Top A-Shares Fund Managers Suffer Heavy Loss in First Quarter



· 5月12日

Seven investment managers with an AUM of more than RMB 50 billion had a hard time this year. Their AUM shrank by an average of more than ten billion yuan for the first quarter. The average rate of return of some 3,327 active equity mutual funds was -15.04%. The combined losses of equity funds and hybrid funds exceeded RMB 1.3 trillion. Some small funds with around one billion in AUM have become popular among investors.

Fund managers had their dark hour of this year.

Fund managers had their dark hour of this year.

BEIJING, May 11 (TMTPOST) -- Since the beginning of 2022, a list of statistics on the performance of top mutual funds managers has been circulating on the internet. It looks dismal: Zhang Kun -55%, Liu Yanchun -54%, Cai Songsong -50%, Ge Lan -43%, Liu Gesong -35%...

The actual drop in yields on the funds they managed may not be as bad as ruomored, but the average number is undeniably down by around 20% to 30%.

Fund companies have recently disclosed their first quarterly earnings results. TMTPost found that as of the end of the first quarter, there were still seven equity fund managers who were actively operating mutual funds with an AUM of more than RMB 50 billion. The scale of their funds shrank by more than RMB 10 billion during the first quarter.

The average rate of return of some 3,327 active equity mutual funds was -15.04%. The combined losses of equity funds and hybrid funds exceeded RMB 1.3 trillion. With the poor performance of large euqity funds, some small funds with around one billion in AUM have become popular among investors.

For those most sought-after fund managers, both their AUMs and positions have changed. For old funds, two factors led to changes in scale: the net market value of the fund and the net number of fund subscription. So, from the end of last year till now, the AUM of top fund managers has been reduced, what made the differences from the past?

The most eye-catching are the two star fund managers: Ge Lan and Zhang Kun. Their AUM shrunk by RMB 14.1 billion and RMB17 billion, respectively, in the first quarter. Compared with several other top fund managers, they were a little better off handling the downsides. Xie Zhiyu and Liu Yanchun have both seen a drop in AUM of more than 20 RMB billion, Liu Gesong somewhere near RMB 20 billion.

The popular fund managed by "medicine stock goddess" Ge Lan, a medical and health hybrid fund with Zofund, has a negative return of 22.41% in the past year. In terms of position changes, in the first quarter, the top five stocks Ge bought were WuXi AppTec, Aier, Asymchem, Mindray Medical, and Tigermed. During the same period, the five major holding stocks Zofund are WuXi AppTec, Asymchem, Pharmaron, Proton, and Aier. Holdings of funds managed by Gelan in WuXi PharmaTech fell to 59.32 million shares from 65.71 million shares at the end of the year. In the first quarter, she increased its position in Aier by 8.27 million shares, from 73.604 million shares in the second quarter of 2021 to 149.1097 million shares. At the same time, she also increased her holdings of Mindray Medical by 1.12 million shares, positioning from 6.11 million shares to nearly 13 million shares starting in the third quarter of 2021.

The rate of return on the E Fund hybrid fund managed by Zhang Kun in the past year was -26.93%, down by 32.52% over the past year. Faced with challenges in the market, the "Wine King" also had to adjust his positions. The top five heavyweight stocks he selected are Kweichow Moutai, China Merchants Bank, Tencent Holdings, Hikvision, and Luzhou Laojiao. In the first quarter of 2022, Zhang reduced his position in Tencent Holdings, from 18.32 million shares to 17.6 million shares. He further increased 1 million shares of Hikvision in the first quarter, adding 3.96 million shares of Wuliangye. However, the second-largest company he increased the position in is China Merchants Bank. The stock price has dropped by nearly 20% since the president of China Merchants Bank was incarcerated. If calculated on the market price, the asset value has plunged by more than RMB 1 billion.

Although the overall market is worse than last year, a small number of funds still achieved positive returns in the first quarter. The data shows that among more than 3,300 active equity funds, 1.83% of which reported positive returns, and nine out of top ten products were all below RMB 1 billion in size. Only the one ranked 10th was in a range of RMB 1 to 5 billion.

Frequent Covid-19 outbreaks and the lower liquidity expectations of the global capital market, along with the complex changes in the domestic macro environment are all rattling the entire sector. Especially in the face of the Shanghai Composite falling below 3,000 points, the "psychological defense line" of most investors, it is unclear whether the index performance in the future can support market sentiment.

Industry insiders told TMTPost that in the face of the current market, it is necessary to return to fundamentals, and the industry as a whole has remained resilient. In the medium and long term, outstanding companies and fund managers will gradually rebound from the volatility.

From a policy perspective, the market is highly sensitive to policy-related information. Based on a series of positive policy signals and implementation rules released by the central government this year, the overall sentiment has continued to be positive. They will continue to prioritize and provide cost-effective products and services to clients.

In terms of transactions, some fund managers have told TMTPost that they will strictly follow the investment framework for stock selection.

When it comes to the future, institutions and fund managers say that the innovation-related sector is far from reaching the ceiling of the domestic market. They are still optimistic about medium and long-term investment opportunities despite inevitable short-term market fluctuations. The fund managers will continue to strive to create long-term investment returns for investors.

(The Chinese version of the article was written by Li Tianzhen and edited by He Lina. The English article is based on the Chinese version. 

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