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Funds' Reward Turns to Dust

Mutual fund investors were left out in the cold by the market gains

What if...

If Monday (May 18, 2009) had not been declared a non-business day for mutual funds, then what would have happened to your investment. People with investments across the spectrum of mutual fund activities would be keen to know exactly what they missed as a result of being denied participation in Monday's market gains after it was declared a non-business day for the mutual fund industry.

This has been made possible by certain funds declaring their NAVs for Monday, but many did not do so and therefore, they have been excluded form this exercise. Though most of the fund houses did not declare their NAVs, but four did, despite the stock exchange gains being nullified for MF investors.

However, if you are an investor in MFs and have exposure to certain funds, then here is a feelgood, though pointless, as far as your money is concerned, exercise. Remember, these are the gains that you would have booked if the authorities had recognised Monday's gains on the markets as legitimate for mutual fund investors too.

Your investments have gone up in value. Again, don’t get too excited as these are notional gains and cannot be realized.

In all, 17 open-end equity diversified funds declared their NAV. The average gains of these funds were around 13 per cent, with HDFC Top 200 clocking the maximum one-day gain of 15.41 per cent. That the market rally was extremely big can be gauged from the fact that even the fund at teh bottom of the list of gainers, Magnum Multiplier Plus, which was the worst performer had gains of 10.86 per cent.

Among the ELSS funds, the average gain was 12.34 per cent, with HDFC LT Advantage leading the gains with 13.90 per cent.

The banking ETF of Benchmark MF, Banking BeES was the biggest gainer of the day with 18.73 per cent, which was very natural as the index it tracks, Bank Nifty itself went up by 18.81 per cent.

Other categories in which fund houses declared NAVs were Technology, Pharma and FMCG (See table: Rewards that couldn't be reaped).

However, some investors would have faced worst news over the bad one regarding their funds performance on Monday. There were funds which went down even when everything else was going up. Both DSPBR World Gold fund and HSBC Emerging Markets funds gave negative returns. However, both these funds, by their mandate, invest mostly in overseas funds that tracks the underlying theme.

While it would be galling to see all these gains being turned to dust, it must be remembered that authorities were right in taking the decision as it would have led to too many complications and controversy.