Equity funds lead gains in Thailand

The strong performance of international stock markets leads to a good month for funds that invest overseas, according to Lipper data.
Mutual funds registered for sale in Thailand posted an average gain of 1.17% in April, reversing the previous monthÆs average loss of 1.18%, according to Lipper data. The funds are down 0.67% on-average in the January to April period.

Global equity markets fared well last month, and that helped boost the returns of equity funds in Thailand and other markets in Asia. Equity funds outperformed other asset classes with a 2.95% average gain.

Mixed-asset funds gained an average of 1.65%. Low-risk-exposure funds such as protected funds, bond funds, and money market funds gained 0.11%, 0.10%, and 0.16%, respectively.

Commodity funds, the highest performing funds in the first quarter, continued to post a more modest return of 0.42%. Soaring commodity prices drove the performance of commodity funds up 21.31% for the January to April period and up 49.82% for the one-year period.

The strong performance of international stock markets led to a good month for funds that invest overseas. Emerging markets Far East, Greater China, and emerging markets global gained an average of 14.12%, 9.58%, and 9.11%, respectively. Domestic equity funds experienced relatively less-impressive returns following a weaker Thai market. Equity Thailand funds posted an average gain of 2.21%, lower than their 3.02% rise in the benchmark Stock Exchange of Thailand index.

The best performing equity funds in April were TISCO China India Dividend and ING Thai BRIC 40, with returns of 14.30% and 11.34%, respectively. The weakest performance came from TMB Gold, with a loss of 3.56%.

The recovery of investment confidence in April improved risk appetite, and safer investment vehicles such as sovereign and quasi-government securities were sold off. Thai bond funds ended the month with a nearly flat performance, gaining a mere 0.01%.

Average performance of fund groups registered for sale in Thailand in April:

Equities +2.95%
Mixed Assets +1.65%
Commodities +0.42%
Money Market +0.16%
Protected +0.11%
Bonds +0.10%
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