European investors reap best rewards

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 11 January, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 11 January, 1998, 12:00am

THERE were some winners among the funds marketed in Hong Kong last year - but less than a handful had their money invested in Asia.

In the year when the Asian miracle transformed into mirage, it was the European and global investors with a taste for risk who reaped the largest rewards.

On pure performance, last year's top fund was Invesco European Warrants. According to Micropal's measurements, the fund soared 157 per cent as it rode the investment drive into Europe and scored further by linking itself to the highly geared warrant sector.

Second place went to an emerging-market fund, but it was in the emerging European markets rather than the traditional Asian and Latin American sectors that Baring East European Equity made its 52 per cent gains.

Among the few Asia-orientated managers who bucked the otherwise grim trend last year was Jardine Fleming funds. Its Japanese Warrant product gained 23 per cent, a return equalled by the same group's Taiwan Fund. Reflecting Taiwan's relative immunity from the turmoil in the rest of Asia, Impac AP Taiwan managed a nearly 10 per cent gain on the year.

The full story on the performance last year of Hong Kong-authorised funds will be revealed on February 19 at the South China Morning Post Fund Manager of the Year Award, which is organised in association with Micropal.

The winning managers will be those who achieved the best balance between performance and prudence. They will be presented with awards at a gala dinner at the Shangri-La Hotel.