EUROPE - Fortis Investments, the asset management arm of the Fortis group, had a net inflow of funds under management of €7.1bn in the first half due to good performance in both institutional and retail markets.

The inflow was offset by the performance of the financial markets in the second quarter.

Despite this, Fortis Investments saw its overall assets under management move rise 6% to €111bn while the group's total funds under management dropped slightly by €0.3bn to €172bn compared to the first quarter of 2006 but were 5% up on the end of last year.

New assets were gathered mainly through third-party distribution.

The division had a net profit of €46m in the period, up from €28.2m a year ago.

Fortis saw strong increases in both standard management fees and performance fees reflected in these figures.
Clients showed particular interest in Fortis' Absolute Return,
Guaranteed and CDO (Collateralised Debt Obligation) products in the first half of 2006.

Product performance also remained strong with 76% of the flagship funds outperforming their benchmark on a one-year basis.
More details on Fortis Investments' performance will be released on Monday.
The Fortis group as a whole said net profit went up 29% to €2.7bn compared with €2.1bn for the first half of 2005.

In the first half of 2006 staff numbers at the Fortis group rose by a net 1,472.