Russia, China drive emerging equity fund gains in H1
By Sujata Rao
LONDON, July 13(Reuters) - Mutual funds investing in Russia and China were the top emerging equity performers in the first half of 2015, though a shakeout in Shanghai and weaker oil prices may erode those gains in coming months.
Funds specialising in eastern and central Europe topped the list, based on data compiled by Lipper, a fund ratings, ranking and information company belonging to Thomson Reuters. The data relates to funds sold in Britain.
Eastern Europe-dedicated funds are usually dominated by Russia which comprises 67 percent of MSCI's East Europe index.
Moscow stocks rose 18 percent in dollar terms between January and June after last year's 40 percent drop, a rise that was driven mainly by an oil's 45 percent bounce in this period.
Another eastern European market, Hungary, has also done well, helped by central bank rate cuts and signs of recovery in Germany and the euro zone. Hungarian stocks returned 17 percent, this graphic shows: link.reuters.com/weh36s
Chinese stocks are now in the red after a 30 percent slump in mainland markets that started in mid-June but offshore-listed shares gained almost 20 percent in dollar terms between January and end-June.
The Russian and Chinese gains, after years of weakness, wrong-footed many emerging funds. But it proved a good half-year for BRIC funds which invest in the "big four" of Brazil, Russia, India and China.
"We did very well because of China though we do not participate in the A-share market," said Kunal Ghosh, a portfolio manager at Allianz Global Investments, whose BRIC and Global EM equity funds topped the league table with 18 and 14 percent returns. Continuación...