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Asia Pacific and Gem strongest in March

Lipper’s monthly retail fund review has identified the Asia Pacific excluding Japan and Global Emerging Markets (Gem) as the best performing Investment Management Association (IMA) sectors in March.

The Asia ex Japan sector delivered 11.02% between February 27 and March 31 2009, while Gem returned 10.94% over the same period.

Richard Ramyar, the head of research for Britain at Lipper, says in the report that the majority of sectors achieved a positive return over the month. “The month of March ended on a high note in the midst of the recessionary gloom. 70% of IMA sectors achieved positive returns in March, decisively led by a pronounced bounce in emerging markets,” he says.

“Relative to developed markets, emerging markets are analogous to a leveraged investment in the global outlook. This amplification of the ups and downs of the global downturn meant that these returns were almost double the next best performance offered by competing sectors.”

In keeping with the success of the Eastern theme, the best performing fund over the month was Barings Korea, which generated a 25.02% return. Commodities offerings from Junior Oils and Oceanic, a Credit Suisse Eastern European fund and Neptune Russia also featured in the top five.

In the bottom five were two New Star funds – Sterling Bond and Strategic Income – as well as Baillie Gifford High Yield Bond and an Asian property fund.

Ramyar comments: “The two themes evident in the top five performers were commodities and eastern Europe, with four of the top five funds benefiting from the pre-G20 optimism for those investments.”

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