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94% Of funds fall over 2008

Only 6 per cent of funds have produced a positive performance in 2008, according to Financial Express research.

Just 114 of 1,755 funds managed a positive return, with global bond funds dominating the list of top-performing funds as of December 12.

Neptune Japan opportunities, managed by Chris Taylor, is top, with a return of 78 per cent this year, 30 per cent ahead of its nearest challenger. M&G international bond is second, returning 46.58 per cent, the highest of eight global bond funds in the top 10 and 17 in the top 20, including offerings from Swip, Henderson and Threadneedle.

Sandwiched between the global bond funds is the Threadneedle target return fund, in eighth place with a return of 32 per cent.

The biggest faller is Oceanic Australian natural resources, with a loss of 68 per cent. The fund is closely followed by Melchior pan-Asian advantage and Close Beacon investment which have lost 60 per cent and 59 per cent respectively.

UK gilts is the best-performing sector with 6.7 per cent, with the global bonds and money market sectors the only others to produce positive returns. The worst performance is from UK smaller companies with an average loss of 41 per cent.

Hargreaves Lansdown senior analyst Meera Patel says: “The Neptune fund has done well because the manager has hedged his portfolio and called the market spot-on on this occasion. However, he does not sit in our Wealth 150 as his long-term record is patchy. Currency has also had a lot to do with the return on Neptune Japan. If the fund were measured in yen, it would only be up by 10.4 per cent.”

Sector performance

Total return, Bid to bid custom table from UK retail UT and Oeic universe,

Performance 01/01/2008 to 12/12/2008

UK Gilt 6.78Global Bonds 6.4

Money Market 2.15Absolute Return -1.67UK Index – Linked Gilts -4.94Japan -6.82Protected/Guaranteed -6.92Sterling Corporate Bond -11.49Japanese Smaller Cos -12.13New funds not yet assigned -13.2

Pensions -14.53Sterling Strategic Bond -15.82Cautious Managed -17.49Nth American Sm Cos -19.63Unclassified -19.75North America -20.84Balanced Managed -23.76UT UK Equity & Bond Income -24.55Sterling High Yield -25.94UK Zeros -26.59Global Growth -26.91Specialist -27.52Asia Pacific Inc Japan -27.75Technology & Telecoms -27.87Active Managed -28.07UK Equity Income -30.32Europe Excluding UK -30.32Europe Including UK -31.48UK All Companies -33.35Asia Pacific Excluding Japan -35.01Source: Financial Express

Fund performance

Total return, Bid to bid custom table from UK retail UT and Oeic universe

Performance 01/01/2008 to 12/12/2008

Neptune Japan Opportunities 78.41M&G International Sovereign Bond 46.58Swip Global Bond Plus 42.56Henderson Overseas Bond 38.46Threadneedle Global Bond 36.98SG International Bond T 33.91Investec Global Bond T 33.47Threadneedle Target Return 32.2

Newton International Bond 31.85Scottish Widows International Bond 31.72BlackRock Global Bond 30.35F&C Global Bond 28.38Threadneedle European Bond 25.51Baring Global Bond 25.41M&G Global Macro Bond 24.11M&G Emerging Markets Bond 19.37Threadneedle Dollar Bond 17.82Invesco Perpetual Global Bond 17.22CF Morant Wright Japan 14.65Investec Emerging Markets Debt 14.63Old Mutual Global Strategic Bond 14.17Allianz Pimco Gilt Yield 13.27Threadneedle Emerging Market Bond 13.15M&G European Corporate Bond 12.15Threadneedle Absolute Return Bond 12.02Franklin Templeton Franklin Biotech 11.95CF Ruffer Total Return 11.4

CF Ruffer Absolute Return 9.67CF Lord Abbett Ltd Bond Debenture 9.26BlackRock Govt Securities 9.23Source: Financial Express

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