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Emerging market mutual fund performance: evidence for China

Zia-ur-Rehman Rao (School of Accounting, Dongbei University of Finance and Economics, Dalian, China)
Muhammad Zubair Tauni (School of Accounting, Dongbei University of Finance and Economics, Dalian, China)
Amjad Iqbal (School of Accounting, Dongbei University of Finance and Economics, Dalian, China)
Muhammad Umar (Department of Business Administration, Air University, Islamabad, Pakistan)

Journal of Asia Business Studies

ISSN: 1558-7894

Article publication date: 2 May 2017

991

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to find whether Chinese equity funds outperform the market and do Chinese fund managers possess positive market timing ability. This study also aims to investigate whether well-performing (worst) funds of last year continue to perform well (worst) in the following year.

Design/methodology/approach

Capital Asset Pricing Model and Carhart four-factor model are used for performance analysis, whereas for analyzing market timing ability, the Treynor and Mazuy (1966) and Henriksson and Merton (1981) models are applied. To investigate persistence in the performance of Chinese equity funds, all equity funds are divided, on the basis of performance in the past 12 months, into three equally weighted groups (high, middle and low) and then observed for next 12 months. After that, groups are again rebalanced according to their performance. This study uses a panel regression model for analysis.

Findings

Chinese equity funds are successful in providing higher than market returns, and fund managers possess positive market timing ability. The authors find that Chinese equity funds do not show persistence in performance as witnessed in developed markets. Well-performing funds (worst funds) of last year do not continue to provide higher (lower) return in the following year. Moreover, the authors detect positive relationship of fund size, age and expense ratio with the fund’s performance. Overall results suggest that emerging market equity funds show better performance than that of developed markets.

Practical implications

Investors are better off if they invest in equity funds instead of index funds, as results illustrate that equity funds outperformed the market. Further, the strategy of buying well-performing funds of last year and selling poorly performing funds of last year does not look very attractive in China. This study helps investors to understand the Chinese managed funds industry, and such an understanding is also helpful for fund managers and asset management companies who use performance information in marketing strategies.

Originality/value

This is the first study to investigate the performance persistence in Chinese equity funds and also contributes to the literature about the performance and market timing ability of equity funds. The study takes the sample of 520 equity funds for the period from 2004 to 2014, which includes a period of financial crisis of 2008.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors thank Professor Chi Guo Hua at the Dongbei University of Finance and Economics, China, and anonymous referees for their insightful comments and valuable suggestions. All the errors are their own. This paper is a part of the doctoral dissertation of the first author.

Citation

Rao, Z.-u., Tauni, M.Z., Iqbal, A. and Umar, M. (2017), "Emerging market mutual fund performance: evidence for China", Journal of Asia Business Studies, Vol. 11 No. 2, pp. 167-187. https://doi.org/10.1108/JABS-10-2015-0176

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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