What are we looking for?
How international equity funds are doing this year. European stocks typically make up a big chunk of these funds, so the fallout from the region's sovereign-debt crisis has made this a tougher year than usual.
We examined the returns for the first 11 months in these funds, which must invest outside of Canada and the United States. U.S. dollar, segregated, and duplicate versions of funds were excluded.
What did we find?
Big gaps in performance - from double-digit returns to a double-digit loss.
Dynamic EAFE (Europe, Australasia and Far East) Value Class and Omega Consensus International Equity gained, respectively, 15.4 per cent and 10.7 per cent, while AGF International Stock Class shed 15 per cent.
Dynamic EAFE Value benefited from having 60 per cent of its portfolio invested in Asia at the start of the year, but "we have been gradually increasing our exposure to Europe," said manager Chuk Wong of Goodman & Co. Investment Counsel Ltd. "Now, the fund is about 45 per cent Europe and 55 per cent Asia."
Asian stock winners have included Chinese sporting goods retailer 361 Degrees International Ltd. and Indonesian-based PT Bank Rakyat Indonesia and PT Bank Central Asia. Also helping are European stocks such as British-based Lloyds Banking Group PLC and Spanish-based Prosegur Cia de Seguridad SA, which provides security services, Mr. Wong said. "Despite the fact that the Spanish market has done poorly this year, Prosegur is actually up."
AGF International Stock Class, which is run by John Arnold and Rory Flynn, has had a rough ride. The fund was 77 per cent invested in Europe at the end of October. A spokeswoman at AGF Management Ltd. said no one was available to explain why the fund has struggled.
However, Morningstar Canada analyst Brian O'Neill said the AGF fund has been "very disappointing over the last few years, largely due to its heavy financials exposure during the credit crisis." This year, key financial stocks like BNP Paribas and Société Générale "performed poorly, as have some of the fund's holdings in the health care and telecommunications sectors," he said.
HOW INTERNATIONAL EQUITY FUNDS HAVE FARED THIS YEAR
|As of Oct. 31, 2010|
|Name||Latest MER||Assets ($ millions)||YTD to Nov 30/10||1 YR||3 YR||5 YR||10 YR|
|Best 8 Funds to Nov. 30|
|Dynamic EAFE Value Class||2.69||25.8||15.38%||27.62%||1.86%||N/A||N/A|
|Omega Consensus Intl Equity||1.99||55.7||10.65%||21.91%||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Investors Int'l Small Cap Class-A||2.76||105.7||6.99%||11.77%||-5.70%||5.13%||N/A|
|Acuity EAFE Equity||2.99||7.8||6.23%||10.40%||-6.91%||N/A||N/A|
|CIBC International Small Companies||2.8||71.2||5.61%||8.12%||-11.21%||-1.81%||-1.45%|
|Leith Wheeler Intl Equity Plus Sr B||1.58||1.7||4.04%||6.93%||-1.54%||N/A||N/A|
|Ethical International Equity||2.95||48.1||3.61%||8.55%||-8.65%||-0.56%||N/A|
|MD International Growth||1.94||188.3||3.03%||6.16%||-5.24%||1.13%||-2.58%|
|Worst 8 Funds to Nov. 30|
|AGF International Stock Class||2.98||663.9||-15.05%||-4.00%||-11.20%||-0.43%||0.06%|
|Beutel Goodman Int'l Equity-D||1.43||73.5||-7.14%||0.90%||-7.55%||-2.35%||-1.30%|
|TD International Value-I||2.42||545.8||-7.08%||-1.73%||-15.13%||-6.70%||-6.94%|
|Templeton EAFE Developed Mkts-F*||1.57||2.9||-6.71%||3.07%||-8.10%||-0.60%||-0.47%|
|IG Templeton International Equity-A||2.69||165.3||-6.62%||1.19%||-9.32%||-1.15%||N/A|
|Manulife International Value Class||2.86||163.1||-6.41%||0.78%||-9.61%||-1.91%||N/A|
|Pro FTSE RAFI Global Index-A||N/A||-6.34%||-2.51%||-7.67%||N/A||N/A|
|Desjardins Overseas Equity Value||2.58||749.1||-6.05%||-1.65%||-12.94%||-3.66%||-1.00%|
|Index Fund||1 YR||3 YR||5 YR||10 YR|
|MSCI EAFE ($ Cdn)||N/A||2.90%||-7.00%||0.78%||-0.50%|
|MSCI Europe ($ Cdn)||-5.56%||2.94%||-7.79%||1.44%||-0.10%|
|* Formerly Bissett International Equity. Source: Globe Investor|
© 2007 The Globe and Mail. All rights reserved.
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