ECONOMY

Bond funds still the most secure option

Bond funds continued to outperform all the other categories of mutual funds in the first 15 days of December, according to data issued by the Union of Institutional Investors yesterday. The total asset value of domestic bond funds rose 1.63 percent to 4.20 billion euros, with capital inflows of 43 million since November 30; average returns in this sub-category since the beginning of the year was 4.59 percent, while 17 of the 32 such funds performed better than average, producing returns of between 4.66 and 7.44 percent. Ten-year Greek State bonds yielded gains of 4.53 percent over the same period. The total value of mutual fund assets continued to rise over this period, but most funds still offer negative returns for a third consecutive year; the average returns to investors of all mutual funds since the beginning of the year was -23.99 percent for domestic equity funds, and of balanced funds -11.98 percent; money market funds fared better with 2.32 percent, but were still below the inflation rate. The Athens Stock Exchange general price index has receded 29.87 percent since January 1. The total asset value of mutual funds rose by 830 million euros, or 3.45 percent, to 24.88 billion euros on December 15, from 24.05 billion euros on November 30; the total number of shares rose 3.39 percent to 4.33 billion over the same period. However, the improvement was smaller than in the last 15 days of November, when total mutual fund asset value jumped by 1.78 billion euros. Best equity funds According to an analysis by Piraeus University Assistant Professor Nikolaos Philippas, based on the Morningstar rating method which takes into account both risk and performance and is widely used in the US, the best Greek equity funds in the last two years are Eurobank Value Index, Egnatia Athena Dynamic, HSBC Middle Capitalization, HSBC FTSE/ASE -20 Blue Chips and Alpha Trust Infrastructure with a five-star rating, followed by Delos Infrastructure & Construction, Egnatia Theseus FTSE/ASE-20, Eurobank Genesis, HSBC Growth, European Reliance Business Growth, and Egnatia Olympia with a four-star rating.