Is it time to enter sectoral funds? - Views on News from Equitymaster

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Is it time to enter sectoral funds?

May 5, 2000

Thatís what a lot of investors would like to know after the sops advanced to the pharma and software sectors by Yashwant Sinha in his latest budgetary amendments, combined with the rise in pharma and software stocks yesterday (4th May 2000).

Open-ended IT funds NAV (Rs) 1-week 1-month Since incep.
Pru ICICI Tech. Fund (Gr) 6.15 -5.1% -29.6% -37.5%
Kothari Pioneer Internet Opport. (Gr) 8.24 -5.8% -10.4% -14.0%
Sun F & C Emerging Tech. (Gr) 7.21 -8.7% -15.8% -15.8%
Birla IT Fund (Growth) 21.07 -9.1% -24.3% 17.0%
Chola Freedom Technology (Cum) 16.09 -11.2% -20.9% 22.2%
Tata IT Sector Fund 11.89 -11.6% -30.3% 26.3%
Kothari Pioneer Infotech (Gr) 29.27 -12.8% -26.0% 193.9%
IL&FS eCOM Fund (Gr) 6.29 -13.7% -39.9% -53.9%
Magnum Sector Funds - IT 15.86 -14.1% -35.7% 122.3%
Alliance New Millennium Fund (Gr) 8.25 -14.2% -33.0% -46.0%
UTI Sector Fund - Software 23.82 -15.2% -34.0% 68.5%

Yesterday was a big day for key software and pharma counters as the BSE Sensex zoomed 218 points. And even as I write this, software (Satyam, NIIT, Infosys) and pharma (Dr Reddys, Ranbaxy, Cipla) stocks are witnessing significant buying interest. Add to this the fact that pharma and software funds are at all-time lows. So is it time to enter pharma and software funds?

Open-ended Pharma funds NAV (Rs) 1-week 1-month 12-month Since incep.
Kothari Pioneer Pharma (Gr) 9.51 -5.4% -12.6% 4.4% 1.8%
Magnum Sector Funds - Pharma 8.81 -8.3% -19.2% 0.0% -12.5%
UTI Sector Fund - Pharma 9.54 -9.2% -19.3% 0.0% -20.0%

Not if you want to weigh the cons with the pros. Yashwant Sinhaís budgetary amendments canít distract one from some other fundamental issues that may yet continue to plague the markets. For one, the border tension with Pakistan is not resolved as yet. There are concerns of a sub-normal monsoon in the current year. And the meltdown on the NASDAQ with its repercussions on the Indian markets is also a matter of some anxiety. So is it time to enter pharma and software funds?

Investors may want to wait till next week till the picture becomes a little clearer regarding the concerns (border tensions, NASDAQ) outlined above. Then we will know for sure if the current rally is just a flash in the pan.

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