Mutual funds registered for sale in Thailand posted an average loss of 1.32% in August, weighed down mainly by the US subprime crisis, according to data from Lipper. In Just, fund sold in Thailand posted an average return of 3.62%.

Equity funds were the hardest hit, posting an average loss of 1.32%. Only five equity funds posted gains in August, including four portfolios that invest in overseas markets, strengthening the case for investors not to limit their exposure to local markets.

ôThe concept of investment diversification gained more attention from investors,ö says Suthee Luangaramkul, a Bangkok-based analyst at Lipper.

As of end-August, there were 76 funds available in Thailand that invest in international capital markets, with combined net assets valued at around Bt100 billion ($3 billion), says Luangaramkul. Twenty-two of those funds were launched in August, 15 of which were global money market funds, he adds.

ThailandÆs economic growth and progress on the political front are expected to support local share prices going forward. Thailand's gross domestic product grew at a faster-than-expected pace of 4.4% in the second quarter, thanks to strong exports and public spending making up for weak consumer demand. Interest rate cuts and political uncertainty in the aftermath of last yearÆs coup have left consumers reluctant to spend.

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

Money Market +0.22%
Bonds +0.21%
Protected +11%
Commodities -1.43%
Mixed Assets -2.56%
Equities -3.88%

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

Equity Sector Gold and Precious Metals +1.78%
Bond Asia Pacific +1.34%
Bond Global +0.98%
Money Market Global +0.24%
Money Market Thai Baht +0.22%
Equity Greater China +0.22%

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

Equity Asia Pacific Small- and Mid-Cap -6.13%
Equity Japan -6.02%
Equity Sector Banks and Financials -4.30%
Equity Thailand -4.16%
Equity Eurozone -4.03%

Top 5 equity funds in August, with gain:

TMB Gold +1.78%
Prima Vest Thailand Global High Payout +1.18%
ING Thai Global High Dividend Fund of Funds +0.88%
Manulife Strength China Value +0.22%
K Global Equity +0.07%

Bottom equity 5 funds in August, with loss:

MFC Invest Asian Equity -6.13%
Asset Plus Nippon Growth -6.02%
IB Premiere -5.50%
AYF Star Dynamic -5.44%
K 20 Select LTF -5.38%