Best and worst: Emerging markets funds

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The Independent Online
FUNDS investing in emerging markets are living up to their volatile reputation, writes Neasa MacErlean. Top of the table was Quantum Emerging Growth, a George Soros fund, which doubled in value over the year, while the worst performer, First India Investment, declined by half.

As the emerging markets become more liquid, and therefore more attractive to investors, several new funds have been launched and more are on the way. Foreign & Colonial is to launch an India fund, Jardine Fleming a China fund, and Schroders a general fund.

The Quantum fund, based in the Netherlands Antilles, invests dollars 1.6bn across the globe, while First India manages only dollars 7.5m. In total, Micropal lists 10 Indian and Pakistan equity funds, and all have dropped in value by at least 6 per cent over the year. Factors have been a highly speculative investment environment, political uncertainty, the devaluaton of the rupee and a decline in the national stock index of 21 per cent. In the last three months, however, six of the funds increased in value.

Current star performers are the Malaysian funds and, to a lesser extent, Thai funds. Both areas showed an average return of 35 per cent over the last year although the Thai funds tended to be closer to the average than the wider Malaysian funds.

------------------------------------------------------------------------ EMERGING MARKETS FUNDS ------------------------------------------------------------------------ The best (% growth) 1 Quantum Emerging Growth 107.71 2 Jardine Fleming Malaysia 65.27 3 Thornton New Tiger Malaysia 59.31 4 Fidelity Funds Malaysia 59.30 5 Providence Capitol Thailand 57.84 The worst 416 India Growth Fund -31.14 417 Pakistan Fund -31.19 418 GT Shenzhen and China -39.61 419 Argentinian Investment Company -46.55 420 First India Investment Fund -50.30 ------------------------------------------------------------------------ The chart shows the increase or decline in net asset value of the funds (in USdollars ) for the year to 30 June 1993, with gross income reinvested. Source: Micropal ------------------------------------------------------------------------