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Banking Funds Lead

Banking funds raced to a 5.98 per cent gain, while auto funds lost the most last week. Barring FMCG and tech funds, all other categories underperformed their respective benchmarks

Under pressure from profit booking, equity markets closed flat in the week ended March 11, 2004. Barring FMCG and tech funds, all other categories underperformed their respective benchmarks. On the debt side, a fall in the benchmark yield helped all bond funds deliver positive returns.

EQUITY FUNDS
Top Gainer:
Banking funds gained the most once again. The two-fund category added a whopping 5.98 per cent in a week that was not so good for the equity market. They also beat the 3.07 per cent return of the benchmark BSE Bankex. UTI Banking Sector Fund surged 6.31 per cent, while Reliance Banking gained 5.65 per cent.

Top Loser: After delivering over 4 per cent return in the week ended March 4, 2004, the two-member category of auto funds seem to have run out of gas last week--they lost 1.70 per cent.

Diversified and Tax-planning Funds: They signed off last week on a flat note. While diversified funds gained 0.01 per cent, tax-planning funds lost 0.09 per cent. They also underperformed the 0.06 per cent return of benchmark BSE Sensex.

Top-5 Diversified Funds: Alliance Buy India (3.46 per cent), Birla Advantage (2.31 per cent), Birla Mid Cap (2.06 per cent), Principal Dividend Yield (1.82 per cent) and UTI Services Sector (1.75 per cent).

Bottom-5 Diversified Funds: Taurus Discovery Stock (-3.34 per cent), Taurus Starshare (-3.23 per cent), Escorts Growth (-2.11 per cent), GIC D'Mat (-1.56 per cent) and Bonanza Exclusive Growth (-1.53 per cent).

Top-5 Tax-planning Funds: Birla Equity Plan (2.50 per cent), Alliance Capital Tax Relief '96 (1.32 per cent), Principal Personal Tax Saver Fund (0.83 per cent), LICMF Tax Plan (0.64 per cent) and Prudential ICICI Tax Plan (0.61 per cent).

Bottom-5 Tax-planning Funds: Escorts Tax Plan (-1.76 per cent), HDFC Taxsaver (-1.69 per cent), Libra Taxshield '96 (-1.40 per cent), Canequity-Tax Saver (-0.99 per cent) and ING Vysya Tax Savings (-0.98 per cent).

FMCG and technology funds were the only equity funds' category to beat their benchmarks last week--both gained 0.06 per cent each to outperform the 2.57 per cent loss and a marginal 0.02 per cent gain of the BSE FMCG and BSE IT indices, respectively.

DSPML Technology.com (1.47 per cent), Alliance New Millennium (1.05 per cent) and Franklin Infotech (0.32 per cent) were the top-three gainers among the tech funds. All others lost over the week, with Prudential ICICI Technology losing the most--the fund shed 0.85 per cent.

Pharma funds did well. The five-fund category gained 1.91 per cent. However, this was not enough to beat the 2.27 per cent gain of the benchmark BSE Healthcare Index. Only Magnum Pharma (up 3.33 per cent) could beat the benchmark.

Equity-oriented hybrid funds ended the week up 0.19 per cent.

BOND FUNDS
All bond fund categories delivered positive returns in the week ended March 11, 2005.

MIPs, which maintain a small exposure to equities, added 0.11 per cent over the week.

Income funds (0.12 per cent), gilt medium and long-term funds (0.22 per cent), debt short-term (0.10 per cent), floaters (0.09 per cent) cash funds (0.09 per cent) and gilt short-term funds (0.09 per cent) too delivered positive returns.

How They Fared
Objective  Return
Equity: Tax Planning -0.09
Equity: Diversified 0.01
Equity: Pharma 1.91
Equity: Auto -1.70
Equity: Banking 5.98
Hybrid: Equity-oriented 0.19
Equity: FMCG 0.06
Equity: Technology 0.06
Hybrid: Monthly Income 0.11
Equity: Petroleum 0.12
Debt: Medium-term 0.12
Debt: Short-term 0..10
Debt: Floating Rate 0.09
Debt: Ultra Short-term 0.09
Gilt: Short-term 0.09
Gilt: Medium & Long-term 0.22
BSE Sensex  0.06
BSE IT Index  0.02
BSE Healthcare Index  2.27
BSE FMCG Index  -2.57