2nd January 2015
Last year was a rollercoaster ride for investors, who had to deal with mergers, oil prices and problems in Europe, but if you were invested in India you’ll have done well.
India focused funds made up the top three funds of the year and six of the top 10 performing funds of the year. The top performer was the Jupiter India fund, run by Avinash Vazirani, after returning 52.65% over the year.
This was followed by First State Indian Subcontinent fund, managed by David Gait, which returned 51.05% and the Neptune India, managed by Kunal Desi, which returned 49.965%.
AXA Framlington Biotech fund came in fourth place with a return of 45.26% and Invesco India Equity returned 44.13%, which pushed it into fifth place.
Laith Khalaf, senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: ‘The fall in oil price has dominated the markets this year. Indian funds have flattened everything else: a country which has been a major beneficiary of a reformist government and the lower oil price.’
He added that healthcare funds were also boosted this year by ‘merger and acquisition fever’ and the ‘repeal of medical devices tax in the US’.
In the last month of the year, smaller companies have bounced back after a poor year.
When it comes to sector, the Investment Management Association (IMA) UK Index Linked Gilt sector was the top performer, returning 18.63% over the year. It was followed by IMA North America (17.84%) and IMA UK Gilt (14.53%). IMA Technology and Telecoms and IMA Property returned 14% and 12.45% respectively.
‘At a sector level, UK index-linked gilts pipped North America to the top spot, with the Dow Jones and S&P hitting record highs despite the tapering and end of quantitative easing,’ said Khalaf. ‘The US market has also been boosted by a strengthening dollar.
‘Gilts generally have had a terrific year as the prospect of interest rate rises in the UK push back rather than draw closer. They have also benefitted from risk-off investing during market volatility.’
European and UK small company sectors saw a reversal of their 2013 fortunes in 2014 – moving from best performing to worst. European sectors accounted for three of the bottom five worst-performing sectors, with UK smaller companies taking bottom spot after returning -1.66% over the year.
‘The eurozone continues to stumble towards deflation and full blow n QE and investors in Europe had a tough year,’ said Khalaf. ‘However, despite price falls in the FTSE 100 and All Share in 2014, the fact that only four sectors posted minor losses provides some encouragement, and total returns for the main markets were all positive.’