2006, the fund uses bottom-top rather than top-down selection.

It is managed by Hans van de Weg, who oversees more than €750m of European equities using a contrarian approach.

“We seek exposure to companies that are undervalued and unloved, thereby avoiding stocks that are already at the heart of investor competition,” said van de Weg.

“We buy the fear, and sell the greed of other market participants,” he added.

“If you always do what your neighbour does, you’re not going to get anywhere.”

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