December, usually a month reserved for congratulatory messages among fund managers was a disaster in 2011. At one stage 2012 looked set to repeat the feat but it has turned out to be a surprisingly good change at the end. The strong rally in the equity markets has carried through to the mutual funds which have bounced back. A majority of the mutual fund schemes have surpassed the returns generated by the Sensex of 25.6 per cent in the calendar year 2012 (data till December 7).
A look at the top 10 schemes from among the funds that have assets under management (AUM) in excess of Rs 1,000 crore shows Indian mutual fund toppers compare extremely favourably with their peers abroad. The returns are one of the best across the countries, across asset classes. To get a sense of how the Indian markets performed it is useful to note that the only benchmark index that has outperformed the Sensex is Dax of Germany, with a return of 27.5 per cent in the same period. The Hong Kong Hang Seng comes in next with a 20 per cent return. FTSE in the UK, the Dow Jones Industrial of US and Bovespa in Brazil have generated single-digit return in the same period while the Shanghai Composite in China has generated a negative return of 6 per cent.
How do the schemes stack up at the top
A look into the 49 equity mutual fund schemes that have assets under management in excess of Rs 1,000 crore shows that six of the top ten schemes on performance (in calendar 2012 as on December 7) belong to Reliance Mutual Fund. While five of the schemes from the fund house that are in the top ten are diversified schemes, one is a sectoral fund and they all have outperformed both the Sensex return of 25.6 and the BSE 200 return of 30 per cent in the same period. Others that complete the top ten are two schemes from ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund—ICICI Prudential Taxplan and ICICI Prudential infrastructure fund-- and one each from HDFC MF