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Comparative performance-related fund flows for Malaysian Islamic and conventional equity funds

Comparative performance-related fund flows for Malaysian Islamic and conventional equity funds Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to compare the fund flow – performance relationship for Islamic and conventional equity funds in Malaysia. Design/methodology/approach – The authors use panel regression models to estimate the relationship between fund flows and performance for Islamic and conventional equity funds in Malaysia from 2001 to 2009. The data for each fund include fund flows, assets under management, management expenses, fund age, portfolio turnover, fund risk and return and the number of funds in the fund’s family. The authors also include market returns and year effects. The sample consists of 127 Malaysian equity funds with at least 65 per cent domestic equity holdings comprising 35 Islamic and 92 conventional equity funds. Findings – Islamic fund investors respond to performance in much the same way as conventional fund investors, increasing fund flows to better performing funds and decreasing fund flows to poorer performing funds. However, there is also evidence that Islamic fund investors are relatively less responsive toward poorly performing Islamic funds, suggesting an asymmetry in the expected positive fund flow – performance relationship, but only for Islamic fund investors. When choosing funds based on other fund attributes, Islamic fund investors again exhibit similar behaviour, and like conventional fund investors direct larger percentage fund flows into smaller funds as well as funds with larger past fund flows and higher expense ratios. Research limitations/implications – The authors were only able to access data on annual net fund flows not quarterly or monthly fund inflows and outflows as usual in developed markets and this may obscure some important aspects of investor decision-making. There is also insufficient data for matched-sample techniques, which may better control for fund-specific characteristics. Practical implications – Islamic funds like conventional funds will experience increased fund flows with better performance and vice versa. However, Islamic fund investors appear somewhat less likely to remove monies from poorly performing funds. The authors believe this is because investors either place a premium on the non-return attributes of Shariah-compliant funds and/or wish to avoid search costs in finding another suitable Islamic fund. Apart from this, Islamic and conventional fund investors behave in a similar manner, and the authors believe that this is possible in Malaysia given the size and diversity of its Islamic fund sector. Originality/value – This paper is one of the very few empirical studies concerning the behaviour of Islamic investors, particularly in Malaysia, primarily because of limitations in data availability. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Islamic and Middle Eastern Finance and Management Emerald Publishing

Comparative performance-related fund flows for Malaysian Islamic and conventional equity funds

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
1753-8394
DOI
10.1108/IMEFM-10-2012-0103
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to compare the fund flow – performance relationship for Islamic and conventional equity funds in Malaysia. Design/methodology/approach – The authors use panel regression models to estimate the relationship between fund flows and performance for Islamic and conventional equity funds in Malaysia from 2001 to 2009. The data for each fund include fund flows, assets under management, management expenses, fund age, portfolio turnover, fund risk and return and the number of funds in the fund’s family. The authors also include market returns and year effects. The sample consists of 127 Malaysian equity funds with at least 65 per cent domestic equity holdings comprising 35 Islamic and 92 conventional equity funds. Findings – Islamic fund investors respond to performance in much the same way as conventional fund investors, increasing fund flows to better performing funds and decreasing fund flows to poorer performing funds. However, there is also evidence that Islamic fund investors are relatively less responsive toward poorly performing Islamic funds, suggesting an asymmetry in the expected positive fund flow – performance relationship, but only for Islamic fund investors. When choosing funds based on other fund attributes, Islamic fund investors again exhibit similar behaviour, and like conventional fund investors direct larger percentage fund flows into smaller funds as well as funds with larger past fund flows and higher expense ratios. Research limitations/implications – The authors were only able to access data on annual net fund flows not quarterly or monthly fund inflows and outflows as usual in developed markets and this may obscure some important aspects of investor decision-making. There is also insufficient data for matched-sample techniques, which may better control for fund-specific characteristics. Practical implications – Islamic funds like conventional funds will experience increased fund flows with better performance and vice versa. However, Islamic fund investors appear somewhat less likely to remove monies from poorly performing funds. The authors believe this is because investors either place a premium on the non-return attributes of Shariah-compliant funds and/or wish to avoid search costs in finding another suitable Islamic fund. Apart from this, Islamic and conventional fund investors behave in a similar manner, and the authors believe that this is possible in Malaysia given the size and diversity of its Islamic fund sector. Originality/value – This paper is one of the very few empirical studies concerning the behaviour of Islamic investors, particularly in Malaysia, primarily because of limitations in data availability.

Journal

International Journal of Islamic and Middle Eastern Finance and ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: Aug 17, 2015

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