Singapore fund performance reflects cautious stance

The best and worst performing unit trusts in May were equities funds, says Lipper.
Mutual funds registered for sale in Singapore posted an average return of 0.705% in May, according to Lipper data.

Commodity funds remained one of the yearÆs more consistent outperformers, Lipper says, posting an average return of 3.03% last month and an average gain of 37.64% for the one-year period.

Equity funds posted an average return of 1.52%, with emerging market funds among the top performers. The disappointing unit trust classes were bond funds and the ancillary product of guaranteed funds û posting average losses of 0.33% and 0.96%, respectively.

The short-term fixed-income offerings did well in weathering the devaluation of fixed-income products after the bond yield rose. Money market unit trusts posted an average gain of 0.16% last month. Mixed-asset products returned 0.48% on-average, while the ancillary product class of protected unit trusts finished up 0.03% on-average.

"Improved sentiment in May drew more cautiously optimistic investors back," says Suthee Luangaramkul, a Bangkok-based research analyst at Lipper.

The best and worst unit trusts in May were equities funds.

India-focused equity funds finished sharply lower as Equity India and Equity Indian Subcontinent offerings were both down 8.01% on average, ranking as the worst performing fund groups. Portfolios that invest in high-economic-growth countries such as China also finished lower as Equity China posted an average decline of 2.25% after soaring domestic inflation threatened investment sentiment.

Brazil and Russia funds ranked as the top two performing groups, which was also the case in Hong Kong. Equity Brazil and Equity Russia were the clear winners with average returns of 11.18% and 10.08%, respectively. In the emerging market, Equity Emerging Markets Latin America and Equity Emerging Markets Europe showed outperforming returns, posting average returns of 9.32% and 5.31%, respectively, while Equity Emerging Markets Far East declined 3.91% on-average because of the Chinese market fallout.

Average May performance of fund groups registered for sale in Singapore, by asset types:

Commodities +3.03%
Equity Funds +1.52%
Hedge Funds +0.90%
Mixed-Asset Funds +0.48%
Money Market Funds +0.16%
Protected Funds +0.03%
Bond Funds -0.33%
Guaranteed Funds -0.96%
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