Though the market was very choppy in January 2015 from the events that unsettled the market towards the end of the previous year, analysis by Quantitative Financial Analytics Company Limited indicates that it was not all that gloomy for Nigerian mutual funds. The year 2015 and indeed the month of January 2015 began with much uncertainty and increased volatility in the market. The down trend in oil price, the devaluation and continued depreciation of the Naira, political instability and security concerns, all ganged up against the economy and the market. Though the effects of this gang up are still being felt in the market, it does appear that Nigerian mutual funds were able to hold their own in the face of all the vicissitudes of the market.
Every fund under the equity category recorded negative performance except Anchor fund that brought in a positive month to date (01/30/2015) and year to date (01/30/2015) performance of .33%. The highest negative performance came from Arm Aggressive Fund which recorded performance of -11.33% Legacy fund also showed a return of -10.83%. Except for those two, every fund that recorded negative return in this category did so in single digits. Though, the returns as indicated above are in negatives, they outperformed the MTD and YTD return of the Nigeria Allshare index, which returned -14.7%
Unlike Equity Funds, Bond Funds recorded positive performances except for Stanbic IBTC Guarantee Fund and Zenith Income Fund that generated negative performances of -.05% and -.12% respectively. The highest return came from BGL Sapphire fund with 5.51% while Stanbic IBTC Bond Fund and FBN Fixed income fund recorded 1.25% and 1.12% returns respectively. Again, when viewed against the performance of the Allshare index, one will say that Bond Funds did well although the 5 year Nigeria bond index returned 1.43%
Like the Equity Fund category, every fund under the balanced category had negative returns but all in single digits, the highest being the -7.52% recorded by Women Investment Fund. Also, all the funds under the Ethical Fund category recorded single digit negative gains with Stanbic IBTC Ethical Fund showing the highest loss of -7.06%. Again, they outperformed the market.
Exchange Traded Funds
Exchange traded funds were not left out in the bloodletting, except for New Gold ETF which garnered a huge gain of 9.64% in a month that Gold gained 7.87%. The lotus Halal Equity ETF with a performance of -12.13% also beat its index, NSE Lotus Islamic Index whose return for the month was -13.18%. Vetiva 30 Etf tracked its index almost perfectly by returning -14.58% against the return of -14.68% by the NSE Stock Index 30
From all indications and given the mood and trends in the market vis a vis the performance of the various indexes, Nigerian Mutual funds did not do too badly in January 2015, and it is hoped that if and when the market volatility eases, the mutual funds will do better.