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Equity Funds Fail to Fire

Equity funds failed to exploit last week's stock markets' rally. All equity categories underperformed their respective benchmarks by huge margins

Equity funds failed to exploit last week's stock markets' rally. All equity categories underperformed their respective benchmarks by huge margins. There was no action in the bond markets in a short week ended November 4, 2005. Consequently, nothing much happened on the debt side.

EQUITY FUNDS
The Leader: FMCG funds gained the most last week. The three-fund category added 1.38 per cent but fell way short of the 6.48 per cent rise in benchmark BSE FMCG index.

The Laggards: Banking funds continued their poor performance last week as well. The two-member category lost 1.22 per cent to underperform the 3.57 per cent gain of benchmark BSE Bankex.

Diversified equity and ELSS funds had a rewarding week. The two categories added 1.02 and 0.44 per cent, respectively, but this was not enough to beat the 5.04 per cent gain of the benchmark Sensex.

Top-5 diversified equity funds: Cangrowth Plus (6.31 per cent), Can D'Mat (5.62 per cent), LICMF Equity (5.25 per cent), LICMF Sensex Advantage (4.95 per cent), and LICMF Growth (4.53 per cent).

Bottom-5 diversified equity funds: BoB Growth (-1.96 per cent), UTI India Advantage Equity (-1.49 per cent), Taurus Discovery Stock (-1.42 per cent), Templeton India Growth (-1.12 per cent), and Magnum Global (-1.08 per cent).

Top-5 tax-planning funds: LICMF Tax Plan (4.53 per cent), Birla Equity Plan (1.83 per cent), Magnum Taxgain (1.32 per cent), Franklin India Taxshield (1.19 per cent), and Sundaram Taxsaver (1.07 per cent).

Bottom-5 tax-planning funds: Canequity-Tax Saver (-1.27 per cent), BoB ELSS '96 (-1.08 per cent), Birla Sun Life Tax Relief '96 (-0.81 per cent), Tata Tax Saving (-0.71 per cent), and Principal Personal Tax Saver (-0.48 per cent).

Among rest of the equity categories, technology funds gained an average 1.12 per cent but failed to beat the 6.37 per cent return of benchmark BSE IT index. Pharma funds continue to disappoint. Even as healthcare stocks did well last week with the BSE Healthcare index gaining 2.50 per cent, pharma funds lost 0.82 per cent.

Equity oriented hybrid funds, which normally maintain 60:40 equity, debt ratio, added 0.72 per cent last week.

BOND FUNDS

Medium-term debt funds gained a nominal 0.08 per cent, while medium and long-term gilt funds added an average 0.09 per cent. Debt short-term (0.10 per cent), ultra short-term (0.10 per cent) and short-term gilt (0.08 per cent) funds delivered positive returns too. MIPs gained an average 0.56 per cent.