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Evenly matched

At 27 and 26, the number of upgrades was just one higher than the number of downgrades in Value Research’s ratings of mutual funds for March

Value Research Fund Ratings (risk-adjusted rating) identifies the best funds in the Indian mutual fund universe, giving investors a superlative platform to launch their mutual fund investment voyage, saving both effort and time.

The fund rating is a convenient composite measure of both risk and returns. It is purely quantitative and there is no subjective component to the rating system. Each category must have a minimum of 10 funds for it to be rated. A fund with less than Rs 5 crore of average assets under management (AAUM) over the past six months will not be eligible for rating.

New Ratings
Altogether 14 funds entered the Value Research family and got rated for the first time. Eight out of the 14 belonged to the Liquid Plus and Liquid Plus Inst category, three to the equity diversified category, one to the Debt Medium Term category.

Sundaram BNP Paribas Equity Multiplier, Principal Pnb Long Term Equity 3Y I and HSBC Unique Opportunities all falling under the equity diversified category and not rated earlier, straightaway jumped to 2-star, 1-star and 1- star ratings respectively.

Both the Retail and the Institutional plan of JP Morgan India Liquid were rated for the first time. JP Morgan India Treasury Super Inst (Debt: Liquid Plus Inst) jumped to 5-star rating straight away while the other three funds – JP Morgan India Treasury Retail (Debt: Liquid Plus), JP Morgan India Liquid Retail (Debt: Ultra Short-term) and IDFC Money Manager Treasury B (Debt: Liquid Plus Inst) – grabbed a 4-star rating. Four funds joined the 2-star bandwagon while three jumped to the 3-star category. Three funds managed 1-star rating.

Upgrades
Twenty seven funds got upgraded in March. Birla Sun Life Gilt Plus Liquid belonging to the Gilt: Short-term category was upgraded the most -- by two notches. It had a 1-star rating earlier and managed a 3-star rating in March. Twenty six out of these 27 funds got upgraded by one notch. Altogether 508 funds did not witness any change in their ratings in March. 

Upgrades
Funds    Mar-10    Feb-10    Change
Birla Sun Life Gilt Plus Liquid   3   1   2
Sundaram BNP Paribas CAPEX Opp Reg-G   5   4   1
ICICI Prudential Index Retail   5   4   1
Tata Treasury Manager HI   4   3   1
ING Contra   4   3   1
UTI Equity Tax Savings   3   2   1
Tata Index Sensex A   3   2   1
Kotak Balance   3   2   1
Magnum Income   2   1   1
LICMF Opportunities   2   1   1
 

Downgrades
Altogether 26 funds got downgraded by one notch in March. No fund was downgraded by more than one notch.

Downgrades
Funds    Mar-10    Feb-10    Change
DWS Ultra Short Term Inst   4   5   -1
Canara Robeco MIP   4   5   -1
Canara Robeco Liquid Super Inst   4   5   -1
Birla Sun Life Frontline Equity Plan A   4   5   -1
Nifty Junior BeES   4   5   -1
Canara Robeco Liquid Ret   3   4   -1
Templeton India TMA Liquid   2   3   -1
DWS Money Plus Reg   2   3   -1
Canara Robeco Emerging Equities   2   3   -1
Birla Sun Life Tax Plan   2   3   -1
 

Fund House Round Up
Altogether 15 funds (of their total rated funds) each of Birla Sun Life, ICICI Prudential and Franklin Templeton were in the elite 4-5 star category. Among other big funds houses, HDFC, UTI and Reliance had 14, 13, and 11 funds respectively (out of their total rated funds) in the 4- or 5-star category in March.

If you look at percentage of rated funds that are in the elite category, Quantum comes out at the top. Only two of its funds are rated and both belong to the elite category. Quantum Long Term Equity is rated 5-star and Quantum Liquid is rated 4-star. Close on its heels is Sahara MF whose six out of eight rated funds are in the 4-5 star rated. Next comes Fortis MF whose eight out of 13 rated funds are 4-5 star rated.

When it comes to possessing the highest number of funds that are rated by Value Research, Birla Sun Life tops the list in March with 42 rated funds. Close behind are ICICI Prudential and Franklin Templeton with 40 and 38 rated funds respectively. Reliance, the fund house with the highest assets under management, has 24 rated funds.

How They Stack Up
Fund House    *    **    ***    ****    *****    Total
Birla Sun Life   2   7   18   12   3   42
ICICI Prudential   1   12   12   8   7   40
Franklin Templeton   2   3   18   12   3   38
UTI Mutual Fund       8   16   9   4   37
HDFC       6   14   11   3   34
SBI   5   13   7   6   1   32
Tata   1   10   10   8   1   30
IDFC   5   3   12   4   1   25
Reliance   1       12   6   5   24
Principal   1   10   8   3       22
Kotak Mahindra   2   4   9   6       21
DSPBR   3   3   6   3   4   19
Sundaram BNP Paribas       8   6   3   2   19
HSBC   7   5   6   1       19
J M   7   2   3   3   3   18
ING   1   5   9   2   1   18
LIC   5   6   1   3   2   17
Canara Robeco       2   5   6   3   16
Deutsche       4   6   4       14
L&T   4   2   6   1   1   14
Fortis   4   1       3   5   13
Fidelity   1   2   4   3       10
Religare   1   1   4   2   1   9
Sahara           2   4   2   8
AIG Global Inv       2   4   1       7
Benchmark       1   1   2   1   5
JPMorgan   1       1   2   1   5
Bharti AXA   1   4               5
Escorts   1   2           1   4
Taurus   1   1   1   1       4
Quantum               1   1   2
Baroda Pioneer       1           1   2
Edelweiss       1               1
Morgan Stanley       1               1
Rating as on 31st March 2010