Where Did All the Funds Go?

November 2005 may be remembered as the Big Good-bye, and not just because the banks sold off their mutual and provident funds - Leumi, Hapoalim, Mizrahi and First International all sold off funds. It was also the month in which the public, now more aware of yields and performance, decided to make a move.

Here is the final tally: In November, the public withdrew a phenomenal NIS 2.4 billion from the fund sector. It was the moment funds had dreaded. Since August 2004, there had not been a single month when the fund industry saw a drop in its assets. Until now.

And the biggest losers were the biggest of them all. The two major banks - Hapoalim and Leumi - saw the public withdraw some NIS 2.5 billion from their four major funds: Pia, Psagot, PKN and Lahak.

While no one can say exactly why the funds are losing, one thing is for certain: The buyers - who paid sums of hundreds of millions - may now be asking if the price was right.