THE Malaysian equity fund sector has outperformed others by producing an investment return of 92.83 per cent in the year to end-September, according to the Hong Kong Investment Funds Association. In the same period, the Singapore and Singapore/ Malaysian equity sector was the next best performer with an annual return of 75.94 per cent. Japanese warrants were third with a return of 68.8 per cent, according to a survey conducted by the association. The survey Asia continued to dominate the top 10 performing sectors in the past eight months. Single Asian country funds filled six of the slots, while regional Asian funds took the remainder. ''Both single country and regional Asian funds continue to offer investors opportunities to capitalise on the growth potential in the region. The return of all the top 10 sectors exceed 40 per cent with the highest nearly double in one year,'' said Andrew Lo, vice-chairman of the association. The Chinese funds sector was not among the top 15 in the performance survey. ''In the past year, investors had a lot of investment choice other than Chinese funds,'' said Karen Hui, manager of Barclays International Fund Managers. For instance, nine Chinese enterprises had obtained permission from the State Council to be listed in Hong Kong and several Hong Kong companies had proposed substantial projects in China. They all provided channels for investment in the mainland market, said Ms Hui. Investors might also lose their confidence in Chinese companies due to their unsatisfactory performance during the period the survey was conducted, she said. Some companies could not fulfil the level of performance as stated in their prospectuses, Ms Hui said, adding that as a result, investors might question the management's maturity and reduce their investment. ''The large trade volume of the Malaysian stock market and the Singapore stock market also reflect a significant economic growth in the two countries, which attracts investors,'' Ms Hui said. G.T. Management (Asia) deputy managing director Oscar Wong said investors also hesitated to invest in Chinese funds due to the overheated economy. The survey also found the top 10 individual funds were all Asian funds. Malaysian and Malaysian/Singapore funds continued to dominate the ranking table with returns of more than 90 per cent in a year, occupying seven slots out of the top 10. The JF Malaysia, GAM Singapore and Malaysia, and JF India Pacific funds were the top three performers with returns of 133.97 per cent, 121.71 per cent and 110.17 per cent, respectively.