Mutual funds registered for sale in Malaysia posted an average return of 4.97% in July, bringing the average gain for the first seven months of 2009 to 19.18%, according to data from Lipper. Most fund types delivered positive returns in the January to July period; commodities funds bucked the trend with an average loss of 0.54%.

Funds that invest in equities were the best performers in July, posting an average return of 7.20%. On a one-year period, however, equity funds were still down 376% on-average. Mixed-asset fund portfolio managers likely positioned their portfolios with higher weightings in equities in order to catch the run-up in equity markets over the last few months.

Equity Asia-Pacific and equity Asia-Pacific ex-Japan funds made up almost all the top 10 performing funds in July. CIMB-Principal Asean Equity was the top performing fund, with a gain of 5.96%, while CIMB-Principal Asian Equity was a close second, with a gain of 15.20%. Two Islamic funds also performed well in July: the CIMB Islamic Equity Asia Pacific (+13.54%) and the MAAKL Shariah Asia Pacific (+13.50%).

Bond fund returns continued to be mixed in July. The HLG Global Fund (+6.64%) was the best performing bond fund in July. Most bond funds in the top 10 list returned positive year-on-year returns. The worst performing bond funds in July were all Malaysian bond funds, with half of the worst performing bond funds in the negative territory performance-wise.