Mutual funds focused on banking, FMCG and midcap stocks topped the return charts for investors in 2012, while those investing in IT stocks fared the worst, albeit with modest gains.
As per an analysis of net asset values for all mutual fund schemes during 2012, the banking funds have an average 55 per cent return in the year, as against appreciation of 26-28 per cent in the broader benchmark indices.
The FMCG funds came a close second with average return of 48 per cent in 2012, followed by midcap schemes (41 per cent), multicap funds (33 per cent) and pharma funds (32 per cent).
Tax funds, a popular avenue for saving taxes, gained 31 per cent in calendar year 2012.
"Some sectors which gave extraordinary returns in this period include Banking, FMCG and Consumer Durables. Stocks in sectors such as IT, Power and Oil & gas didn't do as well in 2012. Largely, investors currently favour stocks in consumption sector give some of macro winds," said Atul Kumar, Senior Fund Manager, Quantum MF.
Infrastructure equity funds rode on the back of market rebound to give investors 25 per cent average gain in 2012. International equity funds (14 per cent), arbitrage funds (9 per cent) and IT funds (6 per cent) were the poorest performers in the year gone by as their chosen themes did not play out well as the winners.
Gold funds, which saw copious inflows, gave an average 11 per cent gain in 2012 as the precious metal prices inched up. In the fixed income fund space, Gilt medium and long term funds walked away with the honors of best average gains (10.5 per cent), followed by income funds (10.1 per cent), short-term income schemes (9.8 per cent), liquid funds (9.2 per cent) and gilt short-term funds (8.3 per cent).
"Most short-term debt funds and dynamic bond funds have also increased duration and exposure to government securities to take advantage of a fall in yields," said Sachin Jain, analyst at ICICIdirect.com.
Among the hybrid fund categories, equity-oriented funds gave an average 27 per cent gains while the debt oriented ones mirrored the fixed income gains of around 13 per cent.