India’s best performing mutual funds for March 2021

Here is how various fund categories performed in the month of Mar-21.

Apr 06, 2021 09:04 IST India Infoline News Service

The month of Mar-21 was volatile but most of the action happened around the 15,000 levels of the Nifty, which it effectively struggled to cross. The resurgence in COVID cases kept a lid on the market as was evident from the aggressive call writing around the 15,000 levels. FPI flows were also largely tepid even as domestic investors invested over Rs8,200cr in the last four days of the month of March 2021.

For the full month, Nifty gave 1.11% returns, which is lower than the previous month. The Nifty failed to decisively take out the 15,000 levels as economic growth continued to be elusive. Here is how various fund categories performed in the month of Mar-21.
  1. Equity Large Cap Funds
Top performing Regular Plans (Growth Option) on 5-year returns (as on 31st Mar-21):
Name of Fund 1-Year Return 3-Year Return 5-Year Return
Axis Blue Chip Fund (G) 53.919% 16.525% 16.565%
Canara Robeco Blue-chip (G) 70.226% 17.153% 16.488%
Mirae Asset Large Cap (G) 75.436% 13.741% 16.346%
Data Source: Morningstar
  1. Equity Multi-Cap Funds
Top performing Regular Plans (Growth Option) on 5-year returns (as on 31st Mar-21):
Name of Fund 1-Year Return 3-Year Return 5-Year Return
Quant Active Fund (G) 126.916% 19.868% 19.876%
Parag Parikh Flexi Cap (G) 86.451% 19.479% 17.853%
UTI Flexi Cap Fund (G) 88.102% 18.502% 17.373%
Data Source: Morningstar
  1. Equity Mid-Cap Funds
Top performing Regular Plans (Growth Option) on 5-year returns (as on 31st Mar-21):
Name of Fund 1-Year Return 3-Year Return 5-Year Return
Axis Mid Cap Fund (G) 71.271% 17.702% 19.041%
Kotak Emerging Equity (G) 98.058% 13.636% 18.076%
DSP Mid Cap Fund (G) 76.857% 12.661% 17.793%
Data Source: Morningstar
  1. Equity Linked Savings Schemes (Tax Saving)
Top performing Regular Plans (Growth Option) on 5-year returns (as on 31st Mar-21):
Name of Fund 1-Year Return 3-Year Return 5-Year Return
Mirae Asset Tax Saver (G) 93.018% 17.833% 21.441%
Quant Tax Plan (G) 136.434% 21.064% 21.307%
BOI AXA Tax Advantage (G) 79.991% 13.091% 17.819%
Data Source: Morningstar
  1. Balanced Funds (Aggressive Allocation)
Top performing Regular Plans (Growth Option) on 5-year returns (as on 31st Mar-21):
Name of Fund 1-Year Return 3-Year Return 5-Year Return
Quant Absolute Fund (G) 92.166% 18.215% 15.716%
Canara Robeco Eq Hybrid (G) 51.456% 13.626% 14.431%
Mirae Asset Hybrid (G) 57.036% 12.880% 14.149%
Data Source: Morningstar
  1. Balanced Funds (Conservative Allocation)
Top performing Regular Plans (Growth Option) on 5-year returns (as on 31st Mar-21):
Name of Fund 1-Year Return 3-Year Return 5-Year Return
ICICI Pru Savings Fund (G) 18.331% 9.073% 10.254%
Kotak Debt Hybrid (G) 25.725% 9.197% 9.723%
Aditya Birla Reg. Savings (G) 29.494% 6.538% 9.159%
Data Source: Morningstar
  1. Arbitrage Funds (Cash-Futures)
Top performing Regular Plans (Growth Option) on 5-year returns (as on 31st Mar-21):
Name of Fund 1-Year Return 3-Year Return 5-Year Return
Nippon Arbitrage Fund (G) 3.689% 5.351% 5.730%
Edelweiss Arbitrage Fund (G) 3.545% 5.339% 5.721%
Kotak Equity Arbitrage (G) 3.697% 5.329% 5.704%
Data Source: Morningstar
  1. Government Securities Funds (Gilt Funds)
Top performing Regular Plans (Growth Option) on 5-year returns (as on 31st Mar-21):
Name of Fund 1-Year Return 3-Year Return 5-Year Return
IDFC G-Sec Fund (G) 8.082% 10.635% 9.481%
SBI Magnum Gilt Fund (G) 7.794% 9.733% 9.430%
Nippon India Gilt Fund (G) 6.211% 9.523% 9.413%
Data Source: Morningstar
  1. Credit Risk Funds
Top performing Regular Plans (Growth Option) on 5-year returns (as on 31st Mar-21):
Name of Fund 1-Year Return 3-Year Return 5-Year Return
ICICI Pru Credit Risk Fund (G) 8.460% 8.284% 8.376%
HDFC Credit Risk Fund (G) 9.579% 8.092% 8.241%
SBI Credit Risk Fund (G) 8.041% 7.020% 7.553%
Data Source: Morningstar
  1. Liquid Funds
Top performing Regular Plans (Growth Option) on 5-year returns (as on 31st Mar-21):
Name of Fund 1-Year Return 3-Year Return 5-Year Return
Quant Liquid Plan (G) 4.492% 6.211% 6.560%
IDBI Liquid Fund (G) 3.853% 5.878% 6.314%
Aditya Birla SL Liquid (G) 3.671% 5.784% 6.306%
Data Source: Morningstar


Key takeaways from March 2021 performance
  • One year equity fund returns in Mar-21 are sharply higher than in Feb-21 and that is largely due to the base effect. March 2020 was a month when the Nifty and Sensex had dipped sharply resulting in overtly high one-year returns.
  • Debt returns are under pressure at the long end and the short end. The sharp spike in US bond yields was followed by Indian benchmark bond yields crossing 6.32%. This put pressure on bond prices and impacted returns. At the short end, liquid funds and arbitrage funds are seeing returns under pressure due to surplus liquidity in the system.
  • In the last one year, it is the multi-caps that have done appreciably well. That is largely because they combined the beta recovery of large caps with the alpha qualities of mid-caps and small caps. In the process, overall returns for the year were enhanced.
We reiterate, like on previous occasions, that while returns have varied, the winners within each category have remained largely consistent. That gives greater predictability to investors designing their investment strategy based on past returns; which is positive.

Related Story

Open Free Demat Account (Rs699)