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India’s best performing mutual funds for March 2022

For the month of Mar-22, Nifty and Mid-Cap Nifty closed with gains of 3.99% and 4.78% respectively.

April 04, 2022 11:11 IST | India Infoline News Service
If the market were in the negative zone in Jan-22 and Feb-22, then the tables changed sharply in the month of Mar-22. For the month of Mar-22, Nifty and Mid-Cap Nifty closed with gains of 3.99% and 4.78% respectively. But the bigger stock-specific gains were visible in the small cap index which rallied by 6.01% in Mar-22.

FPI selling continued relentlessly in Mar-22. After FPIs sold Rs35,592cr in equities in Feb-22, they sold another Rs41,123cr in Mar-22. There were a number of headwinds resulting in aggressive FPI selling. The inflation was going up sharply, input costs were hurting, Fed was getting ultra-hawkish and the geopolitical situation was worsening with Russia and Ukraine officially at war. The sanctions and retaliations by Russia have created a lot of uncertainty.

After the sharp spike in bond yields in Jan-22, February and March were relatively quiet month. It may be recollected that in early Feb-22, the 10-year benchmark bond yields got perilously close to the 7% mark. For Mar-22, yields stayed in the range of 6.80% and 6.90% through the month. However, a lot will predicate on how the RBI eventually reacts to the Fed hawkishness and the first indications will only be out in April monetary policy.

1. Equity Large-Cap Funds

Top performing Regular Plans (Growth Option) on 5-year returns (as on 31st Mar-22):
Name of Fund 1-Year Return 3-Year Return 5-Year Return
Axis Blue-Chip Fund (G) 15.564% 16.785% 16.680%
Canara Robeco Blue-Chip (G) 15.701% 18.343% 15.727%
Mirae Asset Large Cap (G) 18.385% 15.059% 14.414%
Data Source: Morningstar

2. Equity Multi-Cap Funds

Top performing Regular Plans (Growth Option) on 5-year returns (as on 31st Mar-22):
Name of Fund 1-Year Return 3-Year Return 5-Year Return
Quant Active Fund (G) 41.428% 32.949% 24.208%
Sundaram Multi-Cap Fund (G) 31.704% 18.487% 14.950%
Baroda Multi Cap (G) 32.953% 21.294% 14.705%
Data Source: Morningstar

3. Equity Mid-Cap Funds

Top performing Regular Plans (Growth Option) on 5-year returns (as on 31st Mar-22):
Name of Fund 1-Year Return 3-Year Return 5-Year Return
Quant Mid-Cap Fund (G) 48.178% 29.999% 21.642%
Axis Mid Cap Fund (G) 22.440% 22.698% 19.344%
PGIM India Mid-Cap Fund (G) 34.184% 32.257% 18.509%
Data Source: Morningstar

4. Equity Small-Cap Funds

Top performing Regular Plans (Growth Option) on 5-year returns (as on 31st Mar-22):

Name of Fund 1-Year Return 3-Year Return 5-Year Return
Quant Small Cap Fund (G) 58.089% 37.448% 22.437%
Axis Small Cap Fund (G) 39.941% 30.432% 20.807%
SBI Small Cap Fund (G) 28.434% 25.498% 20.464%
Data Source: Morningstar

5. Equity Linked Savings Schemes (Tax Saving)

Top performing Regular Plans (Growth Option) on 5-year returns (as on 31st Mar-22):
Name of Fund 1-Year Return 3-Year Return 5-Year Return
Quant Tax Plan (G) 44.227% 34.872% 24.130%
BOI AXA Tax Advantage (G) 23.844% 25.441% 18.837%
Mirae Asset Tax Saver (G) 20.404% 20.498% 18.128%
Data Source: Morningstar

6. Balanced Funds (Aggressive Allocation)

Top performing Regular Plans (Growth Option) on 5-year returns (as on 31st Mar-22):
Name of Fund 1-Year Return 3-Year Return 5-Year Return
Quant Absolute Fund (G) 35.778% 27.527% 20.427%
BOI AXA Mid and Small (G) 33.698% 21.353% 15.646%
ICICI Pru Equity & Debt (G) 32.543% 19.151% 14.871%
Data Source: Morningstar

7. Balanced Funds (Conservative Allocation)

Top performing Regular Plans (Growth Option) on 5-year returns (as on 31st Mar-22):
Name of Fund 1-Year Return 3-Year Return 5-Year Return
Kotak Debt Hybrid (G) 11.443% 11.655% 8.965%
ICICI Pru Regular (G) 9.396% 9.474% 8.888%
Canara Robeco Hybrid (G) 8.324% 10.277% 8.393%
Data Source: Morningstar

8. Arbitrage Funds (Cash-Futures)

Top performing Regular Plans (Growth Option) on 5-year returns (as on 31st Mar-22):
Name of Fund 1-Year Return 3-Year Return 5-Year Return
Kotak Equity Arbitrage (G) 4.080% 4.634% 5.229%
Nippon India Arbitrage (G) 3.977% 4.579% 5.222%
L&T Arbitrage Fund (G) 3.648% 4.659% 5.192%
Data Source: Morningstar

9. Government Securities Funds (Gilt Funds)

Top performing Regular Plans (Growth Option) on 5-year returns (as on 31st Mar-22):
Name of Fund 1-Year Return 3-Year Return 5-Year Return
Kotak Gilt Fund (G) 4.991% 8.772% 7.942%
Edelweiss G-Sec Fund (G) 4.993% 8.859% 7.742%
IDFC G-Sec Fund (G) 4.831% 9.014% 7.697%
Data Source: Morningstar

10. Corporate Bond Funds

Top performing Regular Plans (Growth Option) on 5-year returns (as on 31st Mar-22):
Name of Fund 1-Year Return 3-Year Return 5-Year Return
ABSL Corporate Bond (G) 4.989% 7.974% 7.689%
L&T Triple Ace Bond (G) 5.042% 8.733% 7.640%
HDFC Corporate Bond (G) 4.835% 7.887% 7.613%
Data Source: Morningstar

11. Credit Risk Funds

Top performing Regular Plans (Growth Option) on 5-year returns (as on 31st Mar-22):
Name of Fund 1-Year Return 3-Year Return 5-Year Return
ICICI Pru Credit Risk Fund (G) 6.713% 8.236% 7.705%
HDFC Credit Risk Fund (G) 6.925% 8.469% 7.505%
Baroda Credit Risk Fund (G) 14.185% 7.547% 7.179%
Data Source: Morningstar

12. Liquid Funds

Top performing Regular Plans (Growth Option) on 5-year returns (as on 31st Mar-22):
Name of Fund 1-Year Return 3-Year Return 5-Year Return
Quant Liquid Plan (G) 3.924% 4.996% 5.799%
IDBI Liquid Fund (G) 3.483% 4.520% 5.557%
Aditya Birla SL Liquid (G) 3.381% 4.417% 5.499%
Data Source: Morningstar

In Mar-22 equity fund returns were positive across large caps, mid-caps and small; especially in terms of shorter period returns. While there was FII selling, regular bouts of short covering and value buying helped equity funds in Mar-22. The positive impact was palpable in the mid-cap and the small-cap funds rather than large cap funds. However, longer term returns were not impacted meaningfully. The good news is that the consistency of the top performers continued, making the rankings a reliable lead indicator of future performance.

Bond funds were largely stable in Mar-22, with the 10-year benchmark bond yields stable in the range of 6.8% and 6.9%. While bond returns were stable in March, factors like a higher borrowing program of Rs14.3 trillion and  chances of RBI following the hawkish path of the US Fed will be material. It would be useful to keep a close watch on the emerging retail inflation data, as that is likely to have a strong bearing on benchmark bond yields, as well as the RBI language in the Apr-22 monetary policy statement.

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