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Thematic Funds: Still Awaiting a Comeback

There are quite a few equity funds, primarily theme-based funds, which are still away from their peak values and AUM despite the surge in the market


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Out of 468 equity funds, the NAVs of 399 funds have peaked but there are some funds which are still far from attaining their highest points. We looked at 13 out of 59 funds which have more than 20 per cent deviation from the highest NAV in their history and have also lost a major chunk of their assets. Some of these funds were quite popular at the time of their launches.

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These are primarily theme-based funds like infrastructure, gold and international funds. Sector and thematic funds are cyclical and outperform only for a short span of time when the markets are in their favour. Gold returns have seen a downfall with the market gaining strength, which has made gold funds an unfavourable investment. PineBridge World Gold Fund has the highest deviation of 53.8 per cent from its peak NAV. The biggest losers in assets among the gold-flavoured funds are DSP BlackRock World Mining Fund and DSP BlackRock World Gold Fund, which have declined by over 75 per cent in the past three years.

Infrastructure funds have made a comeback this year but funds such as SBI Infrastructure Fund have still not achieved their earlier highs. Among these funds, SBI Infrastructure Fund has the highest decline in AUM of almost 80 per cent. Infrastructure funds had caught investors' fancy prior to the 2008 crisis, though they dropped after the market downturn. SBI Infrastructure Fund converted into an open-end fund in July, 2010, and investors readily redeemed money from the fund. Other blockbuster funds like JM Basic Fund and UTI Energy Fund also suffered because of the poor performance of sectors like energy, infrastructure, power and engineering and have failed to regain their popularity. These funds were among the top-performing funds in their initial years.

Investors are exiting these funds as they have lost their charm and the fact that markets are at an all time high has not caused a turnaround in their fate.

Losing Lustre

Basic NameFall from Peak Value (%)Change in Assets
(%)*
Peak Date
SBI Infrastructure Fund-28.03-79.94Jan 4, 2008
JM Basic Fund-49.59-86.87Jan 2, 2008
DSP BlackRock World Gold Fund-52.01-77.92Sep 8, 2011
UTI Energy Fund-21.67-66.25Jan 4, 2008
JM Core 11 Fund-39.24-87.94May 7, 2008
DSP BlackRock World Mining Fund-41.66-92.99Apr 11, 2011
PineBridge World Gold Fund-53.77-75.44Sep 20, 2011
Birla Sun Life Latin America Equity Fund-20.18-86.42Jan 5, 2011
Escorts Infrastructure Fund-52.8-77.94Jan 7, 2008
HSBC Brazil Fund-26.74-4.92Sep 3, 2014
Escorts Tax Plan-28.98-37.66Jan 7, 2008
Sundaram Infrastructure Advantage Fund-27.1312.09Jan 7, 2008
L&T Infrastructure Fund-23.04188.16Jan 2, 2008
* Between the assets on the peak dates of NAVs and those on December 03, 2014.


 
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