Mutual funds registered for sale in Singapore posted an average decline of 1.01% in August, hurt by a wave of selling in the local stock market mainly due to US credit concerns, according to Lipper data.

Equity funds bore the brunt of the losses, posting an average decline of 1.65%. Bond funds managed to post an average return of 0.32%.

Kenneth Koh, Singapore-based head of research at Lipper, says fundamentals of the Singapore shares remain largely intact and valuations are looking more reasonable following the selloff last month.

However, local developments will likely continue to hurt property stocks while the US subprime mortgage crisis would continue to weigh on banking shares.

A recent additional property redevelopment tax hike by the Singapore ôappears to have struck a chordö in the otherwise piping-hot property market, Koh says.

In late-August, the Singapore government increased the tax on redevelopment by an average of 58% across regions on sites for non-landed residential property and 11% for landed residential property.

ôCaution has since set in among local and foreign investors alike,ö he says. ôThis is likely to put a dent in the performance of property counters.ö

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

Bond Funds +0.32%
Protected Funds -0.05%
Hedge Funds -0.14%
Money Market Funds -0.37%
Target Maturity Funds -0.67%
Mixed-Asset Funds -0.67%
Guaranteed Funds -0.72%
Equity Funds -0.65%

Top 5 fund sectors in terms of performance in August, with their average gain:

Equity China +4.12%
Commodities +3.45%
Equity Sector Biotechnology +3.43%
Equity Greater China +2.65%
Equity Sector Utilities +2.64%

Bottom 5 fund sectors in terms of performance in August, with their average loss:

Equity Malaysia/Singapore -9.46%
Equity Malaysia -9.23%
Equity Asia-Pacific Small- and Mid-Cap -7.09%
Equity Indonesia -6.94%
Equity Thailand -6.9%

Top 5 equity funds in August, with gain:

ABN Amro China Equity +11.03%
HSBC GIF Chinese Equity +6.88%
UBS (SG) IF û Biotech +6.37%
DWS China Equity +6.09%
SGAM Golden China +5.74%

Bottom 5 funds in August, with loss:

Lion Capital Malaysia -13.47%
Legg Mason Southeast Asia Special Sits Trust -12.76%
UniFund -11.99%
Lion Capital Singapore/Malaysia -11.83%
United Asian Growth Opportunities Fund -11.29%