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Largecap-focussed PMSes lagged in April; midcap specialists fared better

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NEW DELHI: Smallcap- and multicap-oriented PMS (portfolio management service) funds, an investment tool of rich investors, outperformed in April and delivered up to 14 per cent returns to clients.

Top guns of the PMS industry also delivered handsome returns for the month. Domestic equity benchmark Sensex fell 1.5 per cent for the month, while Nifty shed 0.4 per cent.

Kotak AMC Pharma Fund finished as the top performer of the month, returning 13.39 per cent, according to data provided by PMSBazaar.  Sun Pharma NSE 1.26 %, Dr Reddy’s Labs, Cipla, Cadila Healthcare NSE 1.05 % and Aurobindo Pharma were the top five holdings in its portfolio.

Sectoral bets, especially metals, pharma and IT, have been proving to be beneficial for fund managers in the past couple of months, as the Covid-19 pandemic intensified and commodity prices rose.

Among others, Sageone’s Small & Microcap, Anvil Wealth Management’s Long Holding Strategy, Master Portfolio Services’ Vallum India Discovery, Bonanza’s Value, Upside AI Multicap and Green Portfolio’s Special strategies were other chart toppers for the month.

Some fund managers tweaked their strategies to get the most out of sectoral trend.

“We believe the IT sector has strong tailwinds. Digitisation and the technology transformation that is taking place currently, especially cloud computing, will change the way businesses are managed. We are also positive on the data side,” said Arun Malhotra, founding partner & portfolio manager at CapGrow Capital Advisors LLP.

His funds, which are heavy on stocks like Bharti Airtel, ICICI Bank, SBI, HDFC twins, 

Fortis Healthcare

 NSE 3.48 % and IB Real Estate, delivered around 2 per cent return for the month.

“Another sector that we prefer and have always focussed on is banking. Bigger banks will continue to benefit in the current environment, as they have lower cost of funds and are gaining market shares at the expense of the smaller players and NBFCs, and their underwriting quality is also good, leading to lower NPAs,” Malhotra said.

Analysts on Dalal Street have tapered expectations after the second wave of the pandemic began. Multiple agencies have already cut GDP growth estimates and downgraded earnings projections for FY22.

Some analysts believe equity returns this year will be in the mid-teens. They expect margin pressures on some of the companies due to rising commodity prices and the risk of inflation, which may impact the market negatively.

Among the biggest names, Basant Maheshwari’s Equity Fund gained nearly 11 per cent. Sunil Singhania’s Emerging Opportunities Fund and Shankar Sharma’s India Super 50 delivered 9 per cent each.

Saurabh Mukherjea’s banking and NBFC-focused Kings of Capital was among the worst performers, dropping nearly 2 per cent, while his Consistent Compounders gave flat returns. Bharat Shah’s three funds delivered 1-3 per cent.

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