Funds in Thailand extend gains

Lipper figures show portfolios that invest in overseas markets outperform local funds.
Mutual funds registered for sale in Thailand posted an average gain of 0.54% in May, extending AprilÆs average 1.21% gain, according to Lipper data. The funds are down 0.16% on-average in the January to May period.

Equity funds posted a 1.18% average return while mixed-asset funds gained 0.78% on average. The low-risk-profile portfolios such as protected funds, bond funds, and money market funds notched up 0.02%, 0.20%, and 0.18%, respectively. Commodity funds still outperformed and beat soaring inflation, posting an average return of 1.19% in May, 25.72% for the first five months of 2008 and 57% for the past 12 months.

Equity Thailand funds posted an average return of 0.84%, still better than the benchmark Stock Exchange IndexÆs 0.35% gain. Equity funds that invest oversees sharply outperformed, especially those that invest in emerging markets Europe (+11.22%), Japan (+8.09%), and global emerging markets (+5.29%). Equity funds that invest in China and Far East emerging markets were laggards, posting average losses of 7.90% and 6.38%, respectively.

The best performing equity funds last month were the Manulife Strength-Emerging Eastern Europe FIF and Asset Plus Nippon Growth portfolios, which posted gains of 11.22% and 8.09%, respectively. At the bottom of LipperÆs performance chart is TMB China Equity Index, which posted a loss of 7.90%.

In ThailandÆs bond market, Thanachart Fixed Income FIF 2 and Tisco Australia Bond were the outperformers, with returns of 6.13% and 4.68%, respectively, following an unexpected gain from baht depreciation. The worst performing bond fund was Bualuang Thanasarn Plus 19/08, with a loss of 1.74%.

ôThe investment outlook remains bumpy from the inflationary threat, which has been apparent for a number of months and which could worsen unless world crude oil prices stop rising,ö says Suthee Luangaramkul, a Bangkok-based research analyst at Lipper.

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

Equities +0.20%
Commodities +1.19%
Mixed Assets +0.78%
Bonds +0.20%
Money Market +0.18%
Protected +0.02%
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