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  • Overall performances ranged between +39% and -49% in the sector

Only 35 of the 2,654 funds invested in emerging market equities and available to UK retail investors have delivered positive performance over the past year1, according to analysis by the online investment platform rplan.co.uk.

The overall performances ranged between +39% and -49% – but were heavily skewed towards the negative, rplan.co.uk says.

Despite concerns and volatility in the sector, 425 emerging market funds were launched to retail investors in the UK over the 12 months to end of February 2016, including Oeics, investment trusts and ETFs.

The best performer over the year to 22 February was the iShares DJ China Offshore 50 ETF, which delivered 31.65%. The MSCI Emerging Market Index delivered a return of approximately -26% over the same period.2

Of the 35 positive performers, nine had the highest SRRI of seven, 19 had ratings of six and seven had ratings of five.

Stuart Dyer, Chief Investment Officer at rplan.co.uk’s, said: “The range of performances and the number of funds available in the Emerging Market Equities sector demonstrates just how broad the sector has now become.

“One common theme between them though is the high risk – apart from 11 with risk ratings of four, all of the funds falls into the higher risk category of SRRIs between five and seven.

“Longer term, emerging markets can deliver very attractive returns but investors should be disciplined in their exposure to this asset class and should only have a limited exposure as part of a balanced portfolio.”

He pointed out that while concerns about the most significant emerging market China – and its currency have been justified, on the positive side, the renminbi has only been weakening against the US dollar and not most other major currencies.

Furthermore, the major market correction seen in January could be seen as an over-reaction: China’s service sector data has been very positive.

Stuart Dyer added: “The issues that were key at the end of 2015 still pervade, including the rising dollar, a slowing China and oil in freefall. But once markets get over the uncertain start to the year it should refocus on the core data, which should stabilise in the coming weeks. It is important that investors do not over-react to short term volatility and maintain a medium to longer term perspective regarding their portfolios.”

Emerging market funds included in Rplan.co.uk’s model portfolios: Fidelity Emerging Markets, Investec Emerging Market Equity; JP Morgan Emerging Markets, Lazard Emerging Markets, Somerset Emerging Market Dividend Growth and Templeton Emerging Markets Smaller Companies.

As well as providing access to well over 2,000 funds for retail investors, rplan.co.uk has four pre-selected portfolios with different levels.