By Sam Forgione
NEW YORK Feb 4 Investors pulled $3.5 billion
from Pimco's Total Return Fund in January, Morningstar data
showed on Tuesday, the ninth straight month of outflows from the
world's biggest bond fund which is run by Bill Gross.
Last year, the fund saw record outflows after its weak
performance, with investors withdrawing $41.1 billion. However,
its size remained roughly unchanged at $237 billion after the
outflows in January, due to its positive monthly performance.
"Investors, I think, are still looking at the 2013 poor
performance and reacting to it," said Todd Rosenbluth, director
of mutual fund research at S&P Capital IQ.
The Pimco Total Return Exchange-Traded Fund, an
actively managed ETF designed to mimic the strategy of the
flagship mutual fund, posted outflows of $32 million in January,
marking the ninth straight month of outflows from the ETF.
The ETF posted net outflows of $197 million last year. The
latest outflows also left the ETF's size unchanged at around
Pacific Investment Management Co. (PIMCO), with $1.92
trillion in assets as of Dec. 31 according to the firm's
website, is one of the most closely-watched bond firms and
influences other investors in the marketplace.
It has come under closer scrutiny in recent weeks after it
said last month that Mohamed El-Erian, its chief executive and
co-chief investment officer, would leave the company in
mid-March, leaving Gross as the sole chief investment officer.
Pimco had $6.9 billion in outflows across the firm's U.S.
open-end mutual funds in January, extending last year's record
net outflows of $31.1 billion and marking the eighth straight
month of withdrawals from the funds.
Gross's fund rose 1.35 percent in January according to
preliminary Morningstar data, recovering from an annual loss of
1.92 percent in 2013, its worst annual loss since 1994.
The fund, which was hit by a plunge in bond prices last year
on fears of a pullback in the Federal Reserve's bond-buying
stimulus, benefited from rising Treasuries prices in January,
but still lagged more than half its peers.
Newport Beach, California-based Pimco is a unit of European
financial services company Allianz SE.