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Pioneer ITI Prima Plus

The fund is attractive for its diversification, strategic focus on quality growth stocks and the fund manager's strong conviction.

Pioneer ITI Prima Plus invests in large and mid-cap growth stocks with strong fundamentals. Carrying a diverse portfolio of these stocks, the fund has fallen by 2.38 percent in 2001 year-to-date through December 11, 2001, a superior return against 17.53 average decline of the 42 equity funds. And its three-year return of 29 percent hides its meager 7.65 percent annualised total return since launch.

Besides being a diversified, the fund also gets aggressive with its sector preferences. And at the peak of the technology boom in February 2000, the fund had almost 50 percent in technology stocks. In the current year, the portfolio is once again tilted to technology and healthcare stocks. R.Sukumar the fund manager remains upbeat on these sectors and expects them to throw up most opportunities in the long term for their global competitiveness.

The fund was an early believer in technology and the portfolio was heavily into top tier technology positions -- Infosys, Satyam, Wipro, HCL Technologies, acquired well ahead of its counterparts, the picks boosted returns substantially. With tech decline and in a rough market, the fund regained diversity with focus on large cap quality stocks and selective diversification. The fund remains upbeat on Infosys, its top position. On the other hand Hughes Software, the top holding of the fund for a long time was knocked off for its troubled telecom equipment segment in September '01. Besides, the fund shows high turnover and aggressive churning. The fund manager defends this stand as a move to gain from arbitrage between local and ADR/GDRs and also as value based trading opportunities.

About its history, the fund was caught in IPO boom of 1994. The fund struggled with a long portfolio of small and mid cap holdings. Only in 1998, the fund redefined it portfolio focus and managed a comeback by 1999 boom. After been through more than a full market cycle, the fund has settled with its prudent diversification policy and clear portfolio focus.

The fund is attractive for its diversification and strategic focus on quality growth stocks, well backed by the manager's conviction. Pioneer ITI Prima Plus deserves being core of a growth portfolio.