GERMANY – German equities was the best performing asset class for German funds in the first half of the year, according to the BVI Bundesverband Investment und Asset Management.

While the German stock market index, the Dax, rose 11.3% in the first half, German equity funds rose an average 13.5%. The dramatic losses for the asset class over the recent years, however, are still visible over the short and medium-term period.

Returns over the last one-year and five-year period are –20.7%, and –39.6% respectively. Over the longer term, German equities have produced positive returns with 73.6% over ten years (5.7% a year) and 368.1% over 20 years (eight percent a year).

European equity funds increased 3.8% over the first half of 2003. While not having experienced losses as severe as German equity-only funds over the short and medium term period, longer term returns are not as high with 5.2% per year over a 10-year period, and 7.6% per year over a 20-year year period. Global equity funds returned 3.1% over the first half.

Bond funds, while still producing positive returns, have seen these returns slow. Domestic bond funds yields fell 0.6% to 3.5% at the end of the first half. International bond funds saw a moderate increase of 1.2% to 5%. Over the 10-year and 20-year period international bond fund returns have been 5.8% per year and 7.1% per year respectively.

Domestic invested mixed funds remain the best performers over the long term. Over 20 years, returns have been 8.5% per annum. Mixed funds investing in international securities have returned 8.1% per year over the same period.

The BVI compiled the data from 2,500 German investment funds.